The Development Programme for Directors of Research (DPDoR) helps those who are preparing for the role of Director of Research to build leadership capacity; to better understand the complexities of the role; and the nuances of delivering a research strategy and mission in these highly uncertain times.  

DPDoR has successfully run for over 15 years as part of a joint initiative between the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the British Academy of Management. During this time, the programme has prepared around 250 senior academics to lead their institutions’ research and navigate the internal and external demands of the day.   

DPDoR 2024-25 will take place in person with four interactive sessions taking place throughout the year to support you to develop your strategic approach and build a strong leadership network within the UK business school community.   

Please note: Dates, venue and programme content are all tentative and subject to change.  

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, you will have deepened your understanding about the   role of Director of Research and about the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are important in the role. You will have had the opportunity to:  

  • Build and enhance the skills and competencies required to be an effective Director of Research  

  • Understand how the current external research, funding and policy environment affects your strategy for business and management research  

  • Gain confidence in managing internal pressures, relationships, faculty performance and HR.  

  • Explore approaches to managing the REF process from strategy, implementation and the presentation of results  

  • Work towards your professional development and learning objectives in the context of your institution's research priorities strategy  

Who should apply?
  • Directors of Research
  • Those working towards the role of Director of Research

DPDoR 2024/25 will take place in person in London with four interactive sessions taking place throughout the year to support you to develop your strategic approach and build a strong leadership network within the UK business school community.

Session 1 - Setting the scene for research leadership in UK business schools: Diversity of experiences and working together

Date: Thursday 21st - Friday 22nd November 2024, London

Venue: Chartered ABS Office, 40 Queen Street, EC4R 1DD

Participants in the DPDoR programme are a diverse group of academics, at various career stages, and based in different types of UK business schools. This session uses participatory learning exercises and guest speakers to understand the diversity of experiences, contexts, aspirations and challenges for Deans Directors of Research. We will also begin the work of building the 2024/25 DPDoR cohort into a supportive group of colleagues who can learn from one another during and outside/beyond the programme sessions. The session will also focus on working with and influencing key colleagues. Confirmed Speakers for this session are Professor Kirsty Newsome, Assoicate Dean Research, Sheffield University Management School; Professor Sian Moore, Deputy Dean of Research and Innovation, Faculty of Business and Law, Anglia Ruskin University; Professor Stewart Robinson, Dean, Newcastle University Business School; Dr Hannah Lynch, Research Manager, Newcastle University Business School.   

Session 2 - Creating a Supportive and Inclusive Research Culture and Environment

Date: Thursday 23rd - Friday 24th January 2025, London

Venue: TBC

Session Two will focus on how to develop an inclusive and supportive research culture and environment, when operating in an increasingly challenging financial ecosystem. This session will look at different models of, and the management of research budgets; balancing the competing demands of income generation, publishing and impact and managing metrics. This session will also evaluate the ideology and principles behind the new People, Culture and Environment strand in REF, and the premise that poor cultures lead to poor research 

As Elizabeth Gadd wrote in Wonkhe  

‘Research culture is a hygiene factor. We need to set the standard below which we must not fall, rather than making research culture the next big competition in Higher Education. It’s about stemming the loss: the loss of good people (through lack of diversity, poor leadership, toxic behaviours, lack of career paths, recognition, and reward) and the loss of quality (through questionable research practices, closed and irreproducible research), and not a short-cut to gain’. 

Confirmed speakers for this session so far are Professor Oliver Mallett, Associate Dean Research, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling; Professor Jo Richardson, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University; Professor Chendi Zhang, Associate Dean for Research and Impact, Exeter University Business School. 

Session 3 - Developing Ourselves and Our Colleagues

Date: Thursday 20th - Friday 21st March 2025, London

Venue: Chartered ABS Office40 Queen Street, EC4R 1DD

Session Three will focus on developing ourselves and our colleagues, we will look at how to nurture a diverse community of researchers, and how to build an inclusive and supportive research culture that values varied research contributions and career pathways. Topics include promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; nurturing early career researchers; developing postgraduate researchers; supporting and managing research performance; supporting research leadership development. We are aiming to have input from academic recruiters to understand careers and career opportunities within research leadership and management. 

Session 4 - Understanding and preparing for REF2029 and supporting Accreditation

Date: Thursday 22nd - Friday 23 May 2025

Venue: TBC

Session Four will focus on REF and the impact of REF on the role of the ADR/DoR. This session will look at how to work with REF rather than against it. We will have contribution from REF panel members as well as those that are responsible for the implementation of REF strategy. In addition to focusing on REF preparation, we will look at the role of the ADR/DoR in supporting and delivering accreditation. Confirmed speaker so far, Professor Mark Stuart, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation, Leeds University Business School.  

Session Format  

All modules are 24 hour 'lunch-to-lunch' sessions, the usual format being:  

Day One:

12:00: Registration & lunch  

13:00: Day One session starts  

The programme will include break(s)  

17:00: Day One session concludes  

19:00: Dinner  

Day Two:

08:30: Refreshments  

09:00: Day Two session starts  

The programme will include break(s)  

13:00: Day Two programme concludes with lunch after which participants depart  

 >>The programme fee includes Dinner and accommodation on the evening of Day One<<  


Programme fee: £4,275

Booking deadline: 6th November 2024, 17:00 UK time

If you are planning to attend the programme and are awaiting funding, please complete your expression of interest by clicking here.

Note: Due to the nature of the programme which focuses on personal development and encourages frank and open discussion, it may not always be suitable for two participants to attend from the same institution. If we receive more than one registration from individuals at the same institution we will notify the institution and the participants, taking account of when the registrations were received, and ask for guidance on whether one or both can attend in the same cohort. The cohort is limited to a maximum of 20. Once all places are taken, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

For enquiries or questions, please contact: Ambra Risca on [email protected]


“I really valued the community of Research Directors that this programme enabled me to connect with. Sharing experiences in candid conversations made this totally worthwhile.”

Professor Katy Mason, Research Enhancement Director, Lancaster University Management School

“This has been an excellent experience. A good balance of interesting guest speakers and discussion within the group. I am going away with a more strategic focus and lots of good ideas I can implement within my institution.”

Dr Marian Iszatt-White, Lecturer in Department of Leadership and Management and LUMS Doctoral Director, Lancaster University Management School

“The programme has been excellent and the input and discussion thought provoking”

Professor Helen Shipton, Professor of International Human Resource Management and Co-Director of the Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice, Nottingham Business School

“This was an excellent programme”

Will Harvey, Associate Dean (Research & Impact), University of Exeter

“This was an extraordinary experience, better than my best expectations!”

Alcino Azevedo, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Aston Business School

Abigail Marks.jpg

Professor Abigail Marks, Professor of Future of Work and Associate Dean Research, Newcastle University

Abigail started working as a Research Associate at Edinburgh University in 1995. She was appointed Lecturer in Human Resource Management in 1999 at Strathclyde University. From 2002 until 2019 Abigail Work at Heriot-Watt University where she was promoted to Chair in 2010. Abigail is currently Professor of Future of Work and Associate Dean Research Newcastle University. She previously held the roles of Director of Research at the School of Social Sciences at Heriot Watt and the Associate Dean Research at Edinburgh Business School (Heriot-Watt University). From 2019-2020 Abigail was the Associate Dean Business Engagement at Stirling Management School (University of Stirling).

Abigail’s research is influenced by a rage of social science disciplines but predominantly lies within sociology.  Her current research is concerned with the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the experience and structure of work and the experience of working with the financially excluded. Traditionally, Abigail’s research has focused on the construction of organisational, occupational, and class identity. Teamwork, skills development, work-life balance, and the ICT sector have also been key themes. Abigail’s research has been published in internationally recognised (mainly CABS 3 and 4 rated) journals, edited collections, monographs, and book chapters. Securing research funding has been central to Abigail’s research journey she has been the Principal Investigator on project supported by UKRI and various industry funders.

Abigail has accumulated considerable international experience, not only in terms of visiting professorships and research ventures, but also at the organisational level, developing prestigious partnerships with overseas institutions at doctoral level. For Heriot-Watt University, she created partnerships with three German universities. At the University of Stirling, Abigail developed a partnership for a new Doctor of Management Degree (DMan) with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (UCASS), a leading university in China which was afforded an unprecedented 35 students in the second year of operation. Abigail also has a great deal of experience in programme development including DBA, DMan and  MRes degrees as well as other post-experience and executive education provision.

In addition to extensive line management experience, Abigail has managed the Doctoral Department at Edinburgh Business School which operated as a standalone business with a multimillion-pound annual revenue. Abigail is currently the REF C17 lead for Newcastle University Business School and was responsible for REF leaderships and Impact Leadership at previous institutions. Abigail has chaired many University and School committees as well as Chairing funding panels for Forte (a research council for the Swedish Ministry of health and Social Affairs) and Nordforsk (a funding body under the Nordic Council of Ministers which supports Nordic cooperation on research and research infrastructure). Abigail has sat on funding panels for the Research Council of Norway and is a member of the ESRC Peer-Review College. Abigail has also reviewed funding applications for the Dutch Research Council, the Swiss National Science Foundation, ESRC Future Leaders Funds and the Carnegie Trust.

Abigail is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of the Future of Work and a member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools’ Policy Committee. Abigail has expansive experience of the policy arena including being an existing Member of House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Work and having given oral evidence to the Welsh Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the House of Lords. Abigail was a member of Expert Advisory Group to Scottish Government on New Social Security Powers (2016 – 2020) as well as the Scottish Parliament Corporate Board – COVID-19 Framework Expert (2020). Abigail contributed to the Scottish Digital Ethics Compendium (2021).

Over the past few years Abigail has made several media appearances as well as being interviewed for newspapers on many occasions. Abigail has been interviewed for radio stations such as (and not exclusively) BBC Radio Four, Radio Scotland, Marketplace, BBC World Service, Radio Five and BBC Radio Kent. Abigail has also been featured in newspapers and the like including the Guardian, the Times and BBC Worklife. As well and media engagement, Abigail actively engages with industry and has spoken at many events about the changes in work, including those hosted by Slido, Abeceder, Atlassian and Kent County Council. Abigail has also spoken at events hosted by the Improvement Service, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Digit Scotland and many others.