Careers and Enterprise

QConsult Researchers

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*Download the new 2019 programme leaflet [PDF 477KB]*

QConsult Researchers places interdisciplinary teams of QMUL PhD and early career researchers onto mini consultancy projects for London-based organisations.

The 10 week programme has been adapted from the award-winning employability programme for QMUL undergraduates specifically to fit researcher skillsets and timetables. The programme has a maximum time commitment of 6 hours/week as per RCUK guidelines.

You can sign up to the QConsult Researchers mailing list to get updates on the programme. You are also encouraged to read the QConsult Researchers - Job Description [DOC 174KB] for more information, and before applying.

Feedback from previous programmes

“QConsult Researchers was one of the most invaluable experiences I have had during my PhD.”

“I have more clarity about consultancy, and know what skills I already have, what can be transferred and what I need to improve.”

“It's been insightful into the role of a consultant. Something I had no prior knowledge about. Prior to this, I was somewhat confident of my employability outside academia but it's proof that my skills are indeed transferable to not only roles outside academia but also to areas outside my expertise. It has also got me thinking of what consultancy roles I might be interested in as opposed to others. Following this, consultancy is definitely a career option i'll explore.”

“[QConsult Researchers] has allowed me to realise my strengths and identify what I bring to a team.”

“[The programme] has showed skills I have from phd apply more than just my field of physics or specifically something number based.”

Employer feedback

“The research work was extremely accurate and supported by strong quantitative evidence”

“Great contact, a clear report, low-touch and barely any support required.”

“They were able to split the work according to their major interests and backgrounds, and come up with different valuable ideas and opinions. I would definitely reach out to Queen Mary University for potential research opportunities in the future.” 

What will I have to do on the programme?

The first three weeks of the programme are dedicated to training and selecting teams. After that you and your team will be given a real-life business challenge at a local organisation. Your team will be provided with a short project brief from your host organisation, outlining the details of the challenge you are asked to solve. Previous QConsult projects have involved research, marketing, competitor analysis, product development and evaluation.

After working on the project for six weeks, each team will present their findings and recommendations to their client organisation. Throughout the programme, you will receive advice, training and support around project management and presentation skills from the QMUL Careers and Enterprise team.

How will I benefit from being a QConsultant?

Being a QConsultant will enable you to:

  • Build your professional experience and networks outside of your PhD/postdoctoral research or work as a research/teaching associate
  • Develop career insights into a new sector, helping you make more informed decisions about your future career path
  • Enhance and apply your transferable skills (including cross-disciplinary working) in a new environment, to boost your CV and further enhance your employability
  • Learn how to market yourself and your experience in professional skills workshops
  • Grow your commercial awareness – an attribute valued by many employers, both in and beyond academia (in profit and not-for-profit organisations)
  • Reflect on how you can apply and articulate your experience in future job applications

86.2% of Spring 2019 participants said the programme put them in a better position to achieve their career goals, particularly in how it helped them identify strengths and what they could bring to a team

89.7% of Spring 2019 participants said they were more aware of employability, skills set and the knowledge they had to offer

86.2 % of Spring 2019 participants said the programme made them think differently about what they wanted from their career


You’ll leave the programme with:

  • New business and research contacts
  • One in-depth business report and one business presentation to your name
  • 20 hours of paid professional work to put on your CV
  • A clear understanding of how to present the experience on your CV and at interview

Why are employers interested in working with QMUL researchers?

  • You can tackle problems with objectivity and are used to facing robust critiques of your work
  • You have extensive experience of experimental design, troubleshooting and project management because of having to manage your own research
  • You have enhanced communication skills developed through writing academic reports/journal papers and presenting at meetings and conferences
  • You have a proven track record of working independently and taking initiative
  • Working with a cross-disciplinary team of researchers could lead to particularly creative solutions to organisational problems
  • You may have additional specialist skills such as programming, graphics, bibliographic systems according to your specialism which may be useful in the workplace

Who can become a QConsultant on the QConsult Researchers programme?

QConsult Researchers is open to all QMUL PhD students and early career researchers (Research Associates and Teaching Associates are also welcome to apply), across all of the QMUL faculties.

Due to how QConsult Researchers is funded, there are places on the programme that are exclusively reserved for PhD students who are funded by or incorporated into the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) so if this applies to you then we would strongly encourage you apply. 

*Please note that if you are a PhD student then you must get your supervisor's permission to apply for this programme before you apply*

Timeline - Autumn 2019

The programme runs for 10 weeks and involves 20 hours of paid project work (£10.55 per hour – the London Living Wage), and up to 12 hours of wrap-around training and client meetings (unpaid). You will not be required to work more than a maximum of 6 hours per week. This is in alignment with RCUK's guidelines for PhD students.

The dates for the Autumn programme are Thursday 26th September to Thursday 28th November 2019. The schedule is:

WeekCommitment
Week 1 (week commencing 23rd September)

Thursday 26th September, 1 hour: Introduction to programme

Week 2 (week commencing 30th September) Thursday 3rd October, morning or afternoon:Team dynamics and commercial awareness training
Week 3 (week commencing 7th October) Thursday 10th October, morning or afternoon: Pre-project training
Week 4 (week commencing 14th October) Thursday 17th October, morning or afternoon: Initial meeting with host client
Week 5 (week commencing 21st October)

Thursday 24th October, morning or afternoon: Project coaching with QMUL Coordinator

Week 6 (week commencing 28th October)

Mid-point check-in with client and QMUL Coordinator

Thursday 31st October, morning or afternoon: Presentation skills training

Week 7 (week commencing 4th November)

Project work week

Week 8 (week commencing 11th Novermber) Practice presentations
Week 9 (week commencing 18th November) Client presentations
Week 10 (week commencing 25th November)

Thursday 28th November, morning or afternoon: Project debrief and skills reflection

How do I become a QConsultant on the QConsult Researchers programme?

To apply for QConsult Researchers, you will need to complete an application outlining why you want to participate in the programme and evidence that you have the skills required in the QConsult Researchers - Job Description [DOC 174KB] (you can draw this evidence from any aspect of your experience – for example, your PhD/postdoctoral work, other work experience, volunteering or interests).

Applications for the Autumn programme are now open. Please click here to apply

We will be running an application workshop for the QConsult Researchers programme at the end of August - details coming very soon. 

We strongly recommend that you to get your application checked in Careers & Enterprise before submitting it. You can book a careers appointment by calling 020 7882 8533 or visiting the Careers and Enterprise Centre (room WG3 on the ground floor of the Queen’s Building, Mile End campus). Please note that appointments are available by telephone and Skype, if you are unable to come to the Mile End campus.

How can I find out more?

If you have any questions about the programme please contact the QConsult Researchers team on qconsultresearchers@qmul.ac.uk