EMBO Self-leadership Workshop for women scientists: IN-PERSON COURSE


"How self-awareness, self-confidence and self-efficacy can help me to achieve my goals"


Self-leadership is the process by which a person becomes more comfortable with who they are and what they want, allowing them to fulfill their potential and build a strong foundation from which to take daily decisions – both professional and personal. Self-leadership enables better communication, satisfaction and more-balanced decisions.

In the world of scientific research, both men and women can benefit from learning and practicing self-leadership to improve their professional and personal lives. This course, however, is tailored specifically to women scientists to facilitate sharing experiences and insights.

Because women are in the minority at the level of group leaders and professors, they can experience additional challenges in their working environments and institutional structures. This course aims to give women specific support, advice and tools to use in their leadership roles. It is intended for senior postdocs and group leaders.


This workshop will enhance your self-leadership. We will explore the topic of self-leadership by addressing self-awareness, self-confidence and self-efficacy. At the same time, this workshop will provide a space where you can exchange ideas and strategies with other women on dealing with and succeeding in the situations that women leaders face at the higher levels of life science research.

At the end of this workshop, you will:

  • recognize that good leadership starts within
  • be more aware of your values, strengths, achievements and intentions
  • understand how personality, biases and stereotypes (your own and those of others) impact your leadership
  • feel strengthened in your capacity to find effective and satisfying ways to deal with challenges concerning your professional role
  • identify your own strategies to develop your (self-)leadership
  • have a clearer view of your different roles in all areas of your life, how you want to be perceived in each one, and how to achieve this

The format of the workshop is highly interactive and practical, involving case-studies, role play, small group work and discussion sessions. You will be actively involved in the course, discussing your own life and leadership experiences and self-reflecting in a guided process. You will be taught leadership and self-focused techniques that can be readily used in daily life to enhance your leadership, success and satisfaction.

A note from Maria Leptin, former EMBO Director, is available on this subject.


Day 1 & 2: 09:00 to 17:30 (CET/Berlin)

Day 3: 09:00 to 12:30 (CET/Berlin) with lunch included

Trainers: Melissa Davies & Stéphanie Ruder Schoof

Location: The course takes place in the Hotel Villa Toskana in Leimen (near Heidelberg), Germany.


Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the following restrictions will apply to this course. Bear in mind that this information is subject to change. Please be sure you are willing to comply before you register:

1. You must show proof of full vaccination or recovery to be accepted for participation in this course. This remains a prerequisite for our in-person courses even though this is no longer mandated . Participants at recent in-person courses appreciated the fact that we are sticking to this prerequisite.

2. Registration is limited to participants who are permitted to enter Germany. The German government provisionally lifted the COVID entry restrictions in June 2022, however we are still remaining prudent. Please bear in mind that the rules may change again so we will apply any rules the German government have in place at the time of the course. You can find out more about the latest information for entering Germany here: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/coronavirus/2317268.

The following conditions may apply (in addition to the requirement to be vaccinated or recovered), depending on government advice and regulations, and our own judgement. Please be sure you are willing to comply in case these measures become necessary:

  1. You may be required to take a COVID 'rapid test' each morning and must have a negative result before being permitted into the seminar room. This would just be a courtesy to your colleagues on the course.
  2. Although the seminar rooms have high efficiency, filtered ventilation, both participants and trainers may be required to wear FFP2 face masks throughout the course. The trainer who is actively facilitating may remove their mask for the duration of their presentation.

The situation regarding the spread of the Coronavirus variants remains hard to predict. We are planning this course on the assumption that we will be able to run it in-person and that you will be able to travel to it. If that situation changes, you will be offered to choose either a full refund of your course fee (though not your travel costs), or the opportunity to defer to a later


All timings are approximate, as we will be working in a process-oriented manner. The time spent on a topic will expand or shrink to meet the needs of the course participants. Depending on the group dynamics, some topics might be added or not covered.




Welcome and frame-setting

3 pillars of self


Strengthening self-awareness: „who am I“

  • be clear(er) on who I am: personality, values, communication style...
  • be aware of my competencies and skills
  • understand the role of emotions and how to work with them




Strengthening self-awareness continued...

  • explore different personalities and their impact on interpersonal communication
  • explore the impact of a good communication
  • explore and reflect on the roles I have in my (personal and professional) life


End of day 1



Strengthening self-confidence: "I believe in myself, I trust I can do it“

  • more on emotions and learning how to act rather than react
  • build on my achievements
  • how to improve my self-confidence




Strengthening self-efficacy "getting to where I want to be : what is my next step"

  • how to deal with stress and pressure
  • work-life balance
  • the power of positive feedback


End of day 2



Strategies, case studies and coaching

  • understanding biases and stereotypes
  • how can my self-leadership influence my leadership
  • case-studies from participants


End of workshop