2025 Ethos Research Leaders Forum -Register Now!

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The 2025 Ethos Research Leaders Forum  course schedule

The Ethos Research Leaders Forum is a unique, high level, professional development program for senior research leaders across Australia.



Day 1
Tuesday 25th March                 Adelaide
Day 2
Wednesday 26th March            Adelaide  
Day 3
Wednesday 7th May                 Sydney
Day 4
Wednesday 18th June              Melbourne
Day 5
Wednesday 30th July               Brisbane

Join a group of your research peers in leadership positions, all of whom want to become better leaders. Develop your strategic ideas in a relaxed environment. Be stimulated by some of Australia’s most respected research leaders and establish relationships that will enhance your professional life.The Ethos Research Leaders Forum is a unique, high level, professional development program for senior research leaders across Australia.

The program


Managers of research institutes, centres and significant research concentrations form a Research Leaders Forum group of up to fifteen people. The group meets over five days (2 days + 1 day + 1 day + 1 day) over a period of 4 months and discusses issues relating to leadership in research organisations.

Meet with some of Australia's most respected research leaders as guest presenters 
Participants meet with some of Australia's most eminent research leaders from our panel of guest presenters. In a relaxed, informal environment, these leaders discuss the issues that shaped them as leaders, their mistakes and their triumphs, their personal insights and their institutional observations.

Case studies from participants
Each participant presents their research concentration as a 'case study'. Issues of strategy, people management, strategic alliances and more, are analysed and explored. The presenters ask questions of the group and are challenged to see the familiar from a different perspective.

Work preference analysis
All participants gain an insight into their own leadership style through an internationally respected work preference and leadership analysis tool, the Team Management Profile.

Research leadership essentials
Participants come prepared to engage with their colleagues in a rich conversation that focuses on new leadership perspectives and issues. These include: presenting the essence of your centre to non-academic audiences, establishing effective collaborations with business and government, managing an effective advisory board and developing stronger, and more effective, work teams.

Professional mentoring 
Between each meeting, each participant is contacted to discuss issues raised during the meetings, or other, more confidential, issues that are not explored by the group.

Forum Chairman

The Ethos Research Leaders Forum is an initiative of Mark Douglas, Director of Ethos Consulting Pty Ltd. Mark has worked with the leaders of CRCs, ARC Special Research Centres, ARC Research Networks and the senior management teams of universities, as well as working with numerous research institutes and research centres. Mark is an organisational psychologist with over 20 years experience consulting to Australian universities. Mark is a skilled facilitator and communicator and is an accredited mediator. Mark has worked in senior management roles within consulting organisations, within Government and university research environments

The benefits – what you gain

  • Personal and professional growth arising from the interaction with nationally renowned research leaders and by working through issues that face leaders in their professional and personal lives.
  • Assistance in making difficult decisions because the group, as a collection of peers, can discuss the options in a pragmatic and analytical fashion.
  • A forum to discuss openly those issues you may find difficult to discuss within your workplace, for a variety of reasons, but which are critical to effective management.
  • The development of professional networks outside your discipline that build understanding and collaborative opportunities.
  • Learning from the experience of other research leaders who are facing similar problems.
  • Participating universities become part of an evolving benchmarking process that will identify and measure key performance indicators across the major research institutes.

This process unlocks the wealth of experience residing in our research leaders, your peers, providing a forum for them to share it with those who can best appreciate its value – other research leaders!

Who should participate in the Ethos Research Leaders Forum?

Researchers with leadership responsibility within a significant research concentration and senior research managers would benefit most from this program. Working extensively with leaders across universities for over 15 years, demonstrated to Mark Douglas that leaders of research concentrations face challenges that are different from leaders in other organisations.

The demands of research grants, managing a strategic direction in the face of research preferences, managing succession planning, building sustainable private sector relationships and managing and developing large scale, international interactions, are just some of the issues that pose particular challenges for the leader of researchers. Many universities develop their own in-house programs that focus on early and mid-career researchers, but there are too few opportunities for experienced and new leaders to come together for high level, cross disciplinary, leadership interaction and learning.

More than a leadership course

This is not merely a one-off course to get a ‘dose of leadership training’; rather it is an opportunity to meet regularly with peers from non-competing research organisations to discuss management and leadership challenges confidentially and frankly

We Understand Universities and Research Organisations

Ethos Consulting has extensive experience in organisation reviews, community engagement planning, restructuring and strategic planning in universities and research organisations.

We have a sound understanding of the tensions between individual research performance and organisation strategic focus; we understand the teaching/research nexus and how academics often have difficulty balancing teaching and research demands; we understand the importance of and the demands of research funding processes and the limitations of running an organisation on ‘soft funding’; we understand the difficulties of managing workload models in universities and the many activities of academics that are vital, but are often not measured; we understand the importance of industry collaborative research but that fundamental research is often the basis of real innovation and advancement of a discipline.

Our Experience in Research Organisations Over the past 21 Years:

  • University strategic planning
  • Community consultation processes regarding community engagement strategies
  • Community engagement planning
  • Research strategy workshops for universities, faculties and schools
  • Facilitation of national and international research collaborations across disciplines
  • Facilitation of complex curriculum review processes
  • Organisational restructure of faculties
  • Strategic planning for national research centers
  • Team building processes in academic and administrative units within universities
  • Strategic planning in secondary schools
  • Facilitation of industry skills development processes involving both private and public, technical training organisations.

Research Leadership Video 1

Research Leadership Video 2

Research Leadership Video 3