Leadership for research group leaders

The course is aimed for research group leaders or team leaders that have a minimum of two members in their group and have official staff responsibility.


According to KI, all “activities are to be characterized by good leadership, teamwork, participation, transparency, equality and diversity, and environmental care both internal and external.” A part of the efforts to ensure this is to strengthen the scientific leadership at the research group leader level.


The aim of the course is to enhance participants’ knowledge about academic leadership and how to build conditions for dynamic research group development together with a safe, encouraging and inspiring work and learning environment. Further aim is to facilitate interaction with other research group leaders at KI to promote network building.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, participants will:

  • have improved their knowledge about academic leadership at the research group level.
  • be able to use tools obtained during the course to implement a safe, confident and inspiring work environment in their research groups.
  • have gained understanding and consideration of the different roles, functions and responsibilities within academic research.
  • have obtained knowledge and tools to lay the ground for dynamic group development and innovative research environments.
  • have reflected on their own leadership role and be able to use tools obtained during the course to coach and give feedback to staff.
  • be able to implement an action plan to improve the work environment in their own research group / team.


The course is equivalent to two weeks of full-time studies.

Short description

The course starts with a two-day retreat with participation by representatives from KI Management and inspiring lectures.

The starting seminar is followed by six seminar days, once per month, which consist of a morning seminar (9.00-12.00) and an afternoon meeting in smaller groups, called Backstage group meetings.

A central and appreciated part of the course is the work in smaller Backstage groups. Course participants will participate in coaching each other in groups consisting of six - seven participants where they will have possibility to discuss challenges, complex situations and questions related to their position as research group leaders. Coaching takes place according to a structured way of work in a safe and confidential way.

Eligibility and selection

  • Participants must hold a PhD and be active researchers at Karolinska Institutet or a partner university.
  • Research group leaders and team leaders with a minimum of two members in their group and have official staff liability can be admitted to the course.

Course leaders

The course is arranged by Unit for Teaching and Learning, KI.

Course 2025/2026

  • Starting seminar 18th of September, 2025
  • Six dates for the seminars (09:00-16:00) 
  • Dates for the back-stage groups (13:00-16:00)
  • Closing seminar (April 2026)

Participation in scheduled activities is obligatory.

Language: English

Registration will be open 1st of February-8th of March, 2025.

Cancellation Policy: If cancelled 30 days before the course starts or later your department will be charged SEK 2500.


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Wibke Jonas

Course leader
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Gabrielle Paulsson-Berne

Educational Developer

Elisabet Lindgren

Education Officer