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.

Forging Futures Scheme

SULSA, in collaboration with Interface, SkillFluence and MyFuture Plan have 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. Recipients of this scheme will become SULSA Ambassadors for Industry Engagement.

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 will include:

  • An in-person launch event to meet SULSA, SkillFluence, MyFuturePlan, Interface and fellow cohort members
  • A 6-week modular course with Skillfluence on how to engage effectively with industry (further details at end of document)
  • Group coaching sessions with MyFuturePlan to help them on their career path (further details at end of document)
  • Access to industry case studies and connections with industry through Interface

One PhD Student and one Postdoctoral Researcher will be awarded from each of the SULSA member institutions, and will become a SULSA Ambassador for Industry Engagement within their institution. With this comes an expectation that you will pay it forward and work within your cohort to share the knowledge and insight you have learnt with your research community. This could be through the organisation of institute seminars with industry representation or through the creation of useful resources. Cohorts will be able to request small sponsorship funds from SULSA to support them with any ideas they have.

Information Session

 

Eligibility, Conditions and Reporting

Eligibility

  • Either a PhD student (penultimate year) or a Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Working within Life Sciences research
  • Must work at one of the twelve SULSA Member Universities or the James Hutton Institute

The scheme will run for two cohorts; PhD Students and Postdoctoral Researchers. Each of the thirteen SULSA members will have one position to fill per cohort.


Funding Information and Conditions

  • The successful candidate for each SULSA member institute must act as a SULSA Ambassador for Industry Engagement within their departments. This includes attending quarterly meetings.
  • The two cross-University cohorts (PhD and PostDoc) must ‘pay it forward’ and support industry-engagement within their institutions, with support from SULSA and Interface
  • You must be available to attend all the scheduled module and coaching dates including the in-person launch event (listed at end of document)
  • You must have your application signed by your PI to demonstrate their support
  • You must be funded until the end of the AY 2023/24 as a minimum due to the timings of the training delivery
  • You must report back to SULSA via our online feedback form on the completion of both your training and time as an Industry Engagement Ambassador

Judging Criteria

  • Motivational statement
  • Demonstration of required skills
  • Ideas for the Ambassador Programme to enhance industry engagement


In-Person Launch Event
An in-person launch event will take place on Thursday 8th February 2024 at the Technology and Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. This event will provide an introduction to both the Forging Futures Scheme and your fellow cohort members. It will include your first training session so attendance at this event is mandatory.

Submitting Your Application
Please submit your application (merged into a single PDF) to jill.inkster@glasgow.ac.uk at SULSA by 5pm on Monday 9th October 2023.

Notification of Outcome
Successful applications will be notified by email by November 2023.

Reporting
You must provide the SULSA administration with project updates and outcomes when requested for reporting purposes.

Applicant Reporting
After awarding SULSA will circulate a demographic survey to all applicants of this funding call. The information is collected anonymously and is used internally by SULSA to understand the diversity of our applicants and identify areas for improvement. This information will not be shared with reviewers and will be held in accordance with SULSA’s privacy policy.

Scheme Overview

Skillfluence Modular Course

  • 6 x weekly 2 hour masterclasses – skillfluence.co.uk/connecting-with-industry
  • This course is designed to provide you with a set of tools and skills to help you be immediately more effective working in, and with, industry
  • You’ll learn about career routes in industry to access the jobs you want; and gain know-how that lets you 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

You must be available to attend all masterclass sessions on the following dates (all online other than in-person launch event):

  • Thursday 8th February 2024 at in-person launch event in Glasgow
  • Tuesday 13th February 2024 at 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom
  • Tuesday 20th February 2024 at 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom
  • Tuesday 27th February 2024 at 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom
  • Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom
  • Tuesday 12th March 2024 at 10:00 – 12:00 via Zoom


MyFuturePlan Coaching:

  • 1 x 1 hour in-person coaching session (with full PhD or PostDoc cohort)
  • 1 x 1 hour online coaching session (maximum of 4 people per session)
  • Opportunity to develop a plan for your next career steps, develop an industrial engagement strategy and build collaboration within your cohort
  • Help define and channel your technical skills, experience and personality to realise your ambition
  • A better understanding of your unique contribution to your laboratory and the community in which you currently operate
  • Help you prosper in the industry landscape, or in an academic role that benefits from industry collaboration

You must be available to attend all coaching sessions on the following dates:

PostDoc Cohort:

  • Session 1: Thursday 8th February 2024 at in-person launch event in Glasgow
  • Session 2: 11:00 – 12:00 on Wednesday 28th February, Thursday 29th February or Friday 1st March via Zoom (participants only need to attend one of these dates – SULSA will allocate in Jan 2024)

PhD Cohort:

  • Session 1: Thursday 8th February 2024 at in-person launch event in Glasgow

  • Session 2: 11:00 – 12:00 on Wednesday 6th March, Thursday 7th March or Friday 8th March via Zoom (participants only need to attend one of these dates – SULSA will allocate in Jan 2024)


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


Ambassador Programme

After completion of the Forging Futures training, you will become a SULSA Ambassador for Industry Engagement for 18 months, until September 2025. You will be expected to attend quarterly meetings to discuss activities for paying it forward and help shape the programme for the next cohort. The previous Ambassador cohort organised industry engagement events such as IndAc 22: Industry-Academia Engagement Event, Industry Insights Webinar Series, and Life Sciences Innovation and Commercialisation in the NE of Scotland event. Ambassadors also represented SULSA and the Forging Futures programme at institutional seminars and research days.

Please visit www.sulsa.ac.uk/blogs for articles from our Forging Futures Alumni to read about their experience.

Industry Ambassador Blogs

Check out our Industry Ambassador’s blogs about the Forging Futures Scheme over at SULSA Blogs

How to Apply

This scheme is now closed for applications.

meet our 23-24 postdoc industry ambassadors

Badri Aekbote

Badri Aekbote

Research Associate at University of Glasgow

Badri.aekbote@glasgow.ac.uk

Research Interest: Microfabrication, Mechanobiology, Plasmonics, Microscopy

Nicole Brace

Nicole Brace

Postdoctoral Research Scientist at The University of the Highlands and Islands

eo03nb@uhi.ac.uk

Research Interest: Inflammation, Immunity, Schizophrenia, Mass Spectrometry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Proteomics

Nia Gray-Wannell

Nia Gray-Wannell

Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the James Hutton Institute

Nia.gray-wannell@hutton.ac.uk

Research Interest: Clay Minerals, Surface Chemistry, Synthesis, Technological Applications

Rebecca von Hellfeld

Rebecca von Hellfeld

Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Aberdeen

rebecca.vonhellfeld@abdn.ac.uk

Research Interest: Marine Biology, Cetaceans, Pollution, Environmental Contamination

Daniel Larcombe

Daniel Larcombe

Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde

Daniel.larcombe@strath.ac.uk

Research Interest: Microbiology, Industrial Fermentations, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Streptomyces

Lisa Logie

Lisa Logie

Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the University of Dundee

l.j.logie@dundee.ac.uk

Research Interest: Cell Metabolism, Drug Discovery and Diabetes

Beatriz Vale McDermott

Beatriz Vale McDermott

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University

b.vale@napier.ac.uk

Research Interest: Immunology, Rheumatology, Molecular Biology, Super-Resolution Imaging, Medical Microbiology

Gael Morrow

Gael Morrow

Chancellor's Fellow at Robert Gordon University

g.morrow1@rgu.ac.uk

Research Interest: Uncontrolled Bleeding in Acquired and Inherited Bleeding Disorders

Sreejith Radhakrishnan

Sreejith Radhakrishnan

Research Associate at University of Glasgow

Sreejith.Radhakrishnan@glasgow.ac.uk

Research Interest: Infectious Disease Ecology and Epidemiology

Thomas Thorpe

Thomas Thorpe

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh

tthorpe@ed.ac.uk

Research Interest: Biocatalysis and Biocompatible Chemistry

meet our 23-24 phd industry ambassadors

Nuruddin Mahadik

Nuruddin Mahadik

PhD Student at Robert Gordon University

n.mahadik@rgu.ac.uk

Research Interest: Nano-based Drug Delivery Systems and Alzheimer’s Disease

Emma Hardy

Emma Hardy

PhD Student at University of Dundee, Division of Plant Science based at James Hutton Institute

Emma.Hardy@hutton.ac.uk

Research Interest: Molecular Plant Physiology, Temperature Regulation in Plants

Francesca Moramarco

Francesca Moramarco

PhD Student at University of Aberdeen

f.moramarco.22@abdn.ac.uk

Research Interest: Neurodegenerative Disorders, Retinoic Acid, CRISPR-Cas9

Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros

Ricardo Moreno Ballesteros

PhD Student at University of Dundee

2475962@dundee.ac.uk

Research Interest:Chemical Biology, Medicinal Chemistry, Neuroscience, Biochemistry

Joel Saunderson

Joel Saunderson

PhD Student at Heriot-Watt University

Jas18@hw.ac.uk

Research Interest: Biological & Brewing Sciences

Zainab Olatunji

Zainab Olatunji

PhD Student at Glasgow Caledonian University

zainab.olatunji@gcu.ac.uk

Research Interest: Cardiac Electrophysiology: Excitation-Contraction Coupling in HFpEF

Despoina Allagioti

Despoina Allagioti

PhD Student at University of Strathclyde

despoina.allagioti.2017@uni.strath.ac.uk

Research Interest: Targeting zDHHC9 Interactions as a Therapeutic Strategy

Tony McCulloch

Tony McCulloch

PhD Student at the University of the West of Scotland

B00348884@studentmail.uws.ac.uk

Research Interest: Parasitology Host Pathogen Interactions and Immune Evasion

Connie MacKinnon

Connie MacKinnon

PhD Student at the University of the Highlands and Islands

21018783@uhi.ac.uk

Research Interest: Cancer, Genetics, Sequencing, B cells, Genetic Markers, Diagnostics

Ines Jmel-Boyer

Ines Jmel-Boyer

PhD Student at University of Dundee

2436525@dundee.ac.uk

Research Interest: Asymmetric Cell Division in Drosophila Neural Stem Cells