In 2011, Island 41 was invited to develop a residential team working course designed to enhance collaborations between students from a group of three Centres for Doctoral Training. Authentity (a wordplay meaning “be the author of your entity”) was developed in response to the climate of Austerity, and is a transferable skills course built on the three principles.

Firstly, each course is individually designed, and runs on a voluntary participation basis only. Secondly, all participants are consulted individually in order to determine the course feel and incorporate any specific objectives within its framework. Finally, participants are given a real problem to tackle on the course; one which is unsolved and which results in a tangible output.

Throughout the course, they work closely with the delivery team, who coach them towards not only greater self-awareness, but a conclusion which has already been proved to provide positive impact in terms of their careers as researchers, as shown by ‘Hermes’, the successful student-led biannual conference. Its impact, described in Professor Adrian Sutton’s book Rethinking the PhD, was essential and long-lasting.

In 2018, some of the more successful elements of the course were used in the design of “From Chaos to Control”, a similar but less resource-intensive team working course with a similar purpose.

Authentity ran successfully from 2011 until 2018, and was a finalist in the category for Outstanding support for Early Career Researchers at the November 2012 Times Higher Education Awards and has evolved into a number of different Team Working and Team Building workshops and programmes, all of which are dedicated to the memory of the late Julian Walsh, who was the inspiration and motivation for the original course.


"The real benefit of the course was not, as some might have expected, in learning how to work in a team environment. Instead, the students were treated to a uniquely open atmosphere in which they were offered sometimes startlingly pertinent feedback on their demeanour, personality, behaviour, and their influence on those around them. Authentity taught not what kind of behaviour to adopt, but instead how to recognise and understand it in oneself and others."


    Contact Us

    For more information on this course or any other course please fill out the form below or e-mail: info@island41.com or call +44 (0) 7973 728143.

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