Newcastle University is managing an ERDF funded project to encourage North East companies to recruit postgraduate students to undertake in-house business improvement projects with the hope of creating a permanent position for some of the students.
The main focus of the project to date has been to obtain placements for Science, Agriculture and Engineering Faculty postgraduates, but this has now widened to include students from the Medical Sciences Faculty undertaking the MRes course and the BBSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership, in addition to MBA students from the HASS Faculty.
As a result of the ERDF funding, the £250 a week student salaries are subsidised, therefore reducing the company contribution to £125 week. The placements last between 2-6 months, therefore for a 6 month project; the SMEs will receive £3000 worth of funding. In addition, the European money also provides a small project grant to cover some of the project set up costs for the company.
Each student is supervised by a Newcastle University academic, which offers the company an extra layer of support.
Projects could include: an energy audit, new product development, market research, general business planning, 3D design and design analysis, renewable energy feasibility study, however these are just suggestions as the project will be tailored to the requirements of the company.
The duration of the project is 2 years with students being placed in 2013 and 2014.
Students who are interested in taking advantage of this project should contact the team on 0191 222 5259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.