Early Career Researchers

Consulting as a PhD Student or Early Career Researcher

As a PhD student or Early Career Researcher, you may have or seek opportunities to engage with clients to undertake consulting work. Academic consulting offers a way to generate impact in the wider world, build and expand collaborative networks, and generate additional income, but it has a few additional benefits as a PhD Student or Early Career Researcher (ECR).

Consulting within an academic institution offers a way for you to share your research expertise with the wider world

As a PhD student or Early Career Researcher, consulting allows you to: 

  • Fund your studies and future research through a consulting fee
  • Explore and expand your future career opportunities by connecting in with clients that you may work with on a consulting project
  • Gain hands-on professional experience and training
  • Develop transferable skills, such as teamwork, critical thinking, client management and project management
  • Collaborate with external partner organisations or senior colleagues

Finding opportunities

At LSE Consulting, we seek out public procurement opportunities requiring team members which we share with those interested in consulting at LSE. We also encourage you to seek out your own consulting opportunities. To do so, we recommend to follow these steps:

  • Identify clients you’re interested in working with
  • Register your interest for public opportunities via a client's website/portal
  • Register your interest and area of expertise with LSE Consulting
  • Once you’ve found a project, discuss the opportunity with LSE Consulting to seek support on the next steps, including development of proposal, negotiation of rates/budgets, seeking additional team members where required, and client liaison.

Why work with LSE Consulting

You or your client may initially be cautious and reluctant to route your consulting project via LSE Consulting in order to reduce the budget or to avoid a third party hindering the project development and engagement. In such cases, you might be tempted to sign a contract in an individual capacity without fully understanding the liability or the intellectual property clauses you agree to.

LSE Consulting is here to support all of LSE’s research community. It is our role to protect you and your research in any consulting activity you undertake. We read contracts on your behalf and understand the client negotiation and appropriate market rates. We allow you and the client access to LSE’s brand for all projects routed via LSE Consulting, whereas clients aren't able to use LSE’s brand where an individual undertakes consulting at a private capacity. And, as with any consulting project, we have facilities to manage the project finances, including client billing and team contracting/payments.

We’ll also guide you through other more specific barriers, such as navigating visa-related work limits and balancing consulting work with your academic studies.

Want to get started? Get in touch.