Piloting a programme to support mid-career researcher engagement with startups

•• Phase 2

Aspect members: Zinc, Cardiff University, University of Exeter, University of Glasgow, Queen’s University Belfast.  

What is the project doing? 

This project pilots a new programme to provide mid-career researchers with an exciting and dynamic commercial experience at low cost and minimal burden. The programme emphasises short-term immersion in the world of early-stage innovation with the aim of helping researchers to both teach in and learn from research-related engagement with start-up founders. A small cohort of researchers from different disciplines and institutions will be supported to work with founders over a total of five days (spread over five weeks from early June). As well as receiving some bespoke training, they will apply their research expertise and skills in direct work with founders. 

Why is this needed? 

Mid-career researchers typically have many fewer opportunities than ECRs to explore developmental routes outside academia. This limits opportunities for professional and personal development among this cohort, particularly in terms of their familiarity with and understanding of ways of working with commercial partners. 

How can members get involved? 

Each confirmed partner will recruit at least one mid-career researcher to join the project and provide support for those individuals to participate. These costs are minimal but include researcher buy-out (where required) plus travel and accommodation for in-person components. Other members are welcome to join on the same terms. 

For further information please contact Dr Sal Malik (salman@zinc.vc) or Rachel Middlemass (rachelm@zinc.vc) 


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6 June 2023

Programme to support mid-career researchers with venture engagement for professional development

This is a report about the Zinc Mid-Career Researcher Innovation Safari 2022. It explains how mid-career researchers have fewer opportunities than ECRs to explore developmental routes outside academia, which leads to limitations of opportunities for professional and personal development.

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