What do I need to know?

Please read the information below to make sure that you appreciate the structure and style of the programme and the commitment you will be making if you apply and are offered a place.

How many days are in the programme?

The Springboard programme consists of 5 workshops. The first 4 workshops happen during a University term (extended to include a few weeks before and after the dates of an academic term) and are held a month apart. The fifth workshop happens six months after your last workshop and gives you the opportunity to meet your group again, to engage in some exercises and activities aimed at further supporting your personal and professional development, and to share successes and achievements.

What time do the workshops start and finish?

Workshops 1 - 4 start at 9.30 am and finish by 3.30 pm at the latest. Workshop 5 takes place over a half day, usually starting at 9.30 am and finishing by 12.00 noon. For workshops 1 – 4 lunch is provided.

Do I have to pay for a place on Springboard?

No. The Springboard programme is free of charge to all women employed by the University of Oxford or one of its colleges. A Springboard place costs the Oxford Learning Institute £448 per person to deliver and so we ask you to make sure that, when you commit to take part, you make appropriate arrangements to allow you to attend the full programme.

What is the Springboard workbook and how much time will I need to spend working through it?

At your first workshop you will be given your own Springboard workbook which you will be asked to work through for the duration of your programme. This A4, 300 page workbook contains ideas, exercises and examples that you can either work through on your own, or with two or three others. The style of the workbook is down-to-earth, humorous, practical, and focussed on positive thinking. The learning points are illustrated with a mix of cartoons and real case studies. You will be asked to work through the workbook during the workshops. Participants can continue to use the workbook afterwards on their own, as part of their ongoing development. 

Participants have told us that to get the most out of the programme you will need to spend on average 3-4 hours on activities in the workbook in between each workshop.

If this style of learning does not appeal or does not suit your preferences, then you will wish to consider carefully whether the programme is appropriate for you.

Is there any pre-course work that is required?

Yes. Two weeks prior to the start of your programme you will be sent joining instructions, a pre-course self-assessment, a letter from your Springboard trainer and a list of the participants in your group. 

The pre-course self-assessment questionnaire will give you an opportunity to reflect on your perceptions of your current situation before attending your Springboard programme. We will return this to you during workshop 4. Your Springboard trainer will read your pre-course self-assessment questionnaire so that she can learn more about you as a participant. 

Please be assured that your self-assessment questionnaire will remain confidential and will only be read by your trainer.

Does my manager need to know that I am doing Springboard?

Yes. If you would like to be considered for a place you should approach your line-manager/supervisor; you will need to complete the application together. If for any reason you are unable to obtain a nomination from your line-manager/supervisor, you should complete the same form, but indicate that this is a self-nomination. Self-nominations will be considered in the gathered field process, and the agreement of your line-manager/supervisor will be sought if you are to be offered a place.

Who can I speak to if i have any further questions?

Any queries about the programme or the nomination process should also be sent to Liisa O'Brien.

Interested in applying?

In order to ensure that the University makes the best use of this resource, in a fair competitive process, nominations for places are to be put forward by individuals with supporting statements from their line-managers/supervisors. These will then be considered in a ‘gathered field’ by a panel comprising UAS/ASUC Senior Officers, colleagues from academic divisions and OLI staff.

For further information on applying for a place or registering your interest please visit the programme applications page.

Frequently asked questions

What if I am interested but am worried that I can’t make all the dates?

If you know you will struggle to make this time commitment, then Springboard may not be for you. Depending on the reasons for the difficulty in finding the time, you may find it helpful to consider attending some of our short courses on specific aspects of personal effectiveness, such as Assertiveness or Managing Upwards

A colleague in my department is planning on signing up to Springboard; can we both be on the same programme?

Yes. It is possible for women in the same department to attend the programme at the same time, as long as you are both happy to do so. However we do recommend that line managers do not attend the same programme as their staff.

What if I notice that there is someone in my Springboard group that it might be problematic for me to work with?

If, having seen the participant list, you realise that someone you know or you work with will be in your group, and you know that this might be problematic, then please email the course administrator immediately. The course administrator will review the possibility of moving you to another programme.

What if I need to cancel my place on the programme?

Please email the Springboard course administrator as soon as you know you will need to withdraw so that we can offer your place to another participant. Cancellations of places made less than 48 hours before the start of a programme are extremely difficult to fill and will almost certainly result in a lost place for another participant on the expression of interest list. For that reason, please let us know as soon as possible.

I work part time: do I have to do Springboard in my own personal time or does my manager need to give me time off to do the programme?

We recommend that you speak with your line manager or supervisor in the first instance. We hope that your line manager or supervisor will encourage your participation and we hope that they will support your attendance on the programme by allowing you to take time from your working day to attend. Further information can be found on the Personnel Services website about part time workers and time off for training.

I have found out that the Springboard programme is now fully booked for the next academic year. How can I ask to be added to the expression of interest list?

To register your interest in Springboard please email the Springboard course administrator.

I have been offered a place and have just found out that I can’t attend one of the workshops. Can I attend the workshop that I have missed on one of the other programmes?

Unfortunately we cannot offer you the opportunity to attend the equivalent day on another programme. When you join Springboard, you will discover that one of the ground rules that Springboard establishes in workshop 1 is that of trust and confidentiality between members of each group. The information that you decide to share with your group stays within the group and is not shared elsewhere. For this reason we cannot offer individuals the opportunity to join another group.

If after commencing the programme you are unable to attend a workshop (e.g. because of sickness) please let your Springboard course administrator know. The administrator will inform your Springboard trainer and send you the hand-outs and PowerPoint slides from the workshop so that you can catch up. We also recommend that you consider meeting up with one of your fellow group members before the next workshop to talk through what you missed.

What if I am unable to attend workshop 1?

Workshop 1 is a mandatory workshop and if for any reason you are unable to attend we will not be able offer you the opportunity to complete the programme. This is one of the ground rules set by the Springboard Consultancy.

Places cancelled 48 hours before the programme starts are very difficult to fill. Please make sure that, when you are committing to a place, you make appropriate arrangements to be able to attend the full programme. Each Springboard place costs the Oxford Learning Institute £448 to deliver. It is important to the University that we maximise the opportunity of this funding for as many women as we can.