HASS Solvers Session: Unleash your creativity and enterprise!

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There will be an opportunity to unleash your creativity and enterprise during an Intensive Solvers Session on Tuesday 6th March 2012, 10am until 1.30pm working with award winning playwright, actress and singer-songwriter Yasmine Van Wilt.
PGRs need to be creative, enterprising, resourceful, able to solve complex problems and address challenging issues in innovative ways, build networks and win support. This Intensive Solvers Session seeks to develop your skills as a researcher as well as giving an insight into what is involved in creating a business – helpful information, if in the future you might consider freelancing, setting up a social enterprise or being self employed, based on your creativity, your research, your transferrable skills or your interests.
During the session you will come up with some creative ideas in response to some real life issues and opportunities, and create a hypothetical business to test out your enterprising skills in a friendly and supportive environment.
The problem being solved will be set by Yasmine Van Wilt, playwright, actress and singer-songwriter – and current HASS PhD student. She was a 2001 WordBridge Playwright and a 2007 Soho Young Writer. She has performed internationally for theatre and radio. She is a director and founding member of Immortalis Vox Productions. She recorded her debut album, Ex-Pat Reveries, with National Public Radio (US) in 2007 and went on to tour 40 venues in 4 countries performing music from this and her most recent album, The Big Smoke (2010). She has performed at such venues as Cafe de Paris and the George Square. Her most recent play, We’re Gonna Make You Whole was published by Oberon Books. Yasmine has numerous upcoming theatre, film and music commissions.
The Session is being led by Jane Nolan MBE, an Entrepreneur in Residence with Newcastle University Careers Service, a graduate of the School of English, a successful business woman and a current HASS PhD student. Booking:


Solvers Enterprise Workshop with Electrokinetic 5 March 2012 – places available!

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Interested in developing your enterprise and entrepreneurial skills? Have you thought about commercialising your research or starting a business? This Solvers half day workshop will give you the opportunity to build your skills and knowledge, working on the real life scenario of Electrokinetic, an extremely innovative business, which will be outlined by company director David Huntley. Come and work in teams to explore how you would respond to the challenges and opportunities of setting up and developing a business. The session will be facilitated by Jane Nolan MBE Entrepreneur in Residence with Newcastle University Careers Service. Monday 5th March, Research Beehive, Room 2.21 1pm to 5pm. Booking: 

Developing Commercial Awareness

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  One of my colleagues recently attended a session delivered by Neil McGuire from Ernst & Young (EY). The feedback might give you some insight into that elusive skill, ‘commercial awareness’. Although he uses EY examples to demonstrate his points, his advice is relevant whatever sector you might be considering – including academia!

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A New Technology Business Incubator

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A brand new initiative to help aspiring technology businesses in the North East has been set up at the Wilton centre in Redcar.

Check out The Journal Article on this new Innovation Accelerator.

The article states: “The Innovation Accelerator is specifically aimed at entrepreneurs looking to commercialise a scientific innovation and will give them unique access to the business intelligence, services and experience that will give them the best chance of success.”

Have you entered the Lions’ Lair yet?

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For all you budding entrepreneurs out there – there’s only just over a week left to enter Enterprise Challenge 2010! The deadline for all submissions is 4pm on Friday 19th March. Just pitch your business idea to us or submit your business plan online and you could win a share of £7,500!

Enterprise Challenge is open to all Newcastle University undergraduates, postgraduates and recent graduates and gives you a unique opportunity to develop your skills and get essential advice and support from industry experts.

Business plans will be short-listed and judged by a panel made up of sponsors, university staff and external partners. There are two additional awards also up for grabs – the Best Pitch Award and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award (Student/Graduate and Staff).

Winners will be announced at a fabulous black-tie awards ceremony on Thursday 13th May 2010 at Newcastle Civic Centre.

For more information, go to

HASS Researchers Needed!

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Researchers,  improve your transferable skills by helping to lead some or all of 2 days of career and personal development sessions for HASS postgraduate students.

Drawing of Man

Your extensive experience in the academic world is invaluable when acting as a role model for those PhD and Masters students considering their options for the future.

Dates and Times

  1. Induction for Facilitators: Nominally 13:30 – 17:00 Monday 22nd February 2010 but if you can’t make this contact me and I’ll meet you individually.
  2.  Briefing for Participants: 13:00 – 15:00 Tuesday 23rd February 2010
  3. NICER Knowledge: 09:30 – 17:30 Wednesday 17th March 2010 and Thursday 18th March 2010  Postgraduate Training Suite, 7th Floor, Daysh Building


Module Outline

World class research demands innovative thinking and creative problem-solving. However, as experienced academics you know that identifying a solution to a problem is only the beginning. Can you help the next generation of researchers become NICER?

For PhD students, ensuring that their idea is meaningful to the world around them and for their solution to have an impact, an enterprising outlook and an understanding of how to effect positive change can be invaluable. The NICER Knowledge Programme, designed to foster Networked, Innovative, Creative and Enterprising Researchers… would you like to….

  • Help students to develop innovative and creative ways of moving their PhD research project or Career forward?
  • Use your insight and passion for developing creative solutions to social, economic and cultural problems to guide these students?
  • Get a new perspective on your own research and teaching by working with multidisciplinary PhD student groups to develop your skills.
  • Make an impact on your own career by gaining valuable work experience away from your project.

The induction afternoon (1) will train you fully in the pedagogy and techniques we will be using in this intensive workshop to really help HASS PhD students to realise their potential both in the academic world and in their careers.  

The initial briefing session (2) will outline the components of the programme to the participants and you will help the students to prepare for the programme itself.

The two-day intensive programme (3) You will facilitate the development of teams of PhD students. You will enhance the value of their knowledge by helping the PhDs build on their existing skills, foster new networks and explore their career aspirations. Working with a multidisciplinary team, you will be tasked with helping them to find their own an answer to a real social, economic or cultural problem. As a facilitator of these intensive sessions you will take HASS PhD students through the key stages of developing a solution, whilst exploring their own personal and professional development.

Please contact me at for further details

Job Vacancy – Business Development Manager – Newcastle University

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Business Development Manager Ref A573A (IAH)

Faculty/Services Medical Sciences Department Institute for Ageing & Health

 Job Type Professional & Administrative

Hours of Work Full time

Salary: up to £38,951, rising to £43,840

Closing Date: 21 February 2010

The European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013 is supporting Newcastle University in a project to encourage engagement between regional businesses and regional academic excellence in ageing and vitality. The resulting regional business engagement programme will support the development and management of projects intended to generate innovative products and services relevant to all aspects of our ageing society. Your role will be pivotal to the project, and will be key to delivering the aims and objectives in accordance with the project plan. You will be highly motivated, with a record of success in both developing and managing business relationships and in delivering projects outside of your own areas of direct expertise. You will have experience of organising and leading presentations, workshops and larger events and will be comfortable communicating orally and in writing at all levels. You will have an interest in demographic change and the implications of our ageing society, and be willing and able to quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the University’s broad portfolio of relevant research. Ideally, you will also have a working knowledge of the North East’s regional structure of innovation connectors and business support. Tenable for three years in the first instance. For further information or an informal discussion, please contact Graham Armitage, Programme Director – Campus for Ageing and Vitality on 0191 248 1306 or

Click here for further details.