Research Ventures

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Date(s) - 17/06/2013 - 19/06/2013
All Day

University of Edinburgh Forum

Research Ventures, 17th-19th June 2013, University of Glasgow

SICSA has 15 funded places on this course, to be allocated specifically to Scotland-based ICS PhD students. To apply for your place please email

However big, however small your ideas, Research Ventures is about finding out how you can develop them into something that matters for you. We’ll cover all the areas you’d expect from an entrepreneurship course (different business models, protecting your ideas, where to get funding…the nuts and bolts) but it doesn’t stop there. In three days, we get to the heart of what it means to be an enterprising researcher. You’ll meet some inspirational people and come away with new ideas, friends and collaborators, as well as a better understanding of what motivates you and how you can transform your ideas into reality.

The course and the skills you will learn from it is designed to be relevant to you now, in your research environment, as well as in the future, whether you see that as being in academia or in another kind of role.

Who is it for?
This course brings together early-stage researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds, including physics, imaging, computer science, engineering, life sciences, chemistry and marine and earth sciences. It’s aimed at researchers with an interest in:

• Knowledge exchange, research impact and winning funding for academic career progression
• Exploring the commercial possibilities of a research idea and how your research might attract industrial funding or be used in setting up a spin-out company
• Future employment in industry
• Collaboration with researchers from other disciplines

What will we be doing?
The course is a mixture of practical activities and case studies as well as talks from experts and entrepreneurs with inspiring stories and first hand experience of bringing exciting ideas to life. Our speakers will share their knowledge of:
• Creative thinking and what being enterprising means to them
• Business planning and different models of research commercialisation (including
spin-outs and licensing)
• How to cost projects and manage finance in a new venture
• Protecting your ideas and intellectual property
• Compelling and convincing communication, that helps you to bring others on board and win funding
• How to inspire and motivate others – the skills needed to build strong working relationships, whether you see yourself as working in business or building a research group
• Sources of support, advice and funding
• Resilience and how to deal with set-backs
• Networking – how to make this fun, useful and interesting, rather than something you dread!

The course is free and takes place at the University of Glasgow. We have arranged accommodation (also free of charge) in Cairncross House student village. Meals are included (except on Tuesday evening).

17th June 2013
10-11am Arrival and welcome to the University of Glasgow over coffee and cake
11am Introduction
The first day focuses on creative ideas generation and what it means to be an enterprising researcher in a variety of contexts (including academia, spin-outs, social enterprise or other ways of working for yourself). We will consider personal goals and motivations as well as the skills needed to succeed whether you wish to remain in academia, start a spin-out company, get involved in social enterprise or just don’t know what you’d like to do yet.
6pm Careers evening and dinner This informal event is a chance to hear from recent PhD Graduates about making the transition into a career outside of academia. We’ve invited them to speak for 5-10 minutes as  ‘themselves’ rather than give a ‘corporate presentation’ so you’ll hear the good, the bad and the ugly as well as getting a chance to quiz them over the buffet.

18th June 2013
9.00am This day provides you with a toolkit and some useful contacts to help you get started with research commercialisation. Guest speakers will cover the basics from business models and planning to finance and

19th June 2013
9.15am This day will focus on thinking about your research in the wider political,
economic and social context. You will work on group projects and learn
how to present your ideas in a compelling manner to win funding and
support. The course will finish at 3.30pm
Course tutor: Dr Sara Shinton, Shinton Consulting

A former academic researcher (physical chemistry), careers adviser and academic development officer, Sara has combined her experience to provide careers advice, development training and coaching to those in academic and research careers. Still passionate about science, she organises the Bang Goes The Borders event – the Borders’ Science Festival. Since 2000, Shinton Consulting has worked with universities, funding bodies, professional societies and educational organisations. They develop and deliver a wide range of workshops; offer individual support; offer consultancy activities; write articles and develop training materials. All their activities are designed to help highly trained and skilled people reach their potential in academia and other areas.

Sara has worked with the Institute of Physics for many years, providing careers support and writing a range of careers publications including New Directions (career alternatives for mid-career physicists), the Young Physicists guides and a PhD employability guide.

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