Beyond Academia: the LSE-sponsored podcast for research students and early-career academics

As options for engagement outside of the academic arena increase, PhD students are invited to consider other choices and career opportunities outside of the classroom.

But what are the choices and how do students take advantage of what is available?

This podcast series, presented by Peter Harrington and published by the London School of Economics, examines how students can commercialise their research, find funding, seek out support partners, create a new venture and much more.

Incorporating a wide range of expert interviews and practical advice and guidance, ‘Beyond Academia’ is a must-listen series of podcasts for research students and early-career academics considering to leverage their skills outside of higher education.

Why listen?

To ensure each episode is both topical and relevant, Peter meets expert guests who all have significant and up-to-the-minute experience of working in their field. Each interview deliberately seeks specific answers to key questions so you have the tips and advice you need.

All episodes last around 25 minutes. Just the right amount of time for a break from studies, or ideal if you are seeking some commuter inspiration.

Whether you want to know how to access research funding, listen to an award-winning 3-minute presenter, start your own new venture or something else, this podcast series really has something for you.

Key topics include:

    • Research student mindset
    • Managing stress
    • Getting legal support
    • Getting the job you want
    • Accessing research finance
    • Gaining enterprise support
    • Developing an enterprise mindset
    • Accessing new venture finance
    • Effective Presentations
    • Starting a new venture


How and where to start

We start the story by identifying with the researcher in a changing education landscape. Through the lens of a PhD student (Yohan Iddawela) we share the pressures, options and expectations of life completing a doctorate. Episode 1 also looks at the stresses and strains and in an interview with Hitendra Solanki, we discover how and why managing stress is an important skill for students to master.


Making Career Progression

The story continues by examining how PhD students are supported as individuals and as a cohort. An interview with Jon Lo highlights key researcher / industry issues and challenges; Jenny Brady from Newcastle University provides an overview of programme support for students in the North East and LJ Silverman shares the programmes LSE run.


Research, Risk and Protection

One of the challenges Jon Lo speaks about in Podcast 2 is the issue of researchers managing their own IP especially if they are collaborating with industry. This podcast takes a ‘deep dive’ into the world of IP and relevant legal issues through interviews with Chris Smith, an Innovation Policy Advisor at IPO, and Philip Ashworth, an experienced lawyer who has worked with all sizes of business.


Supporting Stakeholder Organisations

Leading on from Podcast 3, the 4th broadcast examines specific national and regional programmes which are designed to support PhD students who want to do more with their research. Referencing a number of collaboration, finance and networking opportunities this episode includes interviews with Dr Simon Brown (iCure) and Jenny Brady (University of Newcastle).


Shaping up for Money

In the previous podcast Simon Brown refers to grant money available to PhD students through the iCure programme. Through expert interviews this podcast looks at other sources of money (such as bootstrapping (Yohan) and gaining investment (John Lee Allen)) and how students can best prepare to access/use funding.


Pitch Perfect Presentations

A common podcast series thread is the subject/importance of making effective presentations. This podcast examines what makes a good presentation/presenter. Through interviews with award-winning PhD presenter Josh Chu-Tan and entrepreneur Kajal Sanghrajka we seek to share key learning points.


Finding and getting the job you want

Leading on from the podcast 6, the 7th broadcast looks at skills, attitudes and approaches to getting the job you want. Key topics in this episode include communication and the importance of brevity, how to negotiate and how accurate and informed communication builds trust and collaboration. An interview with Jorge Guedes looks at the job market through the eyes of the employer and Richard Hughes Jones shares his considerable expertise as a leadership coach and mentor.


Developing an entrepreneurial mindset

Being entrepreneurial does not necessarily mean having to start a business, according to Dr Vicky Mountford Brown. In this episode Dr Mountford Brown also suggests that now is the time for people to develop their entrepreneurial skills regardless of their career ambition. Together with an interview with PhD student turned entrepreneur Dr Jennifer Polk, this podcast explores key related issues and what it means to have an entrepreneurial mindset.


The Successful Start-up – what does it take?

Led by serial entrepreneur Peter Harrington this podcast considers the key principles underpinning any new venture that seeks sustainability and ultimately success. Including an interview with Yohan Iddawela the episode reveals the important traits, behaviours and skills entrepreneurs must nurture and develop in order to transform any idea into a thriving business.