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sub-category Core Skills for Researchers

Gain key transferable skills and enhance your employability inside and outside of academia

  • Charlesworth Author Services
  • ECR Hub

Gain key transferable skills and enhance your employability inside and outside of academia


Did you know that less than ten percent of PhD students currently enrolled in the UK go on to work in academia after graduation? The Charlesworth Author Services team is uniquely positioned to understand the constantly evolving relationship between business and academia: we can help you gain the key transferrable skills you need to help improve your chances of employment in any sector after graduation. 

Having a clearer understanding of the symbiotic relationship between academia and business can help you more effectively advance your career and develop a clear brand for yourself as a researcher. It’s crucial to get the most out of your graduate training and view this experience as a chance to develop transferable skills valuable to any form of future employment. 

At Charlesworth, we are keenly aware of global graduate employment issues as we are both highly experienced at and well informed of the interface between business and academia. Charlesworth has partnered with Vitae, a leading organisation in supporting researcher professional development, to offer a series of training courses aimed at enhancing your employability as an early-career researcher (ECR), both inside and outside academia. Why not get in touch to learn more about how your institution can get involved in our new pilot courses with Vitae: ‘The Open Research’ and ‘Preparing to Publish and Peer Review Training’? 

We know that academia and the business world enjoy a close relationship, with the former increasingly reliant on the latter, especially financially. Businesses might fund academic research projects, provide support for graduate students, or even sponsor entire university departments. Research outcomes are also often commercialised, as the results can be patented and new solutions turned into commercial products. 

When writing a grant application, it’s often a very good idea to show that you already foster commercial relationships and are ready to realise the economic possibilities of your research. We teach these skills in our Charlesworth Knowledge grant writing and impact development workshops and training courses (which can be booked via your institution). The Charlesworth education team draws on many years of experience working in academia and generating research funding for targeted research projects from contacts in business. 

This relatively modern emphasis on the commercial nature of research outcomes was not always the case; for most of its history, academia was actually more of an ‘ivory tower’ endeavour where the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge was all important (at least outside of ‘applied’ research fields). More recently, national and transnational funding agencies (like the European Union) have pushed academics towards research areas that can be commercialised, and which are viewed as economically important. This has led to dramatic leaps forward in areas like high tech, genomics, and alternative power generation (to name just a few), as well as to an increased emphasis within academia on short-term outcomes – which can mean less straightforward and less secure career paths for young researchers. This is the gig economy that you’ve probably heard about in the context of other careers and business today 

We can help you to develop your career path effectively in today’s rapidly changing academic environment.

Over time, we have seen just how the research institutions and universities we deal with around the world have had to become increasingly commercial and competitive in their outlook and behaviours as they compete for funding, access to projects, and student enrolment in an increasingly business-supported environment. Indeed, the pressure to engage with business is felt most acutely internationally by independent researchers past the early career stage (ECRs), who are now expected to demonstrate the impact of their research, both societal and economic.

This pressure contrasts with earlier career stages, where students and researchers are shielded from business, and rewarded for focusing on their own research, publishing, and winning grants. Our collective experience, accumulated over decades, has shown that individual and team motivations and behaviours are quite different between academia (individual-centric, research-goal-oriented) and business (incentive-based, team-oriented) worlds, especially from team- and project-management, and funding generation perspectives.

Want to learn more? At Charlesworth Author Services, we provide a highly informed perspective on the interaction between business and academia. We know that academic career paths are becoming less and less secure, so we can offer tips and training to hone your brand, skills, and story for gig-economy success.    

Globally, more and more universities and research institutions are developing business-facing policies that emphasise preparing ECRs for careers outside of academia. It’s time to think about developing and enhancing your core skills, especially in areas like management, team work, constructive criticism, and communication (including writing and presenting). Such skills will ensure that you are prepared to make the leap between academia and the business world, should such an opportunity present itself!

Why not tune into our monthly webinar series or book one of our institutional training courses to develop your skills as an ECR? One of our most popular workshops deals specifically with successfully branding yourself as a researcher at the early career stage. Click here for more details. ( https://www.cwauthors.com/cwknowledge)

Maximise your publication success with Charlesworth Knowledge.


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