20 March 2013

Cost effective access to new research talent

Businesses and organisations now have the chance to access the freshest thinking from research students at the University of Essex through the new Postgraduate Consultancy Service.

From designing surveys and developing marketing strategies to language translation and computer networking, the new service is allowing companies to secure valuable help with innovative research at competitive rates. Some projects will also be able to access subsidies.

At the same time researchers gain invaluable experience by using their expertise to solve real business problems, under the supervision of internationally renowned academics.

Mays Al-Naday is a PhD student in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and is one of the 50 postgraduates who have signed up so far to take part in the service.

She has experience of working on major European research projects at the University and her research is looking at technical solutions for developing the internet in the future. However, she is happy to work on projects stretching from networking and telecommunications through to web services.

She said: “I’m a PhD student and my research mainly focuses on how to design the support for multilayer network and traffic engineering in future internet architectures. I think the initiative will be a very good chance for research students to be engaged in research projects with industry, under the supervision of the University.”

Students studying on Masters or PhD programmes have signed up to the service and can provide support for a whole range of projects including:

  • Designing surveys and questionnaires
  • Writing reports and reviews
  • Developing marketing strategies
  • Sports and exercise programming, health promotion
  • Language translation, interpretation and subtitling
  • Analysis of datasets
  • Policy development
  • Environmental surveys, water quality analysis
  • Logistical evaluations of products/processes/projects
  • Feasibility studies

Richard McGuire, a PhD student in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, feels the skills he can offer, such as close reading, cultural analysis and the sensitive use of language, plus an alternative perspective on issues will be useful to businesses.

He said: “I am excited to explore the possibilities of applying my research expertise to real-time media and business ventures.”

All the researchers taking part in the service already have degrees while many will have significant experience in their fields and may be working on cutting-edge research.

Projects can be anything from a week to 12 weeks and researchers can work up to 18 hours a week on a particular scheme.

The Postgraduate Consultancy Programme is run by the Research and Enterprise Office at the University of Essex.

For more information email: partners@essex.ac.uk or phone 01206 872925.

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