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Innovation and the Business of Science

These courses aim to equip Research Fellows with the necessary skills to communicate and negotiate effectively and understand the innovation process, as well as how to create value from their own research.

Upcoming course dates

The course is held at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre in Buckinghamshire.

Science in Context Next dates announced in 2019

Leadership Effectiveness 07 - 09 November 2018 & 12 - 15 March 2019

Entrepreneurship 06 - 08 February 2019

Please contact us for further details.

Please note: The course is only available for Research Fellows funded by the Royal Society, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), The Medical Research Council (MRC) or the Wellcome Trust.

The Innovation and the Business of Science programme has been designed by the Royal Society, in partnership with Imperial College Business School, to help researchers better understand the rapidly evolving relationship between science and industry, what it means to be a scientific entrepreneur and how to run a successful research group. The programme draws on the latest theories in business and management, using data from research as well as first-hand experience from speakers who are leading scientists, managers of global science-based firms and business experts.

The programme runs across three stand alone modules, each covering an aspect of the business of science. All modules are residential and held at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall.

Science in context: Universities, the economy, and policy

As a leader in science, you will increasingly be in a position of responsibility at your university and you will need to make informed decisions. It is therefore critically important that you know how universities function and understand the environment in which they operate.

This two-day module addresses this need. The module will first cover the fundamentals of innovation and the economics of science. This will provide an understanding how your science is part of a broader picture, and can shape technologies and the economy.

The module will then address aspects relevant for managing universities and their relationships with stakeholders in the economy and government: how universities are funded; how science policy is made; how intellectual property matters; and how to work with industry. This will serve to highlight how universities are dependent on others to provide resources but also how this offers opportunities for research.

This module is relevant to you if are involved or to be involved in decision-making and fund-raising within your institution, regardless of whether you are planning to commercialise your research.

Topics covered include:

  • Science and innovation
  • Science and the knowledge economy
  • Understanding how universities are funded
  • How science policy is made
  • Understanding Intellectual Property
  • Managing science and industry collaboration

Leadership effectiveness

This popular three day module focuses on management skills and leadership behaviours which underpin effective leadership in science. The content of this module is relevant to all research scientists who manage people and groups, even if they are not looking to commercialise their research. Participants will explore the attributes, qualities and behaviours of inspiring leaders and receive feedback on their individual personality styles in the context of leadership. The module also encompasses the challenges that may be faced by scientists taking on managerial roles.

"The leadership effectiveness module covered a wide range of material, from dealing with difficult conversations to developing high performing teams. Each session gave me something new to work with and the practical aspects of the course really cemented those ideas. The days were quite intense but allowed you to explore aspects of your personality and leadership style with people at a similar stage in their careers. The team that put on the course are all excellent providing a really encouraging, supportive and quite fun environment. The course taught me a lot about myself and has really influenced how I approach certain situation and I cannot recommend the course highly enough." Dr Russell Minns, Royal Society University Research Fellow

Topics covered include:

  • Leading and leadership
  • Managing people: Motivation
  • Managing people: Communication
  • High performance teams
  • Leading organisational change
  • Effective negotiation
  • Time management

Scientific entrepreneurship

In this interactive module, participants will use discussion and a group project to build the awareness and skills to be more effective scientific entrepreneurs. Experts from the fields of entrepreneurship, business and funding will discuss the challenges and opportunities of scientific entrepreneurship. The culmination of this module is a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style judging panel where participants will pitch ideas based on their research and get feedback from expert panel members.

Topics covered include:

  • Academic entrepreneurship: a broader perspective
  • Technology transfer and academic entrepreneurship
  • Working in teams
  • How to protect your idea
  • How to commercialise your idea
  • Communicating your business plan and early stage financing
  • The Royal Society and Innovation
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