The SPERO (Santander PhD Entrepreneurship Opportunity) Programme

The Santander PhD Entrepreneurship Opportunity (SPERO) is a diverse programme of training courses, aiming to improve understanding of entrepreneurship mind-set by the UCL PhD community.

The programme is sponsored by Santander Bank and is delivered in partnership with the Doctoral Skills Development Team. Participating students will receive 2 training points per each training day.

All programme participants get an opportunity to meet with a Business Acceleration Advisor and discuss their ideas with them throughout the programme.

You can register for this programme via Doctoral Skills Development website –

For more information on how the programme is delivered, please see the SPRERO Overview Document.

Confirmed and upcoming training workshops:

18 February 2019

(SPERO Discover) Entreprenurial skills for PhD students in Psychology and Language Science (for Faculty of Brain Sciences)

19 – 20 February 2019

(SPERO Advanced) Advanced entrepreneurial skills for PhD students

27 February – 1 March 2019

(SPERO Applied) Entrepreneurship essentials for PhD students

18 March

(SPERO Discover) Entrepreneurial skills for PhDs in the Ear, Ophthalmology and Psychiatry Institutes

27 – 29 March 2019

(SPERO Applied) Entrepreneurship essentials for PhD students

Please see here for more information:


NCRM Courses for Spring 2019

The National Centre for Research Methods have announced new courses for 2019.

Courses running from now until June include:

Introduction to QGIS | 6-8 March | Southampton

Introduction to latent class analysis | 14-15 March | Manchester

Introduction to spatial data & using R as a GIS | 27 March | Southampton

Qualitative research for quantitative researchers | 16 April | Southampton

The what, why & how of citizens’ juries | 25 April | Southampton

Interpretive political science | 20-22 May  | Southampton

Introduction to spatial data & using R as a GIS | 23 May | London

Designing mixed method evaluation research | 29-31 May | London

You can browse the full training database here to view courses for June and beyond:

Innovation Caucus PhD Intern Opportunities

The Innovation Caucus in an initiative funded by Innovate UK and the ESRC to support innovation-led growth and promote greater engagement between the social sciences and businesses.

ESRC are inviting highly motivated PhD candidates to apply for a two to three month internship to develop a stream of work on identifying and modelling the returns from research and development (R&D) activity at the firm level.

The dates of the internship are by agreement, but the aim is for a start date of 1 April, 2019. The internship will need to be completed by 30 September 2019.

There is scope to accommodate flexible working arrangements, although the intern will be expected to attend meetings in London (and potentially in Swindon and Sheffield) on an ad hoc basis.

Funding and time commitment:

A total of £4,500 will be paid, spread over equal monthly instalments over the agreed duration of the internship (e.g. a £1,500 per month stipend for 3 months, if working on the internship on a full time basis; or a £750 per month stipend for 6 months if working part time). Travel to meetings and other agreed expenses will be reimbursed in addition. This flexibility is designed to accommodate restrictions on working hours for international students. The funds will be transferred to the university at which the PhD student is registered and the stipend and travel expenses will be paid by the PhD student’s home institution.

Application Process:

Please send a letter outlining your interest in the project and position as a PhD intern with the Innovation Caucus, and details of how your skills and experience make you well suited to undertake the internship.

Applications should be sent to by noon on Friday 15 March 2019.

For informal enquiries about the technical requirements for this internship, please contact Professor Tim Vorley, For enquiries about the application process, please contact Dr Katy Wing,



Global Food Security (GFS) Competition

Global Food Security has launched a new research communication competition for UKRI-funded PhD and postdocs called Speak Up for Food Security. To reflect the multifaceted nature of the global food security challenge GFS is keen to engage early career researchers from a range of different research backgrounds whose research is linked to, or has implications for, food security.

Finalists will be invited to a two-day research/science communications training course in London, all expenses paid.

The winner will be invited to speak with GFS and Dr Adam Rutherford (BBC presenter) at Cheltenham Science Festival 2019.

The competition is open to all UKRI-funded PhDs and post-docs whose research feeds into the food security challenge (directly or indirectly).

The closing date is 24 February 2019 and more information can be found here:

NPIF Event

The National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) are holding an event to bring together fellow and students. This event is for those in receipt of an Innovation Fellowship or a studentship that is thematically aligned to the  Industrial Strategy (i.e. awarded as part of the first tranche of funding in 2017). This event will be an opportunity for the students to learn more about long-term trends in the funding environment, to explore real world examples of social science collaboration with industry and to network with other NPIF award recipients.

Date:           Monday 4 March 2019

Location:   Jury’s Inn, 245 Broad Street, Birmingham, B1 2HQ

This invitation is also extended to Postdoctoral Fellows in receipt of a steered award.

Students and industrial strategy-aligned Postdoctoral Fellows can register for the event using the following link:

Please register by 14 February 2019. 

Please note, thematically aligned to the Industrial Strategy does not include awards allocated in advanced quantitative methods or data skills.