Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School

Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School 2015 attendees

The Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School (PESS) is an intensive week-long programme developed specifically for postgraduate researchers.

Registration for PESS 2017 is now closed.

What is the Summer School?

During an intensive week of training the Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School takes you through a wide range of specialist areas. Participants will work together in small teams to solve a real life strategy challenge being faced by an influential local organisation.

Alongside the comprehensive programme of interactive professional skills training sessions, participants take part in research; guest speaker sessions and developing proposals to address the organisation’s requirements. On the final day each team will present their findings back to a panel of the organisation’s representatives.

The course provides a fantastic opportunity for top quality training alongside the opportunity to work on real strategic issues. No previous experience is required and participants from all subject areas are welcome.

Is the Summer School for me?

  • Are you a postgraduate researcher looking to enhance your personal and professional development?
  • Do you want to gain enterprise skills which can give you the edge in any career, whether it's private enterprise, academia or third sector?
  • Do you want the opportunity to gain transferable skills to take your research and future career forward?
  • Do you want to give 'consultancy' a try in a safe and controlled environment?

Course dates and how to register 

PESS 2017 will be taking place from 17 - 21 July 2017.  

Registration for PESS 2017 is now closed.    

The programme is open to doctoral researchers from the University of Birmingham and there are a limited number of places available to doctoral researchers from other universities.

No previous experience is necessary and participants from all subject areas are welcome.

All training materials, lunches and refreshments will be provided.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

You will need to ensure you are able to attend the full course as you will be working in teams throughout the week and your full support to your other team members will be required.

The training programme


Sessions (example timetable)Dates
Introduction; performance teams; Summer School challenge revealed; guest speakers from Health Exchange  Monday
Market research; team work and operational strategy and development Tuesday
Fact-finding mission, team's own market research; presentation and pitching skills  Wednesday
Team time, team building activity and finance.   Thursday
Presentations, followed by a lunch with: feedback, awards and closing remarks Friday

Time commitment

  • The week’s training is intensive and you will be required to attend outside business working hours on some of the days. We strongly advise that you avoid making other commitments during this week (early mornings or evenings) so that you are able to gain the most from the programme.
  • Please bear in mind that your team may choose to work outside of the timetabled hours. This however, is at the discretion of individuals within a team.
  • The majority of the training will take place on the Edgbaston Campus, however there may also be some training and events which take place locally off-site. Transportation to and from these external events will be provided by the University.
  • The training programme outlined above is intended to give an overview of the week and may be subject to amendment.

Live Smart Innovation win PESS 2016 

Congratulations to team Live Smart Innovation who won the Summer School challenge. 40 researchers split into six teams and battled it out over five days to solve a challenge on the future of work set by Niraj Saraf from Innovate UK.

Niraj Saraf  "Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of innovation and something Innovate UK is keen to support. As the sponsor of this year’s PESS challenge, I was delighted to see students from a variety of disciplines working together enthusiastically to come up with some inspiring ideas around a challenge which affects them all – the future of work."

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School please contact:

Ashleigh Skelhorn