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This 2 day (one training day per month over two months) course is a great opportunity to work on the practical elements of supporting academic consultancy, with a collaborative group of experts who have accumulated decades of specialist knowledge and insights.

Why Join This Course?

We expect that by the end of these two days you will have developed your understanding of how academic consultancy fits into the wider university context; how to raise its profile as a worthwhile activity for research institutions to support and how it adds value. 

Who Should Attend?

People engaged in commercialisation, knowledge transfer, business development roles in commercialisation, or in other university administrative offices:

  • Currently not providing any support to researchers carrying out consultancy 
  • Wishing to start a formalised consultancy support function
  • In the early stages of formally supporting consultancy

Learning Objectives

  • Gain awareness of different models of support for consultancy 
  • Understand the benefits and challenges 
  • Understand how various approaches can impact on policy development and operational set up

Course Topics

  • What is consultancy and why should we support it?
  • Consultancy policy and its implications
  • Risks and mitigation
  • Exploring the legal issues and key contractual terms
  • Different operational models discussion
  • Programme
  • Speakers


  • Mon 14 December 2020

    • 09:00 - 09:30    Welcome and introductions

      Introduction to Course Directors, course programme and objectives.

    • 09:30 - 10:45    What is consultancy and why should we support it?

      This session offers a general introduction to what is meant by consultancy in the context of a university or research institute context and the numerous benefits that can arise from it; as well as the benefits that can be derived from university support for this activity.

      We will look at the difference between consultancy and research activity and see examples of the demonstrable impact of consultancy for society, the economy, the university, and the researcher.

    • 10:45 - 11:00    Break

    • 11:30 - 12:45    Introduction to consultancy policy and its implications

      Having a policy that structures how researchers engage with the consultancy service is an important part of establishing a functioning, professional service. We will look at two scenarios: designing a policy from scratch and updating an existing policy. We will draw on real life experiences to consider what makes a good policy and how to get buy-in.

      This session will include a group discussion and you will need to have reviewed either your own university’s consultancy policy or a consultancy policy from another university that you found online.

    • 12:45 - 14:00    Lunch

    • 14:00 - 15:15    Risks and mitigation

      With consultancy activity comes a number of risks for the researcher and the university. We will discuss what these may be and some approaches to manage or mitigate them.

  • Thu 14 January 2021

    • 08:30 - 09:00    Introduction and recap of day 1

    • 10:45 - 11:30    Break

    • 11:30 - 12:15    Different operational models discussion

      Participants will have an opportunity to contemplate their own institutional set up for supporting consultancy and share their experiences and thoughts about the models their institutions have or would like to develop.

    • 12:15 - 13:00    Q & A: reflections on day 1

    • 14:00 - 15:30    Marketing your offering

      This session will consider channels of internal communication which can be used as important marketing tools to develop stakeholder relationships and raise the profile of the consultancy support offered and the benefits of engaging with you. We will also briefly explore approaches to external marketing to assist with increasing business development.

      (This session will include feedback from Day 1 “homework” exercise)

    • 15:30 - 16:00    Break

    • 16:00 - 17:00    Evaluation, efficiency and sustainability

      How do you ensure your operation is efficient and sustainable especially as the business grows? Here we look at ways of evaluating your performance to inform improvement, ways of improving efficiency and handling high deal flow on limited resources.

    • 17:00 - 17:30    Conclusions and wrap up


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