What is it?
Opportunity for academic staff to undertake Business secondments on specific projects or more general research. Such opportunities provide a valuable opportunity for creating links between industry and academics and can form the basis for further funding applications and research. Many universities look to support visiting researchers from business to work with academics at the university on developing a particular project.
The secondment will facilitate knowledge transfer between industry and academia and will enable the businesses to gain experience of collaborating with a highly qualified academic/expert in a business setting. Working together in this type of collaboration is the closet working relationship business and academics can have.
This research often takes long periods of time to conduct. Businesses should consider if they have the commitment to engage in the research partnership over a long period of time and if the findings of the research will remain relevant to their markets.
There are numerous calls/programmes aimed at encouraging academic staff to undertake funded placements in external organisations and for external staff coming into the universities to collaborate.
Secondments can provide an invaluable opportunity for early- to mid-career academics to undertake a collaborative research project in an industrial environment. Exchanges strengthen the strategic relationship between the university and partner and lead or enhance collaborative research between them.
Suitable for which Businesses?
A business of any size conducting research or working in an area related to that of an academic seeking to embark on a secondment. Typically, there will be a project or specific role that the business is looking for the academic to fulfill during the secondment period. For larger businesses, there is also an opportunity to second staff to work in universities as visiting researchers. An opportunity for the researcher to be permanently based in the company.
How do you engage?
Organising exchanges/secondments are developed jointly by the academic and business, usually in response to a specific funding call. For staff working in a business looking to undertake a visiting researcher secondment at a university, they should seek to contact the academic working in a related area, the relevant university department or the university knowledge exchange office.