A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with my colleagues Stewart Mitchell and Daniel Markl discussing different aspects of the Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Masters course. One topic we discussed was student summer research projects. The idea was to try and understand the different levels at which industrial partners, or industrial problems, could be involved.
After the meeting we drafted up a short document describing different types of research project that could be found in a University setting. It went on the back burner for a while, but came forward again this week after meeting with the Strathclyde University Enterprise Solutions team.
This is what we came up with….
It has been suggested that student projects fall into 7 different classifications. The intension is to be able to classify and count the different types of projects a course (or department) run.
1) External project: A project conducted at a facility managed by an external organisation (this may be a large company, spin-out, or SME) with day-to-day supervision being carried out by a staff member of the external partner, with University staff providing academic support when required.
2) External partner: A project conducted in partnership with an external organisation where the student works within a facility owned by the University. The external partner contributes resources, expertise or advice to the project, giving the project student an opportunity to work with, present to or meet representatives of the external partner.
3) Partner-driven project: A project conducted on behalf of a specific (named) external organisation, perhaps on a specific problem the external partner has but with minimal involvement (and no resources) from the external partner. Projects such as this would have a minimal impact on the University’s relationship with the external partner if the project failed.
4) Industrially-driven project: A project working on a specific applied or industrial problem with no named (or specific) external partner.
5) ‘Blue sky’ project: A project working on research problems which can be considered ‘blue sky’ or ‘cutting edge’ (for example the development of new techniques, processes, formulations, methodologies etc). These projects may have a commercial focus, but at the time of the project they have no immediate direct industrial application.
6) Research-driven project: A project that supports an existing research direction, perhaps as part of a bigger body of work for publication or other non-commercial purposes, being conducted within the University with no external partners.
7) Development project: A ‘stand alone’ project that supports the development of new techniques, processes, formulations, methodologies etc for non-industrial application, being conducted within the University with no external partners.