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Innovators is a prestigious training opportunity for early career researchers and academics at Northern Accelerator universities. Develop the skills to make a real-world  impact with your research.

Do you want to make a positive change in society with your research skills and knowledge?

 

 

Become part of a growing network of like-minded academics developing the skills to realise real-world impact from their research.

 

 

As part of a small multidisciplinary cohort, you’ll take part in a series of online masterclasses to develop your skills and explore the potential future commercial and societal impact of your work. 

 

You’ll learn to effectively communicate your value and think to the future, ensuring your work has an impact beyond academia.  The masterclasses are inclusive, enthusiastic, challenging, evidence-based and practical. They consist of information rich content, practical tips, group activities & discussion and a chance to learn from subject matter experts.   

Applications have now closed for the autumn/winter 2022 cohort of Innovators. 

We will open for applications for spring 2023 shortly. In the meantime find out more in the FAQs below.

We will open for applications for spring 2023 shortly. Check back here for updates and look out for announcements in your university internal communications. 

Innovators will help you develop the skills to make a real-world social and economic impact with your research. 

 

As part of a small multidisciplinary cohort, you’ll take part in a series of online masterclasses to develop your skills and explore the potential future commercial and societal impact of your work.

 

You’ll learn to effectively communicate your value and think to the future, ensuring your work has an impact beyond academia. 

 

Modules include: 

  • Pathways to commercial and social impact
  • Communicating your value
  • Stakeholder engagement & validating the customer
  • Validating the market and commercial opportunity
  • Commercialisation considerations
  • Building relationships, networking & collaboration

Northern Accelerator’s Innovators training is available to researchers at Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University.

 

The course is primarily aimed at early career researchers and academics, however it is open to any academic with an interest in developing the skills to realise impact from their research.

 

Please note that Northern Accelerator funding cannot be used to support PhD students’ attendance on this course. However, if you also have an employed position as an academic with your university, you are able to apply.

Taking part in Innovators is an excellent opportunity and we’re confident you won’t feel you’re having to ‘take time out from the day job’. You’ll have the chance to work on your own area of interest during the programme, with the learning enhancing your work and accelerating impact.

 

You’ll be provided with application activities to apply in your own time after each module, to your own circumstances and areas of interest.

 

You’ll also develop a portfolio of useful content around impact related to your own research interests.

We will announce dates for spring 2023 shortly. 

The training programme will delivered fully online via Zoom in short bite-size masterclasses to fit with your busy schedule.


We start with a launchpad event, followed by 6 live online modules. 

 

Your course director will take you through the course, bringing in guest speakers and expert trainers at each session.

 

Each module consists of information rich content, practical tips and frameworks, group activities using collaborative digital tools, peer to peer discussion and a chance to hear from an expert trainer or guest speaker.

 

Each workshop will give you a takeaway activity to apply what you have learned to your own area of research or interest after the live session.


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Although we originally moved our training courses online because of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we’ve found there are many benefits of online delivery. 

We’re able to deliver as a series of short sessions to fit around your busy schedule, rather than taking full days out. 

 

We’re also able to access a wider range of expert speakers, and ensure the course is accessible and inclusive for participants. 

 

With participants from the five Northern Accelerator universities, we’re conscious of removing travel time and also reducing our environmental impact. 

 

Of course there’s also some uncertainty about face-to-face delivery due to Covid-19, so this way we know our course will run as smoothly as possible. 


Skillfluence has significant experience of online delivery and has experienced excellent results through their online courses. 

Innovators is funded by Northern Accelerator thanks to Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund. It is delivered by Skillfluence Ltd, a UK-based specialist training company which works primarily with university researchers and PhD students to develop transferable skills, with a specific focus on innovation, knowledge exchange, communication skills and commercialisation.

 

Over the last 5 years Skillfluence has trained more than 7500 university researchers across over 40 universities and research centres. 

 

 

Innovators training is fully funded by Northern Accelerator so there is no fee to you or your department. 

However, you should recognise that the course is a big investment in you by Northern Accelerator and your university as a Northern Accelerator partner, and you do need to be available for the online sessions. You should therefore have support from your Head of Department to take part.