360 Feedback and Coaching

Our 360 programme

All Fellows in the Network will have the opportunity to take part twice in our 360 Feedback and Coaching Programme.

This year there are two rounds of 360 Feedback and Coaching so you can choose the timings that best suit you and the colleagues you ask to participate. The first round of 360 runs between May and August and the second between July and October.

If you would like to take part in this year’s 360 coaching sessions but missed the sign up survey, please email coaching@flfdevnet.com.

As well as 360 feedback coaching, we also offer Fellows one-to-one coaching and psychometric assessments.

“My 360 feedback and review were incredibly helpful. I gained many important insights that will help shape and progress my research career.”


The 360 programme

We all need feedback. It helps us to clarify our strengths, understand the impact we’re having on those around us, and identify areas we may want to develop further. But getting useful, balanced feedback isn’t always easy. That’s where 360 feedback comes in: it is a structured process which enables us to compare our self-perception with the observations of our colleagues by using a common rating system – typically, how frequently we exhibit certain behaviours.

Of course, we all modify our behaviour to some degree depending on the circumstances and the audience. For that reason, 360 feedback is sought from a broad range of professional colleagues and collaborators, e.g. our team and students, co-workers at a similar level, managers and senior colleagues, peers and collaborators at other organisations, and so on. It is this sense of taking a comprehensive view – looking 360 degrees around – which explains the name. And it is why 360 feedback is different from traditional appraisal, which tends to prioritise just the line manager’s assessment.

360 feedback is very commonly used in leadership development. Because leadership is, in many ways, even more about supporting people than it is managing tasks, it is important to be aware of how others perceive our behaviours and impact. It can help us to reflect on some crucial questions.

  • What do we do which others find useful?
  • What could we do more of?
  • What do we do which others aren’t noticing?
  • Are our behaviours having any unintended impacts on our colleagues?

We don’t always have to accept others’ perceptions as if they were straightforward ‘truth’ – lots of factors can influence why two people might perceive the same situation differently – but it is true that the knowledge gained from 360 feedback gives us choices.

We have designed and tested a bespoke 360 Feedback and Coaching Programme based on our Fellows Leadership Model. The leadership attributes and behaviours which will be assessed are those that we believe Fellows will be demonstrating, or will aspire to demonstrate, during their fellowship.

Download the Leadership Model [PDF]

Graphical representation of the Future Leaders Fellows Leadership Model
Future Leaders Fellows Leadership Model

You will benefit from:

  • a professional and robust process whereby you receive valuable perspectives and feedback on your leadership in a research context
  • an opportunity to learn about unknown strengths to harness, or blind spots that may be holding you back
  • a professional report containing detailed analysis of your feedback
  • a free, confidential 90-min coaching session with a professional coach experienced at working with researchers.

We believe the experience will be extremely useful for you to prioritise your development needs for the remainder of your Fellowship programme. At the same time, our Network Project Board will be able to look at aggregated anonymised data in order to see where, as a group, you have development needs. This means that we can continue to tailor our training and events to your needs.

You will have the opportunity to do the 360 feedback twice in total, so that you can see where and how you have developed in the interim. We recommend doing this two years apart.

“It was great to go over the feedback and establish the main themes and feel empowered to make strategic decisions going forward.”


How to take part

In total the following actions should take up to 90 mins of your time.

  • When the 360 round begins, you will receive an email invitation from “Client Support” at Talent Innovations. Check your junk folders if you do not receive it. This will give you guidance on how to log in, set up your feedback, and complete your own survey.
  • Identify at least nine colleagues (junior, senior, peers) whom you can ask to give you feedback. These will be known as your ‘raters’.
  • We recommend that you informally request permission from your raters to seek their feedback, so that they know to expect an automated email from ‘Client Support’. We have drafted a suggested text email template for inviting your raters for you to use and edit.
  • Upload details of your raters to the 360 feedback system.
  • Once you have set up a minimum of nine raters, they will automatically be contacted and asked to complete the survey.
  • The total time allowed for you to set up the system, invite your raters, and for you and them to complete the survey is six weeks. We strongly encourage you to set up your raters when you receive the initial invite, so that they have as long as possible to complete the survey. Our advice for raters may be useful for your colleagues and will help you get the most from their feedback.
  • Complete your own survey.
  • Check on completion rates occasionally and encourage your raters to complete their survey before the deadline.
  • Register for your 90-min coaching appointment. Coaching for the two rounds of 360 in 2024 will take place July/August and September/October.
  • Select your coaching date before the announced deadline using our online booking system.
  • Shortly after booking, you will receive a welcome email from your allocated coach with a calendar invitation and link to an online meeting for your one-to-one.
  • Two or three working days before your coaching call, your coach will send you your report, along with guidance on how to prepare for the session.
  • Read your report and engage in a 90-min one-to-one coaching session, so that you can discuss your feedback and the implications for your development.

Book your 90-min coaching session

Our online booking system lets you choose a convenient date and time for your session and allocates your coach.

Bookings for 2024 coaching sessions will open later this year.

360 Feedback FAQs

We have designed and tested a bespoke leadership model to assess the attributes and behaviours that we believe Fellows will be demonstrating, or will aspire to demonstrate, during their fellowship.

Yes. We ran a pilot study with a group of six researchers holding similar fellowships to the Fellows, who found the 360 feedback itself and the one-to-one coaching session very valuable. We made some adjustments to the survey design and the report template based on what we learnt from the pilot. The survey ran successfully with over 200 Fellows from the Future Leaders Fellows Development Network in 2021 and 2022, and we have further refined it since then.

There are two principles to keep in mind.

  • First, your raters need to know you well enough to have observed you over time, since they will be asked to comment on the frequency with which you demonstrate certain behaviours. If necessary, you can ask former colleagues who know you better.
  • Second, you need a balance of raters. We recommend that you have at least three senior colleagues, e.g. line managers, principal investigators, heads of department, mentors; at least three junior colleagues, e.g. students and staff whose work you manage or support, or any less experienced colleagues who may look to you for advice and support; and at least three peers and collaborators, e.g. colleagues from other institutions, disciplines, sectors, countries.

There is no upper limit on the number of raters you can have, but you must have a minimum of nine in total.

If you don’t feel that you have enough potential raters at your current institution, then you can ask former colleagues, as long as your work together was recent enough that they will be able to recall specific examples of your behaviour.

You can also ask colleagues who know you in other aspects of your professional life, e.g. if you serve on committees or boards, work with sector bodies, other stakeholders or perform other kinds of service to your institution or discipline.

We do not recommend that you include family, friends, or other personal acquaintances, since they are unlikely to have seen enough of the leadership behaviours which this 360 feedback tool was designed to assess.

You will receive your report approximately two or three working days before your coaching session, along with a set of reflective questions to help you prepare for the discussion with your coach. Please commit time in your diary for reading the report.

Other than you, the report will be sent to your allocated coach, who will help you to make sense of the findings and what they mean for your development.

The 360 feedback process is managed on behalf of the Network by our Coaching Team (Tracey Stead, Steve Joy and Vic Jenkins) who will have access to reports in order to distribute them to participants and coaches. Visit our About page to read Tracey, Steve and Vic’s profiles and learn about their work for the Network.

Except in cases where there are specific questions or concerns, or if she is your allocated coach, it is not envisaged that Dr Stead will read individual reports.

The Network Project Board will receive an aggregated, fully anonymised report once all of the 360s have been completed.

Our 360 feedback system is run by Talent Innovations, who provide technical troubleshooting. Email support@talentinnovations.co.uk and they will respond to your query as soon as possible.

When you log in to the system, you will see a progress update for each rater.

Yes. If raters have not yet completed their feedback, they will receive automated reminders ten days and three days before the deadline, and one day after the deadline has passed. However, we know that they are more likely to complete the survey if they receive a personalised reminder from you.

We understand that this isn’t always easy. We recommend that you informally contact your potential raters before you set them up in the system – that way, you will have had the chance to sound them out personally, and stress the time commitment you are asking for (20 to 30 mins), before they receive automated emails from the system. It’s also a good idea to try and plan for some back-up raters in each category, in case your first choices are unavailable for this coming round.

Generally, our experience is that people, even if they are very busy and very senior, understand how important 360 feedback is to developing your leadership – particularly for people undertaking a Fellowship. Many of the people you’re wondering about contacting have probably done something similar before, or perhaps even wish that they could have it done themselves.

Remember, too, that if you phrase your request politely and respectfully, then you are highly unlikely to cause offence by asking someone to contribute to your professional development. They have the right to say no if they genuinely don’t have the time, but it doesn’t follow that it was wrong to make the request in the first place.

Log in to the system and check that their details have been set up. N.B. You need to have set up the required minimum of nine raters before any invitation emails will be sent.

Ask your raters to check the junk email folders for an email from support@talentinnovations.co.uk

If you are still having problems, please contact Talent Innovations: support@talentinnovations.co.uk.

Contact your coach directly, as a courtesy, to let them know as soon as possible. They may be able to offer you a different appointment. If you rebook with them, please inform us of the new date at coaching@flfdevnet.com so we can ensure your report goes to your coach at the right time.

If they cannot offer an alternative date, please cancel with that coach and email us at coaching@flfdevnet.com so we can arrange a new coach and appointment.

Any cancellations or postponements less than three working days before the appointments will still be charged to the Network, although there will be no direct cost to you. Please bear this in mind when considering changing your appointment.