Program overview

The role of Professor at The University of Queensland (UQ) signifies an international reputation for academic excellence and leadership and a promise for significant future leadership. The University requires its Professors to demonstrate outstanding achievement in their field, to be internationally recognised for their contribution and to increase their leadership role within and outside the University through constructive influence. Unfortunately, women hold less than 29% of UQ professorial positions. This program is designed to assist high calibre academic women bridge the gap.

Target group

The program is designed for academic women who are eligible to apply for promotion to Level E at UQ as per policy 5.80.14 Promotion to Professor, and who are motivated to apply for promotion within 3 years of completing the program. Only UQ employees can apply. The group size will be 12-16 participants.

Program benefits

The program aims to:

  • Broaden participants' understanding of leadership in a global academic context
  • Leverage off existing leadership strengths to build great capacity to lead strategically
  • increase knowledge of the university professorial promotion process;
  • Facilitate engagement with both internal and external leaders
  • Provide a gender frame of reference to academic leadership

Benefits for participants:

  • Individualised career planning
  • Presentations by key University leaders and other global leaders from the academic, business and community sectors
  • International reputation building
  • Leadership development building skills in strategic thinking, influencing, dealing with complexity, increasing personal impact and resilience


The program is intensive and comprises three condensed modules spread over a 6 month period. It is experiential in design and will be personally and professionally challenging. The core elements of the program include:

  • Career and leadership objective setting
  • Personal career development planning incorporating Portfolio review
  • UQ Leadership Survey 360-degree feedback
  • Face to face workshops (including a residential component)
  • Peer coaching
  • 360-degree feedback

Facilitators, presenters & support

Professor Polly Parker (UQ Business School) and Jennifer Witheriff (Organisational Development, HR Division) will facilitate the program. They will be supported by UQ and external professorial staff who will provide specific content and subject matter expertise. Deans and members of the UQ Executive will be invited to work with specific participants based on their development needs.

Current program

The next program will run from July 2017 to December 2017. All elements of the program are compulsory. You must be able to commit to attending all scheduled elements and activities. If you are unable to commit to full attendance then please do not apply.

Workshop dates:

  • Launch: 10 July 2017 (1pm-4pm)
  • Workshop 1: 19-21 July 2017 (Residential)
  • Workshop 2: 12-13 October 2017
  • Workshop 3: 7-8 December 2017 (Graduation 7 December)

The 2017 program is now open for applications. Staff can self-nominate and will require endorsement and sponsorship from their Dean/Institute CEO. Please complete the application form below by 30 January 2017 and email to


For any questions regarding this program please contact Jen Witheriff or the Organisational Development team, HR Division.


Go to top