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IEEC - PGR Enterprise Skills

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Kelly Smith

on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of IEEC - PGR Enterprise Skills

PRG Enterprise Skills Programmes
Kelly Smith, Dina Williams, Naveed Yasin and Ian Pitchford
University of Huddersfield

Desk Study

Search of university websites and national research development websites
Search terms included combinations of postgraduate, doctoral, academic, enterprise, entrepreneurship, skills...
300 web sites identified
14 individual university programmes
4 regional collaborations for PGRs
5 selected for in-depth case study
Cardiff University

Development of commercial awareness and skills by focusing on the University's internal intellectual property policy
10 week programme of two hour workshops and lectures
Learning in a group environment with input from industry professionals
Interdisciplinary teams
Free to PGR and PGT students
Careful of language used and adapts to audience
Funded by Welsh Government and EPSRC

Relatively small but growing number of PGR specific programmes
Wide range of models
Development often seeded by external funding or sponsorship
Training needs analysis usually conducted to inform institution specific programmes
Supervisor 'permission' important
Most too early to demonstrate impact
Limited planning of medium to long-term evaluation
Further Information

EEUK funded research reports and case studies can be found at


Search -> Simple -> Yasin
Why Enterprise for PGRs?

Impact and the REF
Commercialisation and consultancy based on research expertise
Potential for high-growth or high-tech business start-up
Potential for social enterprise creation
Links to Researcher Development Framework
Benefits academic activities such as grant applications, conference organisation, public engagement, etc.
Case Study Programmes

1. Cardiff University
2. University College London
3. University of Strathclyde
4. University of Manchester
5. University of Birmingham
Interview Questions

Based on Rugby Team Impact Framework to explore the effect of investment in training and development activities
Description of the programme
How was it developed
What stakeholders were involved
How did it fit with institutional strategy
Terminology and definitions
How was it promoted
Who delivered the training
Outcomes and impact
University College London
LERU Doctoral Summer School

Programme for doctoral students from the League of European Research Universities group
6 day Doctoral Summer School held in 2011
Focused on developing knowledge and attributes for commercialising research and business ideas
Interdisciplinary teams
Development of business ideas on global challenges such as food security, urbanisation, population growth, climate change, and energy
Generic language used but examples adapted based on student profile
Combination of internal and external experts
Sponsored by LERU
University of Strathclyde
Enterprise Academy

Part of a drive towards an embedded "enterprise university"
Residential Enterprise Academy held as part of Pathways to Research Enterprise programme
Theoretical and practitioner sessions including entrepreneurial marketing, finance, business planning, and business models
Also includes networking dinner with guests from business community and pitching competition
Delivered by internal and external experts
Mapped to Researcher Development Framework
Promotional roadshows held to explain benefits of entrepreneurship skills to research and future career both within and outside academia
EPSRC funded the programme development
University of Manchester
Enterprise Summer Schools, Modules and Events

Wide range of enterprise programmes
10-15 optional workshops and specific programmes for PhD researchers and research staff
Workshop titles chosen to engage students
Incorporates research needs at a School level with tailored material for some events and generic material for those designed to be interdisciplinary
Used social media in marketing
Mainly delivered by academic and central services staff with existing skills; some events buy in external expertise but this can be expensive
Major one day event held each year with big name speakers
Research to Enterprise programme developed with EPSRC funds
Enterprise Skills Questionnaire

100 responses, 11.1% of PGR population

49% Home, 7% EU, 44% Non EU
69% FT, 25% PT, 6% writing up
56% Male, 44% Female

8% Applied health and biological sciences
23% Arts and humanities
34% Engineering and physical sciences
35% Social sciences
Wilson Business-University Review

Recommendation 21, paragraph 5.9.3
All full-time PhD students should ... be encouraged to attend a short intensive enterprise skills programme alongside research students from other departments of the university. Universities should increase support for postgraduate students seeking to set up their own businesses.

Recommendation 16, paragraph 5.6
All full-time postdoctoral research staff should ... be encouraged to attend a short intensive enterprise skills programme alongside postdoctoral staff from other departments of the university. ...
Results of Interest

Comparing confidence ratings with those on importance for future career
Shift confidence upwards
Address confidence issues
Address importance issues
Added extras
Results of Interest

Do PGRs think their research can have commercial impact?
Yes 65%
No 15%
Don't Know 20%
New knowledge 64%
Future research 55%
Quality of life 46%
Cultural 41%
Public policy and services 35%
Social 34%
Economic 33%
Health 16%
Environment 12%
None 3%
What type of impact or value?
Results of Interest

How important is enterprise and entrepreneurship skills development?
Would you like to see inclusion of optional enterprise and entrepreneurship training in your postgraduate research degree programme?

Yes 54%
No 2%
Don't Know 44%
Does starting your own business appeal to you?

Yes 38%
No 29%
Don't Know 33%
Further Information

Enterprising Researchers
survey template available at

Contact details

Kelly Smith

Dina Williams
University of Birmingham

Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School
5 day residential programme
Focus on enterprise skills and commercial awareness
Research to Enterprise programme developed with EPSRC funds
Delivered by Entrepreneurship and Innovation Team, academics, external practitioners and facilitators
Charge made - £30 to UoB, £295 to non UoB

Talent Pool
6 day 'thin' course
Focus on transferable skills, predominantly consultancy
Opportunities for successful completors to take on consultancy projects
Developed with EPSRC funds
Full transcript