ESRC Business Booster: supporting business engagement

The University of Aberdeen is an active partner in an ESRC Business Booster (ESRC BB) project in collaboration with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS).  The ESRC BB project aims to enhance engagement between social science Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) and business through training in skills for business engagement and through understanding the challenges facing industry and other organisations in the non-academic sector.


Training for PGRs

As part of the ESRC Business Booster, a focused training workshop will be available to social science PGRs who are interested in working in partnership with industry throughout their academic career, or who are seeking employment in the industrial sector following graduation. The training works in three stages and PGRs will be expected to attend all three events hosted in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen (travel and accomodation costs will be met by SGSSS) [details]

Commitment from business

As part of the training workshop, businesses will be given the opportunity to pitch real-life business challenges to PGRs. Researchers will form ‘business teams’ in order to pitch an innovative solution back to their designated business 'partner', giving each business an opportunity to observe the types of innovation that can be achieved through engagement with social science research.

In order to achieve this, businesses will be required to:

  • Identify and pitch a problem to PGR with support from the workshop facilitator 
  • Be present for PGRs to pitch solutions and offer guidance or feedback on approach and feasibility 
  • Interested? Contact us


Training programme 

Anticipated Date

Host Institution

Theme of Training

2 October 2018

University of Glasgow

Engaging with Industry. A lively and interactive one-day workshop designed to help participants find out how to connect with people in industry, network effectively and learn techniques for communicating for impact.

27 November 2018 

University of Edinburgh

What do businesses want? Understanding the value of your social science skillsFast-paced, interactive and information rich, this one-day workshop is aimed at guiding participants to recognise the knowledge and experience they can use to capitalise on opportunities to work and collaborate with industry.

30-31 January 2019 

University of Aberdeen

Go beyond business ausual.  During this two-day workshop, researchers will be immersed in interactive training activities to develop the necessary negotiating, problem solving, communication and pitching skills required to address business challenges. 

Click here to download workshop outlines

How to Apply

The application form for the competition can be accessed at with a deadline of the 7th September. 

Please note applying does not guarantee you a place – places will be given to students who demonstrate that this course will offer valued learning. 

Final decisions will be made and communicated to students by 14 September.  


Students can be based at any Scottish university and any discipline, so long as their PhD has a social science foundation to it. Please email if you have questions. 

Contact us

For enquiries or further information please contact:

Dr. Ruth Banks (Email:; Tel: +44(0)1224 274364)