The PhD and missing skills: capacity and capability building for social science engagement with industry

Ferrie, J. and Scott, A. (2021) The PhD and missing skills: capacity and capability building for social science engagement with industry. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, 9(3), pp. 22-31. (doi: 10.14297/jpaap.v9i3.428)

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This paper reports on Business Booster training. This initiative was a response to a call for a national level change around the quality of interdisciplinary research teaching to identify and meet industry needs.Planning training in this area required a clear definition of industry early on as referring to private sector, for profit businesses and aimed to explore the question of how social science postgraduates can contribute to industry. This paper reflects upon our planning stage as well as evaluations of the training. Business Booster training was produced with knowledge exchange and impact teams at 3 universities and with Scotland’s national Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership. The training took place over 4 days, at 3 sites, and delivered, incrementally, engagement between PhD researchers and 4 industry partners: event 1 -to build confidence in use of industry-related terminology; event 2 –to practice translating research ideas for industry; event 3 –to pitch research ideas to industry partners. Thirty places were available nationwide, attracting over 100 applicants from across the partnership (16 universities). The paper will reflect on this incremental strategy as a pedagogic innovation, and our approach to building relationships between the next generation of social scientists and our business communities. Feedback revealed that skills valued by industry were developed: interpersonal skills and teamwork through interacting with other students; communication through learning business language and engaging directly with colleagues from industry;and problem solving with evidence of linking this back to their own research and research strategies. The training succeeded in improving confidence and skills around working with businesses and led to further industry engagement,though evaluations did reveal some limitations in our design.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferrie, Professor Jo
Authors: Ferrie, J., and Scott, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
Publisher:Edinburgh Napier University
ISSN (Online):2051-9788
Published Online:21 January 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice 9(3): 22-31
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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