Seen these icons?

If we have events, jobs or news that are relevant to the page topic, you can access them by clicking on icons next to the print button.

The Researcher Strategy Consultancy | The Careers Service The Researcher Strategy Consultancy – Oxford University Careers Service
Oxford logo
What is The Researcher Strategy Consultancy?

An innovative skills programme for DPhil students, RAs, and postdocs

The purpose of the Researcher Strategy Consultancy (RSC) is to provide early career researchers (DPhil students, RAs, and Post-Docs) with an opportunity to develop the core employability skills required for a transition into analytical or policy roles in the public and private sector.

Particular emphasis is given to business awareness, teamwork, communication and leadership to complement other postgraduate training. This programme enables participants to build on skills that typically develop in designing, planning and conducting complex research projects. Whatever their career plans, including further research and academia, participants can benefit significantly from the programme.

“I’ve come away with new skills, new friends and a brilliant experience of working with a local organisation.” (postdoc participant, 2018) 

Participants volunteer some of their own time to work in small teams, over a 4 month period, to address a strategic issue or business opportunity for a client organisation.

Our clients list includes start-ups, businesses, local and international charities, community organisations, University departments and Government agencies.

“RSC offers a lens into different working worlds – from the overall strategic aims of the organisation right down to workplace culture” (postdoc participant, 2018) 

The Researcher Strategy Consultancy will provide participants with an opportunity to:

  • Experience an Assessment Centre and hone their presentation skills
  • Develop key employability skills such as business and customer awareness, strategic thinking, creativity, team working and communication
  • Demonstrate key employability skills in their CV and in job interviews
  • Tackle strategic business issues and opportunities and make a contribution to the local community
  • Gain an awareness of the commercial, social and behavioural contexts of professional environments.
How does it work?

Click here to apply for The Researcher Strategy Consultancy – Winter/Spring 2018-19
The closing date for applications to our next programme is Monday 5th November.

The programme is open to researchers from any discipline, and selection is based on factors that include:

  • creativity in finding solutions
  • approach to business situations and commercial awareness
  • teamwork and communication skills.

After a shortlisting exercise, applicants will be invited to an Assessment Centre. Programme participants will be selected and invited to two training sessions to prepare for the project work. The training content includes an introduction to consulting, key business issues and how to address them, market research, interviewing techniques, client management and report preparation.

Participants will be put into multi-disciplinary teams to work very part-time on an allocated client project. Each team will engage with their client on the project work and present their findings over a period of ten to twelve weeks. The Careers Service will be available to support teams with any questions or needs that may arise.

Teams will wrap up the client projects and gather at the Careers Service for an end-of-programme event where there will be an opportunity to celebrate their success, share learnings and exchange experiences.

Programme schedule

The Autumn/Winter programme will run from November 2018 to March 2019 and the schedule below is provisional:

Dates Activity
Monday 5th November
(Week 5)
Applications close (at noon).
Monday 12th November
(Week 6)
Assessment Centre**
2 x 1 hour sessions (5.30pm & 6.30pm)
Tuesday 20th & Thursday 22nd Nov
(Week 7)
Training sessions**
(5.15pm – 8.00pm) (Catering provided)
By w/c 11th March
(Week 8, Hilary Term)
Project work and final presentations to client completed
Wednesday 13th March
(Week 8, Hilary Term)
End of programme event
(6.00pm – 8.00pm)

**You must be available for one assessment centre and both training sessions in order to participate

Important information

Participation in the programme is voluntary and unpaid. Reasonable expenses for travel or data collection can be reimbursed only through completing the University claim form and on presentation of receipts.

It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure they can take on this experiential learning project within the terms of their study commitments, funding or visa agreements.

DPhil Students who apply and participate in TRC must satisfy themselves that the project is suitable for their needs in terms of the learning opportunity and nature of the work involved, and are advised to

  • consult their supervisors on how the TRC helps fulfil their training needs and agree time commitments
  • seek advice on visas from https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/visa?wssl=1

For research staff, it is the University’s policy to support individuals in identifying relevant professional development and training. In some cases, this includes a quantified allocation of time, such as up to ten days per year in MPLS and 5 days in MSD.

Research staff should also ensure compliance with the University’s Council regulations on holding outside appointments and those of any funders providing salaries. University academic and academic-related employees (with the exception of Associate Professors who have colleges as their main employer; please see the paragraph below) are permitted to hold outside appointments and to undertake other outside activities, including consultancies, which require a commitment of time that otherwise might reasonably be expected to be devoted to University duties, subject to the approval of their direct line manager (where relevant) and their head of department or the chair of the faculty board.

Applicants whose salaries are funded from externally-funded research grants or contracts, or who are Principal Investigators or Co-Investigators on outside-sponsored projects, must adhere to the terms and conditions stipulated by or agreed with the sponsor and, if necessary, seek written approval from the sponsor. For example, The Wellcome Trust’s grant conditions include stringent conditions relating to the holding of consultancies and these apply equally to individuals who are in receipt of Wellcome Trust research grants, as well as to those whose salaries are paid from Wellcome Trust grants.

Permission may be required from a PI, Head of Department and possibly the funding body providing the award from which their salary is paid.

University employees continue to be bound by the University’s statutes, regulations and policies in particular the policies on Conflict of Interest, and Intellectual Property, as well as respecting the duties of confidentiality as set out in their contracts of employment.

Research staff are therefore advised to consult:

  • their PIs or departmental HR representatives on the terms of their contracts and wish to use some of their allotted time for professional development activities
  • the staff immigration team on visas: http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/personnel/permits/
Keep up to date

If you have any queries regarding the programme, please contact Maurice McCartney at the Careers Service on 01865 274646 or by email on innovate@careers.ox.ac.uk.

This information was last updated on 12 October 2018.
Loading... Please wait
Recent blogs about The Researcher Strategy Consultancy

Laidlaw Open Afternoon: Find out more about funded research internships!

Blogged by Internship Office on 17/10/2018.

The Laidlaw programme provides an amazingly well-funded opportunity to gain an insight into leadership in your chosen field anywhere in the world. Go for it!”  – 2018 Laidlaw Scholar

This Friday, 19 October, drop in to the Sheldonian Theatre between 15:00 and 17:00 (no booking necessary) to discover how the Laidlaw Scholars programme can give you a head start.

Calling all undergraduate researchers, wannabe researchers, and the research-curious…! Are you considering postgraduate study or a career in research? Would you like to develop your leadership skills while spending time researching a project that you love? As a Laidlaw Scholar, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a fully-funded research project of your own design at any institution worldwide, alongside practical leadership training which will help you understand and manage your project, yourself and those around you.

At our Open Afternoon this Friday you’ll be able to meet the current Laidlaw Scholars, hear about their research, and find out how and why to apply to this exciting programme. See the Laidlaw Scholars Programme webpages for more information, and register your interest in the Laidlaw Programme on CareerConnect to make sure you don’t miss out on future Laidlaw updates. The closing date for applications will be Monday 7 January 2019.

There is so much to this opportunity: the rapid learning process, the wonderful people and the invaluable opportunity to get right to the front of cutting-edge research as an undergraduate.” – 2018 Laidlaw Scholar

Don’t know where to start with your micro-internship applications?

Blogged by Internship Office on 11/10/2018.

Application support sessions and sector lists now available!

The micro-internship applications are rolling-in ahead of the deadline of noon Monday 22 October. But are you struggling to get your own application off the ground? If so, don’t worry: the Internship Office is here to support you!

If you don’t know where to start, sector lists are now available, each one offering project summaries of all the placements available within each employment field.

And if you’d like further advice and assistance, as usual the Internship Office are offering application support sessions. These take place across the applications window on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 14:00-16:00.  Book a 15 minute appointment ahead via CareerConnect, or just pop-in on the way back from a lecture and wait for an open slot. A member of the Internship Office will be able to support you in choosing a placement to suit your skills and aspirations, as well as offering feedback on CVs and personal statements.

And if you have no idea what a micro-internship even is, then the Micro-Internship Programme page is a good place to start.

Call to Finalists: Paid opportunity to take part in graduate careers research

Posted on behalf of High Fliers Research. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 11/10/2018.

Focus groups this term:

High Fliers in association with The Times are undertaking their annual research into finalists’ experiences and opinions about graduate roles and positions, and job hunting in general. They are seeking volunteers for a small number of 2-hour focus groups, and all participants will be paid.

The research covers the top 35 universities in the UK and will help employers improve how they approach graduate recruitment, informs our work at the Careers Service, and may help the finalists who take part to gain an edge in and wider appreciation of the recruitment options available.

High Fliers is looking for Oxford finalists who wish to take part in one-off 2 hour Research Groups which will:

  • Take place in 4th and 5th week
  • Entail providing opinions and feedback on brochures, adverts and websites
  • Last approximately 2 hours and
  • Be rewarded with a cash-in-hand (£20) payment upon completion.

There are a limited number of spaces available, and places are expected to be filled quickly. If you want to take part, contact the Oxford University Research Manager (and current Oxford student), Jihoon Kang, on jihoon.kang@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk or 07761845043.

Large student survey in Hilary

In Hilary, Jihoon will also co-ordinate Oxford’s contribution to the UK’s most comprehensive survey of graduate recruitment in the UK’s leading universities: The Times Final Year Survey. This annual research project surveys over 35,000 students and requires a large network of paid student interviewers, so if you would like to support this additional research next February you may want to take this opportunity to register your interest with Jihoon now.

Making a Difference – graduate schemes and careers with social impact

Blogged by Claire Chesworth on 11/10/2018.

Saturday 13 October, Exam Schools, 13:30-14:15

Are you looking for a graduate scheme that would allow you to make a significant social impact in your career? Then come along to this talk at the Oxford Careers Fair and hear from Oxford alumni in the public/charity sector who are working for organisations such as Think Ahead, Unlocked, and the National Graduate Development Programme.

Each speaker will give a short presentation about their work on a day-to-day basis, followed by a Q&A panel session.

Free Applied Deep Learning Course this term

Posted on behalf of OxAI, OSG Digital and the Oxford Foundry. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 11/10/2018.

An excellent opportunity to learn cutting edge deep learning skills and how to apply them in practice.

If you have an interest in building working models to solve real world problems using the power of emerging digital technologies, you can join a new eight week applied deep learning course co-presented by OxAI, OSG Digital and the Oxford Foundry.

The course is is free and open to Oxford University students at all levels and is explicitly target at students from diverse backgrounds and the only pre-requisite is that you are comfortable writing simple Python code.

All sessions are on Saturdays from 16:00 to 19:00:

  • 20th of October: Introduction, Recognize Cats and Dogs
  • 27th of October: Improving Your Image Classifier
  • 3rd of November: Understanding Convolutions
  • 10th of November: Structured, Time Series & Language Models
  • 17th of November: Collaborative Filtering, Inside the Training Loop
  • 24th of November: Interpreting Embeddings, RNNs from Scratch
  • 1st of December: Resnets from Scratch
  • The course ends with a final project demo.

Applications will close on the 13th of October.

For more information and an application link click here.

This page displays current related blog posts. If none display, you can still stay up-to-date with our newsletter sent regularly to all Oxford students.

Older posts can be found in our archive of past blogs.