If you are allocated an industrial placement in the final three years of the STOR-i programme you will be involved in direct interaction with an industrial partner for your PhD research project. We are aiming for about two-thirds of STOR-i students to be given this opportunity. Such students will have a primary supervisor from STOR-i and a second supervisor from industry. This unique and exciting feature of the STOR-i programme gives you a range of career benefits.
Industrial placements are primarily about collaborating with the industrial partner on your ongoing research work. These visits allow you to continue your work with a different angle on your supervision which really helps you get to grips with the practicalities of the problem, providing you with the scientific background behind the problem you are researching, and giving you insights into the data. Critically it will allow you to ensure that your research has a real impact and to see the practical benefits of your research for the industrial partner.
The chance to visit and work in our industrial partners’ offices provides the opportunity to experience how research teams work in industrial settings, as well as being an integral part of this team. This will help you to develop important skills such as effective communication with team members outside of the STOR discipline. For example, your industrial supervisor may have some skills in STOR but the team they are part of could involve scientists from a wide range of disciplines. The networking experience gained from these collaborations provide long-term benefits to your career, as you will be seen as having a unique blend of STOR skills and application knowledge by the industrial partner, making you both highly employable by them and also an ideal future collaborator.
Don’t worry about being thrown in at the deep-end; STOR-i’s training programme has been designed specifically to prepare students for exactly this type of activity. In the MRes year you will have the chance to develop communication and problem solving skills with fellow STOR-i students in collaboration with our industrial partners. This will ensure that you are prepared to deal with challenges of working in collaboration with industry and while on placement. During your PhD, additional courses will continue to develop these skills by targeting dissemination skills and how to make an impact, again through group work.
Working with the industrial partner
Placements tend to vary strongly between partner and projects. Typically students spend between 1-2 months a year at the partner’s offices. These visits can either be many short 1-2 day visits, visits of two weeks or one longer visit. Short regular visits have the advantage of regular input into the project and good team building with the industrial supervisor. Longer visits allow you to become a more integral member of their team and benefit from integrations with a broader set of colleagues at the partner institution. Partner institutions will be responsible for covering the costs of your travel and accommodation during these visits. Additionally the industrial supervisor is likely to visit you at STOR-i at regular intervals to discuss progress on the project with yourself and your supervisor.
Click here to find out more about our current industrial partners.
If you are a potential partner please click here to find out how to become a STOR-i industrial partner.