Getting the right people

Margaret Collins' Photograph, professional coach, graduate of CoachU.

Dr Margaret Collins, Senior Lecturer, Professional Coach, Director of Training For Universities

When you hire a coach or trainer, how do you know their style or content will be relevant to your staff or students?

I have more than 20 years experience working at research institutes and universities in the UK and Europe. 

I did my PhD in Molecular Genetics, completed a Royal Society European Fellowship at the CNRS at Gif-sur-Yvette and then several postdoc positions in the UK. I held Senior Scientific Officer positions in BBSRC Research Institutes before securing a Lectureship and then a Senior Lectureship at The Royal Veterinary College in London. 

I know the system. I’ve managed teams of postdoc researchers, I’ve trained PhD students. I’ve juggled the complex mixture of teaching, research and administrative responsibilities. That’s not to say “I know it all” but I’ve been there, lived through it and know what has worked.

To improve my skills supporting the PhD students and postdocs in my own research team I also trained as a professional coach, in the neuroscience of coaching and have certification as a professional trainer.

I created my company, Training for Universities, to bring that skill and experience to the delivery of training or coaching for you.

You know yourself how important relevance and credibility is – get it wrong and word of mouth spreads the bad news like wildfire. Get it right and you have a waiting list for the next course.

Below I’ll share two key types of information : testimonials from participants on past courses and a brief biography. I hope they help your decision-making.

Please do contact me to discuss any questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon!


Presentation skills

* Thank you once again for the fantastic presentation session, it was very very helpful.
* I just wanted to say thank you so much for the presentations workshop yesterday, it was a really useful day.
* I came to the workshop with a deep fear of public speaking but left wanting to conquer that fear and perhaps even enjoy the experience in the future!

Managing Your Research Project

* The best session on the course so far!
* The small group size meant there was a real interactive exchange between tutor and colleagues
* Great group participation. The Post-It notes exercise was lots of fun and very useful!
* I can really take control of my project and it’s management. I have a better idea of what is involved and am inspired to think harder about the risks, tasks etc.


Time management

* The first thing I want to say is that this was one of the best time management workshops I’ve attended. It was engaging, the tips and hints on how to implement processes were great. It has given me a pep to implement your suggestions with time blocking and I really liked the matter’s arising part. That is really useful. 
* Reflecting on your comments about energy management and not answering emails first thing in the morning has revolutionised my productivity! Understanding why I was procrastinating (task too big/ doing the wrong task for my energy in the day) has totally changed my entire perspective and I feel so much more effective for it, so thank you, again!
* Some really interesting concepts about positive mental attitude. I really enjoyed the delivery and enthusiasm of the presenter. Interaction with others was good – we have the same challenges but respond very differently.
* Lots of different time management tools.


Personal development courses

* Interesting, thought provoking, life-changing!
* I think the best feedback I could give you is the fact I recommended friends to come to your course. The course itself was value a valuable experience. In a short time I was able to reuse what I gained from the exercises in my personal and working life.
* Margaret creates an atmosphere so relaxed and friendly that it is very easy to become involved and really achieve better understanding of yourself and how to improve your life. Many thanks for your advice and support.
* Margaret has an innate knack of creating a confidential, and yet relaxed, atmosphere, thus enabling invaluable group discussions


Curriculum Vitae: Dr Margaret Collins

Years Institution Position
2008 to 2012 The Royal Veterinary College Research Consultant.
1995 to 2008 The Royal Veterinary College Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology.
1991-95 BBSRC Inst. for Animal Health Senior Scientific Officer.
1987-91 Protein Engineering Dept.,BBSRC Inst. of Food Research Section Head, Molecular Biology.
1986-87 Department of Microbiology, University of
Postdoctoral Research Fellow.
1985 Centre de Génétique Moléculaire,C.N.R.S., France European Fellow of the Royal Society.
1981-84 University College of Wales, Aberystwyth PhD in Microbial Genetics.
1978-81 University College of Wales, Aberystwyth First Class Honours in Cell and Immuno Biology.

In addition I have been professionally trained as a Coach (CoachU graduate), a Professional Behavioural Styles and Values Analyst, Master Practitioner of NLP and a full member of the Higher Education Academy. I am a full member of the Association for Coaching.