Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba

Career Orientated Training

Following on from an extremely successful 2018, Business Booster is back!

This industry focused training will give social science PhD students valuable insight and transferable skills for knowledge exchange and collaboration with private sector business and industry. 

From internationalisation and market discovery, to branding and product design, this interactive programme offers a unique opportunity for researchers to put their skills into professional practice. Researchers will work in teams to address real-life challenges identified by business, industry and social enterprise.

Over two and a half days, researchers will be immersed in interactive training activities to develop the necessary negotiating, problem solving, communication and pitching skills required to address business challenges.

Designed specifically for social science PhD students, whether you are pursuing a career in academia or are exploring alternative paths, this workshop is designed to help you widen your networks and stand out from the crowd.

What will I learn?
  • Challenges of engagement, reasons to engage and opportunities to heighten research impact
  • Understanding the business landscape - what are the opportunities and how to recognise them?
  • Networking with Industry
  • Tools and techniques for ideation and creative problem solving
  • Intellectual Property for collaboration
  • Highlighting benefits of social science input to industry partners
  • Pitching framework and skills

Plus plenty of opportunities to network with fellow PhD students over lunch, refreshment breaks and evening activities.

How to apply

Please submit 200 words (max) demonstrating how you will benefit from this training. The application form for the competition can be accessed on GradHub with a deadline of the 23rd September. Places are limited, so please apply early to avoid disappointment!


Students can be based at any Scottish university and any discipline, so long as their PhD has a social science foundation to it. Please email if you have questions.

Participants will...
  • Experience the ‘cohort effect’ of being part of a diverse group
  • Developing strong networks with their peers
  • Experience industry focussed training, highlighting career pathways
  • Build capacity and capability for engagement with companies
  • Leave with a ‘toolkit’ for creative thinking and business engagement
Last year’s participants said...

"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." "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."


The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) runs a professional internship scheme for PhD students at Scotland’s universities in their second and third years of study. Currently offered by public sector organisations through two open calls each year, PhD internships enable organisations to access the talent of an early career social science researcher for a three-month period to deliver a specific piece of work whilst developing a range of transferable skills for our researchers.