Add real world consultancy skills and experience to your PhD

Rosalinda Quintieri, a doctoral researcher in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, has come up with a fantastic new way to help our current doctoral and post-doctoral researchers to get real consultancy training, skills and experience of implementing solutions. It’s in collaboration with the University – and you’ve still got time to apply to take part.

Over to Rosalinda to tell you all about it:

REALabThere is a new Program at the University of Manchester, REALab, designed to promote PhDs and Post-Docs’ employability through tailored training in consultancy and freelance skills and through a program of collaborative projects with external organisations.

REALab is supported by Manchester Doctoral College, artsmethods, SALC and Manchester Enterprise Centre and it is aimed at researchers across all faculties interested in pitching a project proposal in response to challenges presented by external partners. This first year’s challenges call for interventions on strategy approaches and research regarding: Open Access, technology development, food sustainability, community engagement, museum galleries and archives valorisation and more. The challenges opened for intervention can be seen at

The Program offers to its participants tailored training in consultancy skills and project management – designed in collaboration with Manchester Enterprise Centre and Manchester Doctoral College – and the possibility to ‘pitch’ their project proposals at a final dragons-den style  event and to receive a first award of £1000 and a second and third award of £500.

The idea at the foundation of REALab is to offer a real-life opportunity to practice as consultants, working in collaboration with local major organisations and being trained in all the aspects of the consultancy process, from analysis of the ‘problem’ to ideation and delivering of the ‘solution’. It is becoming more and more evident how within the current economic climate and an ever-challenging work environment, as doctoral and postdoctoral researchers we need to develop these vital freelance and project management skills and doing this soon in our career means that by the time we conclude our doctoral programs we will have:

  • accumulated practical experience of managing projects on our own, from ideation to delivery
  • developed collaborations with external partners and across different departments and disciplines  which can prove to be vital for future job opportunities
  • demonstrated how our research and knowledge can positively have impact on key challenges faced by important sectors of our economy

Applications are now open and there is time to apply until the 31st of May. If you would like to know more about REALab you can visit or tweet @realabmcr

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