Business Boost: Funding & Training for Business Engagement


Business Boost

Thanks to the ESRC, we currently have funding available via our new Business Boost grant to help PhD students in the social sciences to:

ESRC Business Boost funding for PhD students within SeNSS DTP consortium


  • Create links with business and industry

  • Extend and consolidate skill sets

  • Address critical societal issues


If you’ve never worked with a business before but think that your research could be important to make a difference in the world, we are here to help you explore these ideas. And if you already have business connections, we are here to support you in exploring those links further. We can offer:

·         Funding to explore links with, and directly engage with, businesses

·         Free training on business networking and other business engagement skills

·         Help in exploring and establishing business links

**These opportunities are only available for a very short time, so please do get in touch as soon as you can for further information**

Funding Opportunities


Large-scale Industry Engagement Fund – max £5,000

The aim of the funding is to support SeNSS & other social science PhD students in engaging with businesses, whether this means developing new relationships, or continuing established links.

The funded activities of the Industry Engagement Fund should be based on your social science research with an aim to explore collaborations that could lead to long-term positive changes in the ‘real world’. This could encourage activities such as:

·         Exploring and understanding business needs and how they can be incorporated into research

·         Understanding how to better collaborate and co-produce knowledge with industry partners, including through existing collaborative research

·         Undertaking social science-informed projects and activities to support an identified business user-need

·         Organising or attending collaborative events


Key dates:

·         Applications deadline: 5pm Monday, 15 October 2018

·         Outcomes of applications announced: week commending 29 October 2018

·         Activities can begin from: 1 November 2018

·         Activities must conclude by: 28 February 2019

Forms & supporting information

·         Guidance document

·         Application Form


Before applying, please do get in touch with Nikki Pockett, SenSS-IAA Business Engagement and Impact Officer at  as soon as possible to explore the possibilities.


Small-scale Rapid Response funds – max £750 -£1,000

The Business Boost is funded through ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) within three of the 10 SeNSS universities. Each of these universities also has smaller pots of funding available for PhD students from their respective universities. Further information can be found here:

·         University of Essex

·         University of Sussex

·         University of East Anglia [link to follow shortly]



The SeNSS Business Boost will be holding training sessions on both general topics and specific themes. These are currently being planned and will be posted here when available.



Nikki Pockett, SeNSS-IAA Business Engagement and Impact Officer:


If you are based at the University of Essex, you can also contact:

·         Dorian Hayes, Knowledge Exchange Manager, Social Sciences:


If you are based at the University of East Anglia, you can also contact:

·         Richard Clarke, Relationship Manager - Healthcare and Social Sciences:

·         Dr Maddy Copley, DTP Business Boost Fund Administrator:


If you are based at the University of Sussex, you can also contact:

·         Shelley Jenkins, Senior Doctoral School Coordinator:

·         Megan McMichael, ESRC IAA Project Manager:



Terms and conditions:Funding and training opportunities are part of the ESRC-funded Business Boost grant for the SeNSS network and includes opportunities for any PhD student working in a social science discipline - or with at least 51% of their research connected to the social sciences - across the 10 SeNSS universities.