The path to science student leadership at UQ

Susan Leonie Rowland, Eimear Vallely, Sarah Campbell, Aimee Clarke, Amanda Cooke, Melissa Fitzgerald, Jamie Jones, Lydia Kavanagh, Talia Sellars


As students prepare for jobs and roles in an evolving workplace, it is important that they develop transferable skills before they leave university. Students need the capacity to reflect on their non-disciplinary skills and attributes, to stretch their abilities, and to learn how to lead themselves and others. Finding space in a crowded curriculum for such activity can be difficult, and in a large, multi-faceted Faculty it is almost impossible to implement a one-size-fits-all solution. The Faculty of Science at the University of Queensland directly enrolls around 9000 students per year. Our goal is to offer all of these students training in leadership and the opportunity to choose leadership opportunities that suit their interests and aptitudes. The approach we have developed is applicable to a variety of educational contexts.

We have developed a sustainable co-curricular leadership program for all of the students in the Faculty of Science. Our no- to low-barrier approach means we can offer this experience to a broad demographic and we see significant numbers of students engage. The first part of the program, LaMPS (Leadership and Mentoring Program in Science) is a no-barrier gateway to the program. Through completing the online LaMPS modules and attending a two-day workshop series, students develop an understanding that leadership is situational (Hersey and Blanchard, 1988) and that good leadership depends on emotional intelligence (Goleman, 2000). LaMPS is a stand-alone opportunity, but students can choose to progress further as leaders by joining the Science Leaders Academy. The Academy, which is the second part of the program, is an umbrella organisation that enables student access to developmental, leadership, and service opportunities. Although LaMPS and the Science Leaders Academy were only introduced in 2018, already almost 500 students have participated.

In this presentation we will explain how LaMPS and the Science Leaders Academy work, and describe the impacts we have seen from the programs to date. The projects that students have created as part of the leadership program will be showcased.

• Goleman, D (2000) Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, March-April 2000, 1–15. Online at
• Hersey, P. & Blanchard, K.H. (1988). Management of organizational behavior (5th Ed.), pp. 169-201. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.


Leadership, Reflection, Interdisciplinarity

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