The path to science student leadership at UQ


  • Susan Leonie Rowland The University of Queensland
  • Eimear Vallely The University of Queensland
  • Sarah Campbell The University of Queensland
  • Aimee Clarke The University of Queensland
  • Amanda Cooke The University of Queensland
  • Melissa Fitzgerald The University of Queensland
  • Jamie Jones The University of Queensland
  • Lydia Kavanagh The University of Queensland
  • Talia Sellars The University of Queensland


Leadership, Reflection, Interdisciplinarity


PROBLEM 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. PLAN and ACTION 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. REFLECTION 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. References • 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.

Author Biographies

Susan Leonie Rowland, The University of Queensland

Professor School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Faculty of Science

Eimear Vallely, The University of Queensland

Learning Designer Faculty of Science

Sarah Campbell, The University of Queensland

Employability Officer

Aimee Clarke, The University of Queensland

Student Experience Officer Faculty of Science

Amanda Cooke, The University of Queensland

Placements Officer Faculty of Science

Melissa Fitzgerald, The University of Queensland

Professor Faculty of Science

Jamie Jones, The University of Queensland

Career Development Advisor Faculty of Science

Lydia Kavanagh, The University of Queensland

Professor Faculty of Science

Talia Sellars, The University of Queensland

Student Experience Officer Faculty of Science