VIBE: That’s a Wrap
The VIBE (Venture Into Business Engagement) programme was concluded this week with the wrap-up event on Wednesday 8th May. Funded by ESRC, VIBE was created to help Social Sciences researchers to respond to the changing landscape of research funding that increasingly includes collaborating with business to solve some of society's biggest issues. VIBE is a two-phase programme that started with a series of interactive training sessions attended by 34 PhD candidates and ECR’s during the autumn term followed by a Market Exploration phase that 17 of the researchers completed during the spring term.
During the wrap-up event, several of the participants presented their learnings from their market exploration, which supported the researchers to apply what they had learned in training through meeting sector relevant external organisations the majority of whom were businesses. Along with funding to enable travel to meetings and industry events, the participants exchanged experiences with their peers through monthly surgery sessions and received one-to-one mentoring from experienced business consultants.
Samantha Flynn, a Research Fellow in CEDAR, was presented with the ‘VIBE Learning Award’ by Kevin Marks, Chief Operating Officer for Warwick Ventures, for her application of the learning’s from the VIBE programme to her research and to her personal development. Samantha said of the programme:
“VIBE really helped my confidence in going out and talking to people about my research even though it’s at a very early stage. In fact, one of the things VIBE has taught me is that including partners early in your research is an advantage as you can work collaboratively to shape your research. I now have a sector-leading partner engaged in my research and have been introduced to several international contacts as well. This wouldn’t have been possible without the VIBE programme and the mentoring I received as part of it.”
The Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP was a key partner in the delivery of VIBE, which welcomed researchers from Aston, Loughborough and Leicester as well as Warwick. Lila Tennent, the MGS DTP consortium manager said:
"Our MGS students have been really enthusiastic about learning from their peers and the interactive nature of the programme. One of the things that has come through strongly in the feedback is how much more confident our researchers feel in engaging with business."
VIBE will run again in the autumn term of 2020 and is suitable for all Social Sciences researchers interested in developing their skills in engaging with business. Further information about VIBE can be found at www.warwick.ac.uk/vibe and some resources from the programme will be posted to the site shortly.