This blogpost is an excerpt from our guide to preparing for academic consultancy. The full guide covers such topics as the current climate for early career academics, the ways that consultancy differs from research and attributes of a great academic consultant.
Here are the ten actions that will help you to prepare for consultancy work that it recommends:
- Scan the horizon – Regularly check out the sectors you’re interested in and identify the top 5 areas that your research maps to. Use this to shape your digital identity and the positioning of your CV.
- Map your competencies – Consider your capabilities and expertise, identify any gaps and plan how you’ll plug them. The Vitae Researcher Development Framework is a good place to start.
- Check your digital identity – Use the piirus.ac.uk Digital identity health check to assess your online identity. Then make an action plan to improve your digital footprint.
- Develop a consultancy CV – Access examples and advice on writing a competency based CV at Vitae.
- Develop your pitch – Develop a short pitch about your expertise based on your research and experience. Then test it out. See: Elevator pitches for scientists
- Seek out speaking opportunities – Speakezee.org provides excellent opportunities to bring your research to the public. Register with them to find out more.
- Find opportunities to write – The Conversation UK provides opportunities for you to write articles and
bring evidence-based information to the public. Register to find out more. Your clients will have greater confidence in your abilities if you can evidence
you’re media savvy. Many universities and Funding Councils offer this training.
- Check your employment contract for obligations – If you’re employed, there may be restrictions on what additional work you can do, how much you can do and what permissions you need. Always check with your institution or employer to see what you need to do to carry
out consultancy work independently or concurrently.
- Set yourself up – When you carry out consultancy projects for clients, you’ll need quotes, contracts and invoices. Speak to your employer if you have one – they may help you do this. Among other things, you’ll need to consider include contracts, fees, insurances, indemnities, tax and NI.
- Find consultancy opportunities – If you’ve followed this plan, then you just need to find an opportunity to consult on an assignment. If you become a Piirus Associate you can access opportunities in the Government, public and third sector.
You can register for a free Piirus Associate membership and get matched to consultancy opportunities when you join piirus.ac.uk, or at any time after you have joined: the opt-in is available to all members.
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