Quick Guide & Getting Started

Your first months on the programme

Stage 1 - Familiarisation

During the first few weeks it is essential to become familiar with all the key programme elements, and understand key processes and milestones. The Induction Event will assist you, along with the Getting Started Guides below which provide essential information for new participants during those first months after joining the programme. You should also begin to familiarise yourself with the promotional criteria associated with your career track.

It may also be helpful to consult our ECDP Framework Document.

Stage 2 – Meeting your Mentor

All participants of ECDP will have a mentor to assist them on their development journey. Mentors are normally assigned by the Head of School/Director of Research Institute in conjunction with the VP Head of College, within the first month of enrolment on to the programme. Once you have your mentor’s contact details, it would be useful to set up a first meeting for introductions and to discuss next steps. Setting up the Mentoring Partnership provides some suggestions for how to set up the partnership.

Stage 3 – Initial Objective Setting

Once you have settled into your role you should start working towards completing your ECDP/PDR Form available at www.pdr.gla.ac.uk with your line manager. This involves agreeing initial objectives and considering the targets for progression towards promotion to Grade 8 or Grade 9.

While this will be formally agreed with your line manager, you may want to discuss this with your mentor who may be able to provide support as a ‘sounding board’ given their experience and knowledge. Your annual Performance Development Review (PDR), which is carried out with your line manager, is structured around these objectives and progression towards achieving the promotion criteria associated with your career track.

Stage 4 – Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Once you have finalised your objectives, a  Personal Development Plan should be agreed. A PDP should be developed to meet the individual development needs of the participant and can include a range of development opportunities, including those designed for ECPD participants. ECDP recommends a range of workshops that are aligned to the promotional criteria for early career academics.

A key element of ECDP for those on Research and Teaching and on Teaching, Learning and Scholarship contracts is the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PgCAP) which is offered through the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service (LEADS). It is recommended that participants contact LEADS when they commence ECDP to ensure that they are registered. Participants are encouraged to discuss any potential amendments to their workload with their Heads of School with respect to completion of PgCAP. The recommended teaching reduction for those undertaking PgCAP is 50% in year 1 and 25% year 2.

In addition to PgCAP, participants are encouraged to consider a broad range of development opportunities linked to the promotion criteria. There are a range of workshops designed for ECDP participants which are offered through the College, LEADS, Employee & Organisational Development and Research & Innovation Services.

These should be discussed with your line manager and mentor and planned as part of your overall development.

Raising questions about the ECDP

Participants should initially discuss any questions they have with their line manager or Head of School/Director of Research Institute. Each College also has an ECDP Champion, a senior Academic, who is accountable for the effective implementation within their College and will be able to direct the question they cannot answer to the right person.

Staff can also email hr-ecdp@glasgow.ac.uk for any questions related to ECDP. We will ensure that your query is passed along to the right person for a prompt response.

Getting started with objective setting

You should meet with your line manager shortly after you are appointed to agree draft objectives and the targets for progression towards the promotion criteria for Grade 8 or Grade 9. All staff participate in the annual Performance Development Review process with forms available within the PDR system at www.pdr.gla.ac.uk 

If you begin in post during the Performance Development Review period, between May and September, objective setting should be completed using the ECDP PDR Objectives Only Form allocated in the PDR system at www.pdr.gla.ac.uk . Objectives should be set from 1 July until the 30 June. Objectives should be completed and signed off by yourself and your reviewer by 31st October:

ECDP Participants PDR Cycle Online forms available to conduct PDR & to set objectives
Initial objective setting  Those who are appointed outside the PDR review period Initial objectives set from appointment start date until 30 June 
PDR cycle 1 July to 30 June each year Mid-May - 31 October 

If your line manager is different to your Head of School/Director of Research Institute then your HoS/DRI should also review ahead of the deadline. Your submission will then be subject to College-level review which will be coordinated by the PPR Team. Finally, the ECDP Panel will then review your submission and may give feedback on these if they consider amendments are required.

This structured approach to objective setting process will continue annually during the PDR review period until you have been promoted to Grade 9 and successful completion of ECDP has been agreed.

Additional Guidance

Learning, Teaching & Scholarship Exemplar Objectives

Getting started with your Personal Development Plan

A key element is the Development Programme which is aligned to the Academic Promotion Criteria and encapsulates a range of developmental activities to support participants from Grade 7 through to Grade 9. 

You should become familiar with the Development Programme as early as possible in order that you can discuss and agree your Personal Development Plan (optional template) with your line manager and mentor.

The core learning themes are: 

  • Research, Knowledge Exchange & Impact
  • Learning, Teaching & Scholarship 
  • Management, Leadership & Personal Effectiveness

There are a range of ways that you can engage in learning within the programme including:

Practical In-House Workshops
There are a range of workshops available for staff to choose from which are offered through either your CollegeLEADS (Learning, Teaching and Scholarship), Research & Innovation Services (Researcher Development)or Organisational Development (Management, Leadership and Personal Effectiveness). 

External Networks
Participants may also pursue development opportunities as part of a professional network that operates out with the University. These may include conferences, courses, workshops, networking, peer learning, etc.

Mentoring Support
Mentoring is a key aspect of the programme with mentors taking an important role in supporting participants’ development. 

'On the Job' Opportunities
Taking on new opportunities to gain experience in key areas of academic development is an essential aspect of career progression.

Getting started with mentoring

Mentoring is a key feature of ECDP with all participants having a mentor for the full duration of the programme. Within a month of starting, you should have been assigned a mentor to support you through the early stages of your academic career at Glasgow. As one element of ECDP, mentoring aims to provide a structured support mechanism to guide staff towards achieving their career-path aims and objectives. It is designed to help accelerate early academic career development by fostering the transfer and exchange of knowledge between academic staff who have experience and a track record of success, and early career academics who could benefit from the support of a partnership approach to professional development. As such, it will allow early career development staff to maximise their use of ECDP development activities available within the Programme.

During the start-up phase of mentoring, it is important to begin to build rapport and it may be useful to consider the following as part of the initial discussions:

  • professional background and experience
  • other relevant background information
  • areas of expertise
  • any relevant experience of mentoring 

It may also be useful to discuss how you can work together, for example: 

  • what you might find useful to focus on for mentoring
  • how you are going to work together regarding, for example, allocating planned time (e.g. regular planned meetings booked well in advance), boundaries, accessibility (e.g. drop in sessions vs planned time), availability, confidentiality, etc.
  • how you are going to monitor the effectiveness of mentoring to ensure it is working for both the mentee and mentor

Additionally, mentors may also be helpful as a ‘sounding board’ in the drafting phase of the initial objectives. Although mentors do not sign off on performance objectives, they may be able to provide some guidance on the focus of objectives. Mentors and mentees may then use the objectives as a starting point for a conversation to begin to consider  what development support may be most useful in  achieving those objectives.