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Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba

Business Skills Boosted

A pilot training programme designed for social science PhD students to build skills and confidence for working with and engaging industry has successfully completed. SGSSS designed the programme in partnership with colleagues at the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, working with the training provider Skillfluence, who delivered three workshops over four days between October 2018 and January 2019.

Thirty-one participants from 12 Universities in the SGSSS took part in the training, which focused on interactive learning with emphasis on group work and discussion. Participants were taught to use business tools and techniques for industry engagement, and were given live business challenges to work on in interdisciplinary groups.

This was a great experience, working with the students really helped me think about target markets and areas for my business to explore I had never thought about. Given we are just setting out on our journey this was an invaluable resource. It will really give us some new perspectives that will shape our future thinking.

Gordon Bennett, Arena Cycling

We are now developing the programme, based on learning from the first cohort, and plan to offer a condensed training package later in the year. For further information or to note interest in future training, please contact Anna Scott, Knowledge Exchange & Partnerships Manager, at

I was amazed at the insights my group were able to come up with during the course of my challenge. They managed to bring together a lot of ideas I had been thinking about and articulate these in a simple fashion. I am currently doing some work on the website and will be using the recommendations from the challenge. Thanks again for a brilliant experience. I just loved meeting the students, it was energising to speak to them.

Janice Grant Shaw, Company Connecting

Thanks for providing this training, I found it incredibly useful not only for when I finish my PhD but even at this early stage, it’s shaped how I’ve approached industry organisations for fieldwork and has been very useful.

Working with Business Participant

The three workshops were designed around key stages in business engagement; communicating what social science can offer to business, learning about what businesses want from research, and working directly with businesses on finding solutions to challenges. This is part of SGSSS’s strategy to engage private sector businesses with social science and was made possible by funding from the ESRC’s Business Booster fund, awarded to Edinburgh and Glasgow’s Impact Accelerator Accounts.

The course has given me an understanding of key elements needed when working with a Business; for example, a project needs clear communication, expectation management and key milestones. It has also introduced me to the value of a pilot project as a way to develop a strategic partnership.

Working with Business Participant
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