Positioning yourself to set up as a Freelance Researcher or Independent Research Consultant
Duration 2 hours 30
Team Researcher Academy

This face to face course is run by the Researcher Academy and is open to researchers from all faculties.

This optional course may also be of interest to those following the Researcher Academy’s Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Programme.

Target Audience: PGRs/ECRs/Technicians/Research staff

Course Description:

Whilst researchers are familiar with short-term research contracts in Academia, many are affiliated with specific universities and opportunities are limited and fiercely sought after.

Becoming an independent or freelance consultant researcher might open up wider employment opportunities as other employers also seek to harness the unique ‘transferable’ skills of PhD and postdoctoral researchers in order to deliver impactful benefits into their business or organisation.

New funding streams and external organisational setups are opening up alternative opportunities for researchers to apply their research expertise in new ways and in new areas, as freelance researchers or independent research consultants.

Changing academic landscapes and the emerging diversity of new, non-traditional career pathways open to early career researchers can prove bewildering as they prepare for and plot out their next career steps.

If you are actively exploring how you might boost your career prospects in new enterprising ways, to demonstrate Knowledge Exchange or in order to make your academic knowledge and research expertise available to a wider variety of organisations (Government, public and third sectors or business and industry), then positioning yourself as a freelance researcher might be an option for you.

Register for this course and find out more:

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a wider understanding regarding the different guises and faces of freelance research and research consultancy
  • Explore importance of research consultancy as a form of effective Knowledge Exchange with emerging research impact.
  • Unpack what being a freelance researcher and consultant entails, key skills needed and how much prior experience is ‘really’ required to set up.
  • Identify relevant and personal skill sets and gaps to help make freelance research a reality and success
  • Find out the simplest, quickest and cheapest way to start offering your freelance research consultancy services.
  • improve confidence to access relevant opportunities, build your networks and put your knowledge and skills into wider practice
Come along and hear from innovative, enterprising researchers who have set themselves up as freelance researchers offering their services in a variety of different contexts and settings. This is your chance to learn from their experience, hear their stories, benefit from the hints and tips they share and find out how they effectively set about realising their potential to operate.

Process: Seminar and practical interactive workshop with group discussions. There will opportunities to hear from and network with special guest speakers who have already set themselves up as freelance researchers and who will help demystify what it all involves.

Course Accessibility

The following table shows a summary of what is needed to participate in the course. 

If you feel you will experience any difficulties participating, please let us know via the ‘special requirements’ tab, providing as much information as possible. The special requirements tab can be completed when you book your place. Alternatively, you can contact us directly at ra-training@nottingham.ac.uk.

Access seminar room on campus (or) access computer room on campus
Attend the course at the specified date and time
Watch and listen to the course tutor(s) and/or other attendees
Follow presentation slides during the course 
Take part in group activities/ discussions

Booking Conditions

Latecomer policy

Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Researcher Academy or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment

When booking on to a Researcher Academy short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing ra-training@nottingham.ac.uk. This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Researcher Academy maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Researcher Academy courses and will affect considerations for Researcher Academy funded opportunities.



LocationStart DateAll DatesTimesPlaces AvailableBook
University Park30 July 202430 July 20241:00pm - 3:30pm0Add to Waiting List