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QConsult Researchers

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

The 12 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.  

After a highly successful pilot in 2018 the programme is running twice this year, in April - June 2019 and October – December 2019. Applications for the Spring programme are currently open, and will close on Sunday 3rd March. Please see below for further details.

For help with your application and to find out more about QConsult Researchers, you can attend a workshop next week as part of GradFest:

QConsult Researchers Application workshop

Thursday 21st February 3-4pm, Graduate Centre 2.04

Further details: https://qmulgradfest.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/q-consult-researchers/. To book please go to: https://www.esdcourses.org.uk and search for Course Code: RC911.

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]

Feedback from the 2018 programme

Participant feedback

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

“It was challenging to work on a completely new topic with people I had never met before, but very rewarding to be able to deliver results to the client.”

“I gained insight into working for a completely different industry with very different end goals and learned how to apply my research skills in a more creative and commercial way.” (Postdoc)

Employer feedback

The team offered “different points of view and had identifiable skillsets that added value to the objectives set out.  In particular, their approach to research was excellent and demonstrated both superior analytical structure and creative flair.”  Warren Wilkinson, Apphaptics

The team delivered “a genuinely useful piece of work that we will use and that will create impact with our audience.”  Richard Alderson, CareerShifters

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 & 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

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.*

QConsult Researchers Timeline - Spring/Summer 2019

The programme runs for 12 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 Spring/Summer programme are Monday 1st April to Monday 24th June 2019. The schedule is:

WeekCommitment
Week 1 (commencing 1st April)

Monday 1st April: 1 hour (introduction to programme)

Week 2 (commencing 8th April) Monday 8th April, morning or afternoon: (team dynamics and commercial awareness training)
Week 3 (commencing 15th April) No QConsult Researchers programme commitments due to the Spring vacation (work through LinkedIn Learning training and development pack)
Week 4 (commencing 22nd April) No QConsult Researchers programme commitments due to the Spring vacation (work through LinkedIn Learning training and development pack)
Week 5 (commencing 29th April)

Monday 29th April: morning or afternoon (pre-project training with Careers Consultant)

Initial client meeting

Week 6 (commencing 6th May) Initial client meeting
Week 7 (commencing 13th May)

Monday 13th May, morning or afternoon (project coaching with Careers Consultant)

Paid project work

Week 8 (commencing 20th May) Paid project work
Week 9 (commencing 27th May) Paid project work
Week 10 (commencing 3rd June)

Monday 3rd June, morning or afternoon (practice presentation workshop)

Paid project work

Week 11 (commencing 10th June)

Teams present to clients

Submission of report

Week 12 (commencing 24th June

Monday 24th June: morning or afternoon (skills and career development workshop)


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).

The deadline for application is 23.59 on Sunday 3rd March 2019. Please click here to access the application form.

If you would like some support with your application there will be a QConsult Researchers application workshop running on Thursday 21st February at 3pm as part of GradFest.

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 & 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 learn more?

If you have any questions about the role or the programme, or have trouble accessing the application form, please contact the QConsult Researchers team via qconsultresearchers@qmul.ac.uk

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