top of page
Sutton Logo.png
Making the 360-degree Charity: Transforming Sutton Night
Watch Charity Services
The Long Cry of COVID-19:
Investigating how child bereavement policies address inequalities caused by grief in Italian and British primary schools 
South London
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. 

Activity 1: Orientation for PGR Students

Further details of the programme plan are available for viewing here. 

Workshop 1 | June 6 | University of Roehampton

The PGR students are from a range of institutions (London South Bank University, Kingston University, St Mary's University and Roehampton University). The programme agenda for the day details a full curriculum of engagement focusing on a range of skill and development activities:

1. Networking and Communication:

Engaging with Levels Learning the PGRs worked on their unique selling points (USPs), an elevator pitch about their research and skills, the power of networking through a masterclass using LinkedIn and received courtesy headshots for a professional profile picture to launch their virtual CV. The session was well received with PGRs providing feedback on the opportunities to work on developing their elevator pitch and how to channel their expertise and skills towards business needs and challenges. 

2. CV Builder, Academic to Enterprise:

Led by PhD Professional Roehampton PGR candidate Kirsty Ruthven who is also Head of Education for Lifting Limits, designed a session to explore competency-based CVs in relation to employability. Students did in-house designing within the session using Canva in preparation for their Showcase Event session in their programme.  

3. What is Design Thinking:

A taster session on Design Thinking offered by Jill Davies (Project Manager for Wales Circular Economy Innovation Communities (CEIC) from Cardiff Metropolitan University. We looked at how embracing design thinking can help businesses move beyond the assumption of challenges to better questions about what might be preceding challenges.  


Workshop 2 | June 13 | Online Module

In our second session (hosted online) the programme agenda for the full curriculum of engagement focusing on a range of financial, project management and entrepreneurial skills:

5. How the city of London works?:

This whistle stop tour of the financial markets and how they come to define the city of London. This session involved an overview of topics in finance and economics practitioners. Run by consultancy Vidi Vici actuarial experts. 

6. Project Management: 

An introductory session on the different stages of project development led by Head of Economic Development, Steve Diamond, Shared Service Richmond and Wandsworth Councils. The session looks at management methodologies and we walked through some real-world contexts. 

7. Transitioning into Entrepreneurial Mindsets:

This session challenges students to think beyond their expertise into spaces where students can challenge their ideas and aspire to build their expertise into a more realised potential by combining both creativity and innovation, led by Professor Nicolette Michels, Applied Enterprise and Associate Dean for Programmes at Oxford Brookes Business School. 

Business Orientation | So you got an intern - what next? 

In this orientation webinar we received feedback from South London businesses on participating and attending the Showcase event. Businesses provided helpful suggestions on how we could try and improve the quality of engagement with PGR students and shared their excitement to have the interns "work on the business not for the business". Businesses are keen to get more involved in this type of HEI collaboration. 

Project Manager & PGR Host

Mr Giridhar Raghunathan

Giri is a professional dancer, teacher, doctoral researcher, and public speaker. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Bharatanatyam (Indian Classical Dance) with distinction, from Bharathidasan University, India and a First-class Master of Technology in Medical Nanotechnology from SASTRA University, India. He founded his own dance school in India at the age of 18 and he compiled a book titled “Bharta Nrtta Bhaashyam”, a primer for the students of bharatanatyam when he was 21 years old. He has contributed articles and book chapters and has been invited to present workshops and guest lectures in India, North America and Europe. He is a College Warden, Student Engagement Coach and a PhD student in Dance Studies at the University of Roehampton, under the supervision of Dr Glenn Odom and Prof Ann David. His research focuses on the niche interdisciplinary area of Indian classical dance, gender, and sexuality. 

Giri photo_edited.jpg
bottom of page