Personal Development


Nurture, Develop, Thrive

Jenny Ames Consulting Ltd works with university researchers from research students to research leaders to provide:

    • Coaching and mentoring of individuals for the personal development of talent and those in career transition
    • Personal development workshops for groups to broaden knowledge and understanding and facilitate construction of a personal development plan

Coaching | Mentoring | Group Workshops

Accelerating collaborations between universities and users of research, including businesses, the public and voluntary sectors, civic society and communities

Jenny has completed some really valuable coaching work for us, supporting mid-career researchers. Jenny likes to understand the organisational context in which she's working so a lot of the careful, preparatory work ensured successful and genuinely valued outcomes following the programme of group-based coaching (this was evident from the feedback). Jenny worked successfully with researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and this contributed to the powerful, and we expect sustainable, group dynamic that has been established. Jenny is an exemplary listener and builds reflective evaluation into her practice at every stage. Her own extensive experience of the sector gives her a strategic, but also humane, insight into what it means to successfully build research careers in complex, organisational cultures.

Professor David Amigoni, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), Keele University

Jenny brings a supportive, non-judgemental approach to coaching encounters. She mentored me in a key career transition through listening and posing challenging questions that made me think differently about significant issues. Her listening skills and reflections enabled me to move forward with my thinking and reframe situations in ways that created opportunity. She modelled boundaries and respect, keeping our conversations confidential and taking issues seriously, to provide strategic input drawn from her deep knowledge of the Higher Education landscape.

Early Career Researcher

I found the coaching process with Jenny to be incredibly helpful. The process was highly supportive, and allowed me to consider the root cause of my concerns and what I might do to address these, without being pushed by a particular agenda. Since undertaking the coaching sessions with Jenny, I feel my work-life balance, progress with writing and research, time management, and my connections with co-authors have all significantly improved.

Research-Active University Academic

Thank you very much for the life-changing four sessions. I really enjoyed talking to you, and I have acquired many life skills in the process. I have started implementing some of them and I can see their impact on my productivity at work and in other aspects of life. Thanks so much for your time and effort.

Research-Active University Academic

I couldn’t recommend the coaching process highly enough. It is challenging, there is no doubt about that, but the feeling ‘coming out of the other side’ is so worth it. In many respects, I am a completely different person than when I started. I am more mindful, happier and self-confident in my work/research than I think I have ever been and feel like I have the tools at my disposal to continue to further develop and grow. Thank you!

Research-Active University Academic

Jenny is a fantastic coach who is supportive, empathetic, but also willing to challenge you and encourage new ways of thinking about working in higher education. Drawing on a wide-ranging knowledge of and experience in the sector, Jenny will encourage you to question areas of practice where you want to see improvement, helping you to find more productive ways of approaching your career. The confidential, non-judgmental nature of the sessions creates space for reflection and personal growth.

Research-Active University Academic

I am grateful for the conceptual and practical tool kit that this coaching has offered me. At challenging times, I enter into a virtual dialogue with my mentor, Jenny, and based on our previous discussion, I find a solution that I am happy with.

Research-Active University Academic

Having already asked Dr Jenny Ames to deliver one workshop for mid-career researchers here at Chichester, we're very much looking forward to having her back soon. Jenny likes to have a good understanding of the organisational context in which she’s working, and takes a great deal of care in ensuring that any materials she prepares are useful and appropriate to those who attend her events. Prior to her workshop here, she also met with various members of our Research Office to make sure she was meeting the aims of the session that they had organised. Her own experience of the HE sector gives her a unique insight into the challenges that mid-career researchers are likely to face, and the workshop was well-received by those who attended.

Professor Hugo Frey, Cross-Institutional Lead for Research, University of Chichester

Personal development via coaching, mentoring and group workshops

Universities need to be agile and responsive to external changes, even at the best of times. Naturally, this has impacts on staff. Restructuring, new roles, changing roles and different ways of working all have the potential to lead to discomfort and stress (although they can also cause excitement).

When major events occur that affect everyone – currently the Covid-19 pandemic – staff and research students are subject to increased demands and stress, compared to pre-pandemic levels. For example, the pressure to complete a PhD, worry about a contract ending, managing home-schooling alongside employment, and preparing on-line or blended teaching materials.

Our personal development offers are relevant to building the ‘people’ aspects of a positive research culture. This in turn helps universities at all levels to thrive in their organisation.

Jenny Ames - Coaching 4


One-to-one coaching can be very effective in supporting individuals to successfully adapt to change or overcome ‘blocks’ to success in their lives, even when the challenges faced seem great. Jenny Ames Consulting works with researchers at all levels, including research leaders and research support staff. Typically, topics covered may include:

  • Ensuring that time allocated for research is used for this purpose
  • Preparing for promotion
  • Saying ‘no’ nicely to requests or opportunities
  • Leadership
  • Work-life balance
  • Changing role or sector
  • Settling into a new role or organisation
  • Building resilience

Coaching involves working with the coachee to understand the challenge, help the coachee to think of different options to tackle the challenge and to decide the best way forward.


Mentoring involves individuals gaining insights by drawing on the depth and breadth of expertise of the coach or mentor. For example, this might involve explaining to a new researcher what the Research Excellence Framework is about or explaining in general terms the various stages of getting a journal paper published.

Coaching is the main approach we use to collaborating with individuals since it helps them to learn new ways of thinking and approaches which are helpful once coaching has ended.

Group Workshops

Workshops for groups of typically twenty individuals focus on a particular personal development topic and include plenty of time for discussion. Towards the end of each workshop, time is also included for each person to sketch out their personal development plan. Topics include:

  • Preparing for promotion
  • Developing your personal research culture
  • Time management for researchers
  • Leadership for new leaders
  • Leadership for experienced leaders
Jenny Ames - Coaching 3
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