Working with business
Social science can help to inform and support an environment that encourages businesses of all sizes to operate more effectively and enhance economic performance and growth.
Businesses can benefit from social science research in a variety of ways including, providing insights into new business areas, advice on corporate social responsibility, enhanced project management skills and provide insights into consumers changing attitudes to climate change. Engagement and collaboration with business also benefits social scientists, by gaining an improved understanding of business requirements, identifying new research themes and widening networks with business.
- Partnering with business: How business-academic collaboration can drive innovation and growth (PDF, 923Kb)
Highlights of successful collaborations between the ESRC and business include:
- Business Capacity Building Clusters – centres funded by ESRC to develop academic training and collaboration with business through a variety of methods including studentships and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
- Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM) - AIM works with academics, business, public sector and policy thinkers across more than 110 institutions in order to develop and deliver management research of world class standard. The AIM video on The innovation club: should academics work with industry? highlights the benefits of academic and business collaboration, and the Top tips for successful industry academic collaborations provides useful advice for businesses and academics interested in building successful partnerships.
- Social science benefits business (PDF, 312Kb) – this leaflet contains a number of case studies of social scientists and businesses work together and the impacts this has created
- Collaborating with business to help the unemployed – case study of a research project on integrating employed people back into the workplace
The ESRC offers a number opportunities for both academics researching areas relevant to business and research users from the business community. These opportunities are intended to provide funding for a variety of activities relevant to the sector, including: new research, people exchange (fellowships) and knowledge exchange activities.
One of the ways we are working with business, and the retail sector in particular, is through two retail Knowledge Navigator teams. For further information about the navigators and the opportunities for working with the retail sector: