Group Industrial Projects
The dual aims of this project are to promote stronger links between universities and employers and to match graduates’ skills with employers’ needs.
Undergraduate group projects that solve real industrial problems help students gain valuable skills and experience. As well as gaining an insight into how they could be employed once they have graduated, they learn about working in a team, adhering to a budget and timeline, and how to report to an industrial contact.
The University of Durham have been running group projects for 20 years very successfully, but few other physics departments have equivalent schemes.
The IOP is working in partnership with fifteen physics departments (Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Hertfordshire, Hull, Lancaster, Liverpool, Leicester, Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Surrey, UCL and York) to develop and establish undergraduate group projects with local industries and organisations. The scheme started in the 2011 – 2012 academic year and will continue to run for the foreseeable future.
These departments have received funding from HEFCE via the National HE STEM programme to enable them to develop a local version of Durham’s scheme and buy out academic time as well as equipment. They also receive support from a dedicated project manager, based at Durham.
Each department’s scheme varies to suit their own needs but they will meet with each other to exchange ideas and share good practices. Working together, we aim to produce guidance and advice for any other universities that may wish to adopt similar schemes.
Links to details of the projects at each university can be found below:
- Queen Mary University of London
As an outcome of this work, a guide to establishing undergraduate group-research projects with external partners has been produced and is available here as a pdf document. The example word document that can be adapted and used to engage external partners mentioned in the guide can be downloaded in word format here.