Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba


Collaboration between businesses and academics makes sense. At a time of significant global change when the rules of society are being re-written, sharing insights between the scholarly community and the private sector are more vital than ever. Researchers offer companies essential knowledge which can inspire innovation and help them navigate uncertainty. In return, companies give academics access to real data, fresh perspectives, and a new way to make an impact with their ideas.

As the UK’s largest facilitator of funding, training and support for social science doctoral students, it’s part of our mission to help PhD social scientists in Scotland make vital connections with the private sector.

During the past six years, we have arranged more than 250 successful PhD internships with a diverse range of organisations. Our new 12-week innovation internships give businesses access to specialist expertise to support the delivery of a specific project. They also help doctoral students gain valuable transferable skills.

Here are three reasons companies should host a PhD Intern from SGSSS:

It is a social scientist’s job to critically analyse society, how people behave, make decisions and respond to change. This is precisely the strategic insight industry needs. Whether the challenge is to adapt to the changing nature of work, navigate political uncertainty or maintain humanity in a technology-driven world, social scientists are uniquely qualified to help.

Whether they are an economist or an anthropologist, social scientists have to be excellent researchers. As well as understanding the mechanics of civilisation, they have highly developed data collection and analysis abilities, which can help private sector organisations of all sizes gain expert market intelligence, improve the performance of their operations, innovate and create new products.

While multi-million-pound projects with big corporates tend to attract the most attention, the vast majority of partnerships start with a small project that can last from as little as a few weeks. They needn’t be expensive either. We provide up to 50% match-funding to companies who host an innovation internship, to help businesses collaborate with social scientists, and benefit from their expertise in everything from linguistics to law.

PhD Innovation Internships

Could your business benefit from access to talented early career researchers at Scotland’s universities?

The more social science doctoral students that collaborate with the private sector, the more examples there will be for others to follow. It is a virtuous cycle that can only strengthen the links between industry and academia as a whole, for the benefit of both and society in general.

If you have a project you’d like to bring to life with our help, get in touch or submit an expression of interest.