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Postgraduate Researchers
Networking Internship

What is this institutional project about?

Comprises of a three-stage programme hosted over a 6-month period (April to September 2023) to offer Early Career Researchers (ECRs) or post-graduate research (PhD) students within South London (SL) from Higher Education Institutions, an opportunity to build upon and strengthen their entrepreneurial mind-set, develop their innovative thinking, polish skills to enhance and build upon their current networks and gain knowledge and insight about industry and commercialisation (on offer in South London). Roehampton University leads this pilot initiative with a SL PGR cohort of 30 PGR students from across five different universities across SL.  

Why this programme now?

Traditionally ECR or PGR networks and training programmes are generally based on the premise of preparing ECRs to meet the needs of the employment sector. This proposal is different as this programme accounts for those skills and training needed to leverage and translate academic knowledge into innovation and creative exchange.  This means rather than generic skills training, this proposal aims to closely target those skills, knowledge and training needed for growth and development in South London. This style of programme means better skills matching of ECR candidates on the programme to businesses in South London. The intention through finessing this type of design is to try and understand the steps necessary to gain better traction between translating academic research disciplines into business sector demand.

What does this networking internship entail? 

There will be an orientation webinar for participants along with two workshop training days (one face to face and the other online). During the training days students will participate in a bespoke curriculum with targeted training to help students transform their academic expertise into employable skills for industry. Following this training preparation students will participate in a showcase evening where they will display their developed CVs to a range of businesses in South London where both parties will be paired, so that PGRs can undertake a 2-day business internship experience.   

Bespoke Curriculum of Training 

Four key areas will be focused on for training PGRs to get into a business mindset. These areas include:

(i) Communication and Networking

(ii) Project Management 

(iii) Financial Management and Analysis

(iv) CV builder Academic to Enterprise

CV Showcase | University of Roehampton | July 10

The CV Showcase event featured 30 talented PGR experts who presented their skills and expertise in their areas of research and also their wide range of professional experience. Below are some highlights from our event.

CV Showcase | Summary of Unexpected Gains

Of critical interest is to capture some of the unexpected gains from hosting a pilot of such a event. Of particular interest were some of the additional comments and reflections made as a result of participating in this activity from both businesses and PGR students. 

The event was well attended by local businesses with the general feedback that for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) this type of internship and engagement with PGRs was of exceptional benefit, given that the business was well placed to gain from creative insights and fresh skills to help lift and enhance their long term strategic goals. Businesses believed this was an ideal stepping stone to lead to further engagement with university partners for knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), where businesses would feel more confident in developing and sustaining (long term) employees for research informed practices.  

For PGR students, in addition to the networking experience and business exposure, many of them were able to feedback on how their topic of research resonated with the business community. As PGRs ranged from a wide range of disciplinary expertise some of them found their disciplinary fields that were more risk centric or legally based were a challenge to discuss with some business partners. This was a critical point of interest as PGRs felt they could take this pilot experience forward to enhance how they will address their research findings to wider audiences beyond the scope of their disciplinary expertise.