FORGING FUTURES SCHEME

This funding aims to support and develop a cohort of researchers by enabling them to explore the opportunities available to them in academia and industry and equipping them with the tools to work effectively between the two.

Outline of Scheme

SULSA has awarded 27 researchers from across our 11 member universities to participate in this scheme in early 2022. The main outcomes of this scheme, will be reported here as and when they occur. 

SULSA, in collaboration with Interface, created the Forging Futures scheme to support and develop a cohort of researchers by enabling them to explore the opportunities available to them in academia and industry and equipping them with the tools to work effectively between the two. 

The scheme has the added benefit of; enhancing the translation of research, catalysing cross-fertilisation across universities, building the confidence of researchers in collaborating across academic disciplines and industry sectors, increasing funding options for our researchers, and supporting their career progression.

This scheme includes:

  • A 6-week modular course with Skillfluence on how to engage effectively with industry (see drop-down below for more information)
  • Group coaching sessions with MyFuturePlan to help them on their career path (see drop-down below for more information)
  • Access to industry case studies and connections with industry through Interface
  • £500 toward professional development training

Our selected researchers will become SULSA Ambassadors for Industry Engagement within their institution. With this comes an expectation that they will pay it forward and work within their cohort to share the knowledge and insight they have learnt with their research community.

Forging Futures Webinar

A webinar detailing this scheme and its benefits took place on Tuesday 7th September with a talk from Tony Bradshaw (MyFuturePlan), Alison Gray (Skillfluence) and Siobhán Jordan (Interface).

Skillfluence Modular Course
  • 6 x weekly 2 hour participative masterclasses
  • This course is designed to provide participants with a set of tools and skills to help them become immediately more effective working in, and with, industry
  • Participants will learn about career routes in industry to access the jobs they want; and gain know-how that lets them engage with industry with more confidence
  • Self-study lessons on eLearning platform
  • Live conversations and networking with industry representatives and collaborators
  • Individual application activities
  • Completion Certificate
MyFuturePlan Coaching
  • Opportunity to develop a plan for participants next career steps, develop an industrial engagement strategy and build collaboration within their cohort
  • Help define and channel participants technical skills, experience and personality to realise their ambition
  • A better understanding of participants unique contribution in their laboratory and the community in which they currently operate
  • Help participants prosper in the industry landscape, or in an academic role that benefits from industry collaboration
Support from Interface

The team at Interface has a long-standing track record of translating industry led challenges and opportunities to forge collaborative R&D projects co-developed with academic teams from across Scotland to deliver new products, processes and services.

The Forging Futures participants will be supported as follows:

  • Learn about engaging with industry to deliver successful partnerships
  • Understand the range of available support from the Scottish ecosystem including getting to know funding opportunities to support academic – business partnerships
  • Facilitate conversations and networking with industry representatives and collaborators from Interface’s network
  • Explore “the art of the possible” for ideal collaborators to enable outcomes and impact
  • Opportunity to attend industry focused workshops and webinars