How to Work With Us

There are a number of ways of working with students on the HighWire programme, as part of the MRes year in our 1+3 programme, or in the PhD itself.

Opportunities to collaborate in the MRes

The Regional Challenge

The Regional Challenge takes place during the Michaelmas term, which runs from October to December each year, and hence is right at the start of the MRes year. The Regional Challenge is a day-a-week placement of one of our students in a regional organisation throughout the term, with a view to working on an innovation project looking at where an aspect of digital innovation can have a potentially transformative effect on that organisation. Previously we've worked with commercial businesses but also other styles of organisation. As project outcome, the student will deliver a written report by January complimented by a presentation with their findings.

The Summer Project

The Summer Project runs from the start of Summer term (just after Easter) through to the end of the first week in September and hence represents around 18-19 weeks of activity. Unlike the regional challenge, summer projects are normally collaborative projects where cross-disciplinary teams made up of several of our students work with an end user organisation on a specific brief/ research challenge. The output of this project can be agreed with the organisation. They usually include digital artefacts representing digital interventions or prototypes together with a set of research papers summarising the findings.

While there are no direct cost to engage in the above collaborative opportunities, we ask organisations to cover basic expenses associated with the project work (such as travel expenses).

We see both options as potentially leading to longer-term collaborations throughout the PhD if the organisation choses to do so.

Opportunities to collaborate in the PhD

Students on HighWire work on their PhDs in years 2 to 4 of the programme. Given our goals of having real-world impact, our students are encouraged to work collaboratively with companies and other organisations. For those organisations, this is a chance to work with academically outstanding and fully committed individuals, or indeed groups of students, operating at the cutting edge of the digital economy.

Other ways to work with us

Our PhD students can also facilitate workshops / ideas factories with companies or organisations looking at particular aspects of digital innovation and its potential impact in a given setting.

Finally, we have a weekly digital futures seminar series which features talks and discussion led by academics or by representatives of end user organisations. This can offer a very interesting way to get to know the students on HighWire and their interests and to have a stimulating debate around contemporary issues related to the digital economy Digital Futures Link.

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