Dear Fellow Postgraduate Researcher
I would like to invite you to a new Program which will launch soon, REALab, designed to promote postgraduate researchers’ employability through tailored training in consultancy and freelance skills and through a program of development of collaborative projects with external organisations.
How it works? The Program is aimed at PhDs and Post-Docs across all faculties interested in pitching a project proposal in response to partner organisations’ challenges/problems/opportunities and in participating to tailored training in consultancy skills and project management. There is the opportunity to receive a first award of £1000 and a second and third award of £500 and to work in close collaboration with the partner organisations towards the delivery of the ideated solutions.
We are currently finalising details with partners such as MOSI, Manchester University Press, Kindling Trust, Bellevue Productions and others. The programme is supported by Manchester Doctoral College, artsmethods and Manchester Enterprise Centre.
To find out more about how REALab works and how you can be involved, read on or visit https://uomrealab.wordpress.com
| REALab mission |
Within a work environment where permanent meaningful work opportunities have become rare, postgraduates need to develop a more creative and entrepreneurial approach in order to spot and access new professional opportunities. REALab is committed to be the place where you can not only develop a freelance and consultancy portfolio of skills useful to turn your PhD into a job, but where you can also fund your own projects and have the possibility to ‘pitch’ and deliver them to the industry partners you are interested in. The goal of the Program is to develop and practice your consultancy and project management skills and your ability to demonstrate impact in and beyond academia.
| REALab offer |
The program invites external partners to present the challenges faced by their organisations and to call for the researchers’ creative interventions in relation to general desired outcomes (e.g. accessibility/engagement for particular groups of audience, digital development, open access and so on). REALab is a unique opportunity for you to:
- receive 16 hours of tailored training (4 sessions over 2 months) in highly transferable, practical freelance/project management skills which will cover the whole consultancy and delivery process, from analysing the ‘problem’ to ideating and delivering a ‘solution’, including details on how to devise a bid proposal, a budget and other tools for managing projects and clients;
- be tutored in the development of a project of your own ideation from concept to delivery, from an original idea to a financially viable proposal tailored to the real needs of the industry;
- attend exclusive networking events where you have the opportunity to work and closely interact with local major industry professionals, possible future employers and clients, to receive feedback on your project and set the ground for future collaborations;
- meet fellow PhDs and Post-Doc researchers from a variety of faculties and to set interdisciplinary collaborations around a project if desired;
- finally pitch your project proposal to the industry partners which will offer insightful feedback and perhaps further resources to develop the project;
- have the opportunity to receive a first award of 1000£ and two further awards of 500£ conferred to the most promising projects in order to implement them.
| Timeline and details |
The Program is developed over a two months period between the first event-workshop and the final dragons den event:
Workshop-event to meet and consult the partners on their desired outcomes
Event with networking lunch – Thursday 18 June, h 10-14
We will invite the partners to a first workshop where the participants will have the opportunity to engage directly with the partners/potential investors, ask questions and receive further details on their institutions’ desired outcomes, thus gaining valuable indications for the development of the proposals. The first training session will have prepared participant to ‘ask the right questions’ in order to acquire significant information able to direct their project proposal in the right trajectory.
4 training sessions – June and July 2015
The training (all h 14-18) has been developed with Manchester Enterprise Centre as highly interactive, hands-on sessions to ensure that participants can apply what they learn from the workshop in their own projects. The goal is to develop freelance skills of interest to anyone willing to develop creative opportunities, coordinate a project, access funding sources, develop budgets and so on:
- 8 June – Analysing clients’ needs and strategies of effective consultation
- 18 June – Ideating solutions
- 29 June – Budgeting, bid proposals and implementation of a project
- 13 July – Effective presentation and pitching techniques
Final Dragons den event – pitch and compete for the awards
Event with networking lunch – Monday 20 July
This will be an informal, private, dragons’ den style session where researchers will receive professional feedback on their project proposals and try to find a deal with the partners for their development. The pitched projects will compete for a first award of 1000£ and a second and third of 500£, conferred by the jury of dragons to the best projects towards their realisation (judging criteria tbc).
If you want to know more or register a place in the Program, you can contact Rosalinda Quintieri at firstname.lastname@example.org