University of Sunderland to unlock economic growth with six-figure research funding

The University of Sunderland is utilising a six-figure national research funding pot in an effort to boost the North East economy.

The university will access the £300k Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Accelerating Business Collaboration Fund to bring social scientists together with businesses across the region through a new programme.

The programme will give doctoral students an opportunity to develop their employability skills through 10-week virtual placements in the private sector.

Dr Derek Watson, associate professor in cultural management at the University of Sunderland, explained: “By accessing this ESRC funding, we are able to offer bespoke training sessions to doctoral students to develop their employability skills.

“But in addition this is an ideal opportunity for businesses to get expert, free resources from the doctoral community. The workshops we are leading are open to all social scientists in the North East and beyond.”

Dr Maurice Duffy, who led the programme’s first session, added: “We are now facing the biggest crisis of our lifetime. The decisions leaders, people and governments take in the coming months will reshape our world completely. They will reshape not just our healthcare systems, but also our economy, politics, culture and our children’s future world.

“The opportunity presented by this programme and collaboration is simply a fantastic chance to allow doctoral students access to real-life experiences.

“The programme defines a business strategy that will reshape organisations in the future, presenting a platform for exploration of the vital importance of organisational health, and creates an opportunity to learn new mindsets for a new time.”

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