In July 2010, the University of Salford hosted a competition for Salford researchers to bid for £2000 (funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – EPSRC) to encourage the development of entrepreneurial skills amongst our researcher community (both research staff and postgraduate researchers). The outcome – a group of enterprising researchers were given the challenge of jointly organising an enterprise training programme. The group consisted of David C Roberts, the lead trainer, Cristina Costa (also UoS learning technology guru), Eleanor Jackson (Built Environment), Charlie Mydlarz (Acoustics), Arash Raesi (Business), Matthew Trump (Business) and me. This cross-disciplinary collaboration resulted in REDS (Researcher Enterprise Development Salford).
REDS initially established itself as a series of free events designed to support and develop entrepreneurial and intrepreneurial skills among Salford researchers. The project was also supported by social media tools available via the University’s embryonic Virtual Doctoral School. The sessions resulted in lots of innovative ideas, some of which we are going to work on and take forward as a group. For more info on REDS, check out the blog. Also, have a look at REDS members blogs too – Eleanor Jackson (The Final Countdown) and Cristina Costa on the UoS postgraduate research team blog!
REDS also set up a facebook page Salford PhDs.
The power of collaboration
The REDS team, along with attendees of two events ‘How to Network’ and ‘Online Networks for Enterprise’ worked together to produce a guide to networking for academics by academics based on our experiences of networking for enterprise.