One-to-one coaching

“Coaching has been enormously valuable to me both professionally and personally providing a space in which to focus on difficulties and aspirations as well as suggestions for different courses of action leading to change.”

“Natalie has been a fantastic coach – warm, empathic, practical, human, positive and extremely professional and clear at the same time. I think she really helped me to focus on difficult things and find achievable courses of action.”

“It was extremely helpful to lay out, in a guided fashion, all the pros and cons of all the choices that were coming up for me to make. This is something that can be hard to do on your own, but I found it surprisingly easy in a session with a trained coach.”

“Very positive experience and a potentially powerful way to create change. Natalie has a rare gift of creating a safe environment where people can take risks to explore deep or sometimes difficult subjects.”

“I have been able to talk through many of the questions and issues I have had towards my job. I have learnt how to negotiate aspects of my role, where I can still remain productive, but understand what my limits are.”

“[Coaching] helped me to clarify my long-term goals as well as to identify intermediate steps to achieve them It helped me resolve some issues which were holding me back, Overall I feel much more focused and in control of my professional life.”

“I have changed my approach to many aspects of my work. These ideas have been coupled with real practical solutions, tools I can implement and use on a daily basis.”

“I totally loved it and found it invaluable for thinking through myriad issues concerning my working life, working practices and sense of self. I feel better about myself and work as a result of the programme.”

“Jo is an excellent coach. She is empathetic and good at identifying concerns and issues, analysing issues and what’s most, she is particularly good at supporting you to find the solutions”

“I have gained a clearer view on career options and their meaning for my personal life and work-life balance. Coaching enabled me to make my choices with more confidence because I had the feeling to be better informed about the benefits and consequences.”

“I feel more confident in the way I can think and own my professional development. I have also gained focus on the tasks I have to achieve. I do not feel ‘lost’ anymore and I look forward to taking the steps in my career”

“Self-confidence had been knocked a little before our sessions but by talking things through I found a new motivation to progress my career aspirations”

“Through the research coaching I got a much clearer view of my career path and really consolidated my research ideas. I felt more confident explaining the why and and importance of my research. Personally, it was great to talk to someone outside of my department that could help me see the big picture”

“The coach is extremely experienced in her field. Amazingly friendly, skilled and resourceful. She is capable of understanding the problem of the clients and work accordingly.”

“Natalie was so easy to talk to, and so good at asking the right questions and gently pushing me. She remained entirely non-judgemental, and made me feel very comfortable”

“I had already a workshop with Jo last year and it was perfect. This coaching session went the same – Not only Jo does provide very useful and relevant advice, but she also has this ability to make you feel that you could achieve anything – that’s awesome!””

“The types of questions asked really aided me within the sessions, and the level of challenging questions varied, but suited each session brilliantly. [Coaching] was a great help, and will benefit my PhD progression, and most likely my ability in the future – particularly concerning organisational skills and clearing my mind.”

“I am working in ways that work for me, which has a positive impact on the department as I am
bringing new ideas and renewed energy as a result of a less frantic work regime”

“It helped me to clarify my long-term goals as well as to identify intermediate steps to achieve them It helped me resolve some issues which were holding me back. Overall, I feel much more focused and in control of my professional life. This has helped with my overall confidence and self-esteem”

“Excellent, insightful, thoughtful, what can I say, Jo is one of the few who, I feel, really genuinely cares to help. She goes beyond what is expected”

“I was most impressed that Natalie listened and observed not just what I said, but how I said things, and was able to reflect that back to me in ways that raised new questions and led me to make realisations. This is a real skill, I think, and tremendously valuable.”


“I enjoyed a lot the opportunity to work in small groups. It was very useful to share opinions and ideas with other participants. I also appreciated the informal style of the whole presentation and the way Natalie presented these topics”

“I think Natalie was a great instructor and I really liked her approach. I also met other colleagues and I’m pleased that some participants were advanced career professor and I got some help from them too”

“Engaging style. Really enjoyed the last training by this coach, so I decided to also sign up for this one”

“Thank you for a very instructive, practical and enjoyable workshop”

“The theories were explained simply and visually, I felt they gave me tools I did not previously have and inspired me to read further. The format was spot-on – I didn’t feel bored or distracted at any point, which is unheard of for me in a 3 hour workshop. “

“Really grateful for these web based training opportunities, it allowed me to attend despite absence of childcare during lockdown and being remotely based outside of the UK”

“Enjoyed the chance to think and get feedback from different people”

“Open environment allowed everyone to contribute”


“Natalie provided a coaching programme which was included as part of a research leadership development scheme for academics on track to professorship. Natalie was instrumental in informing the development of the scheme advising on the best way in which coaching could be included and the types of development questions coaching could be used to address. Evaluation has shown that the vast majority of coachees found [the coaching programme] very helpful in supporting their career development. The coaching programme is also an important competent of our Athena Swan and HR Excellence Action plans, providing focused career development opportunities for researchers.”

– Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University – Consultancy Client 2018-2021 – Research Leadership Development

“Natalie and Jo provided clear communication throughout the process. The review was carried out in a very professional manner and the report was high quality. The report outlines a clear set of actions that if enacted will improve the working environment and development of ECA staff in [our] department.”

– Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool – Consultancy Client 2021 – Review of Support for Early Career Academics

“Every step of the process, from interview to consultation to final report was seamless. The team were professional, but also personable which put those involved in interviews and focus groups at ease. They really took time to understand the brief and the final report
reflects their understanding, but also their attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile to put clear and meaningful recommendations in place. I have managed several tenders in my role and this is the first time I have ever been able to accept a final report without any changes! It is perfect – fits the brief and gives us recommendations that are meaningful but also achievable.”

– Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre, Imperial College London – Consultancy Client 2020 – Review of Postdoc Provision

“The mentoring circles approach was completely new to our institution and I couldn’t be more pleased with how well it suited our needs. Natalie was always on hand to iron out issues quickly and effectively, especially after the move to online working. This new approach to mentoring resulted, in the first instance, in some really impactful conversations between colleagues who would not ordinarily have the opportunity to speak openly. In the longer term, the scheme has challenged and revitalised our institution’s approach to mentoring as a whole, which is sure to lead to an improved personal and professional development for colleagues going forward.”

– Research and Knowledge Exchange, University of Westminster – Consultancy Client 2019/20 – Mentoring Scheme Development

“I wholeheartedly recommend Research Coach to colleagues who might be looking to gain further insights into current HE processes and practices. Natalie James’ work for us at the University of Kent was excellent from start to finish. She listened carefully to our initial brief, taking care to understand what we needed and the wider institutional context.  She was thorough and systematic, and combined precise research processes with empathetic engagement with our staff. This enabled her to extract sensitive but important information from a wide range of colleagues from across the university. She was efficient, proactive and engaged throughout.”

– Dean of the Graduate School, University of Kent – Organisational Consultancy Client