Postdoctoral Research Associate: Academic-Industry Engagement, Science Commercialisation, and the Development of University-Centred Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (UCEEs) (
Faculty of Business
Grade 7: - £37,099 - £44,263 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 36 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
: 01-Jan-2024, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable.
Working at Durham University
A globally outstanding centre of teaching and research excellence, a warm and friendly place to work, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other.
As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham is an incredible place to define your career.The University is located within a beautiful historic city, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and surrounded by stunning countryside. Our talented scholars and researchers from around the world are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.
We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things in the world. Being a part of Durham is about more than just the success of the University, it’s also about contributing to the success of the city, county and community.
Our University Strategy is built on three pillars of research, education and wider student experience, but also on our keen sense of community and of inspiring others to achieve their potential.
Our Purpose and Values
We want our University to be a place where people can be free to be themselves, no matter what their identity or background. Together, we celebrate difference, value one another and are each responsible for creating an inclusive community that is respectful and fair for all.
Find out more about the benefits of working at the University and what it is like to live and work in the Durham area on our Why Durham? information page.
The Role and Department
Dynamic and vibrant, Durham University Business School is one of Durham University’s four Faculties and is comprised of three research-intensive departments: Accounting, Economics and Finance, and Management and Marketing. Known for its global reputation, its impact on policy and practice, and its strong focus on ethics, responsibility and sustainability, the school aims to be a leading European business school with a strong global presence by 2027. The school currently has 180 academic and teaching staff, with plans and resource commitments to grow to 230 by 2027. In addition, 11 funded research centres (https://www.dur.ac.uk/business/research/research-centres/ ) blend leading theoretical perspectives with a strong emphasis on impact and engagement with practice, noted in www.durham.ac.uk/business . The school’s student population is around 4000, across undergraduate, postgraduate, and research programmes.
Our vision is to lead business thought and practice to improve global wealth and well-being. Our associated mission is to create, share, and use knowledge to deliver equitable and sustainable futures around the world. We pursue this mission by advancing world-changing knowledge and securing global impact through increasingly collaborative research across disciplines and around the world.
Our department is part of the triple-accredited Business School, home to academics whose research is internationally renowned for intellectual rigour and for the benefits it brings to the society. We work closely with business partners around the world, sharing insights, supporting innovation, and educating tomorrow’s leaders. More details about our research, teaching, and business connections can be found on our website https://www.durham.ac.uk/business/research/ .
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to support a research project exploring academic-industry engagement, science commercialisation, and the development of university-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems. Universities have become increasingly focused on commercialising their knowledge, engaging with industrial partners such as small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and diversifying income streams. At the same time, resource constrained SMEs have realised the opportunities afforded to them in mobilising resources and scaling their ventures by engaging with universities. It is these entrepreneurial/commercial activities at the university-industry (U-I) boundary that support the emergence and development of university-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems (UCEEs). However, whilst academics are encouraged to behave entrepreneurially, this poses several challenges. Likewise, despite industry partners having much to gain from engaging with university academics, they too face challenges in doing so. Unfortunately, despite a broad and emerging literature in the academic entrepreneurship field, our understanding of the processes, particularly at the micro-level, underlying U-I engagement, science commercialisation, and UCEEs remains limited. Accordingly, this research project will investigate U-I engagement activities and science commercialisation at the U-I boundary, and how these activities contribute to UCEE dynamics.
The successful applicant will work alongside the project Principal Investigator (PI), Associate Professor David Johnson. The wider project team includes Co-PIs – Associate Professor Jeffrey Hughes, Professor Andrew Parker, and Professor Karena Yan) – and an industrial partner. The role is funded by Durham University Business School’s Smart & Scale initiative, which is an interdisciplinary impact-driven research programme in smart and scale-up activities, focusing on innovation and business development of SMEs in the North-East of England.
- To work with the Principal Investigator and other colleagues in the research project, as appropriate, to further our scholarly and practical understanding of academic-industry engagement, science commercialisation, and the development of university-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems.
- To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
- To conduct individual and collaborative research under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
- To conduct qualitative and quantitative research under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
- To facilitate publishing high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals, papers for presentation at conferences and workshops, and practitioner-based papers, under the direction of the Principal Investigator.
- To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator and other colleagues in the research project and offering creative or innovative solutions.
- To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include research sponsors, academic, and non-academic audiences.
- To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
- To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others, and contribute to the planning of research projects.
- To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
- To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
- To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes, or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.
This post is fixed term for 36 months.
The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project, which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.
Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by March 2024.
Working at Durham
A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits:
• 30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.
• The University closes between Christmas and New Year – please include or delete if not applicable.
• We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
• No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered. We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
• There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally. There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University. All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities.
• Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
• On site nursery is available and children’s clubs in the summer holidays.
• Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
• The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
• Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions.
• A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits.
• If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools. If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.
Durham University is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion EDI text should not be amended
Equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key component of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do. We also live by our Purpose and Values and our Staff Code of Conduct. At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all colleagues undertake activities that are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.
We welcome and encourage applications from those who are currently under-represented in our work force, including people with disabilities and from racially minoritised ethnic groups.
If you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on the volume and recency of your research outputs and other activities, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will take this into account when evaluating your application.
The University has been awarded the Disability Confident Employer status. If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.
Department contact for academic-related enquiries
For informal enquiries please contact Associate Professor David Johnson ([email protected] ). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Contact information for technical difficulties when submitting your application
If you encounter technical difficulties when using the online application form, we prefer you send enquiries by email. Please send your name along with a brief description of the problem you’re experiencing to [email protected]
Alternatively, you may call 0191 334 6801 from the UK, or +44 191 334 6801 from outside the UK. This number operates during the hours of 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday, UK time. We will normally respond within one working day (Monday to Friday, excluding UK public holidays).
University contact for general queries about the recruitment process
How to Apply
To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification below. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.
While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.
We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs . As part of the application process, you should provide details of 2 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.
Submitting your application
We prefer to receive applications online. We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What to Submit
All applicants are asked to submit:
A CV and a maximum two-page cover letter, which details your experience, strengths, and potential to meet the essential and, if appropriate, desirable criteria listed above.
- details of 2 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.
Short-listed candidates will be invited to the University, either virtually or in-person and will have the opportunity to meet key members of the Department.
In the event that you are unable to attend in person on the date offered, it may not be possible to offer you an interview on an alternative date.
Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement https://www.durham.ac.uk/about-us/governance/information-governance/privacy-notices/privacy-notices/job-applicants/ which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.
When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.
A good first degree in relevant subject.
A PhD (or be close to submission) in Entrepreneurship or similar relevant subject, e.g., academic entrepreneurship, science commercialisation, technology transfer, technology innovation management.
Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
Collaborative working with industry and business.
Experience of developing research for industry and business.
Knowledge of science commercialisation in universities.
Knowledge of technology transfer.
Experience of conducting both qualitative and quantitative research.
Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Experience of developing high quality impactful research through collaborative projects with industry, particularly new ventures/small businesses.
Have experience of publication record in peer-reviewed journal/established conferences, commensurate with stage of career.
A track record of communicating research at academic conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics and industrial partners.
Experience in working in complex project environment with multiple partners.
Knowledge of academic-industry engagement.
Knowledge of science commercialisation.
Knowledge of technology transfer and university spin outs.
Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.
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