Virtual Consultancy Challenge

The Virtual Consultancy Challenge is an online training programme and team competition for Postgraduate Researchers from all disciplines to solve a real-life challenge for their charity client.

This opportunity is open and accessible for all University of Birmingham postgraduate researchers no matter where in the world you are located. You will work in a virtual team, meet your client in a webinar, complete online training modules and submit a team video pitch of your solution. This project is designed to fit around you and your existing commitments.

Key benefits of taking part

  • Research and address an interesting topical challenge and help a charity in the process.
  • Develop key transferrable skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, project management, strategy development, teamwork, communication, client management, argument construction, pitching and video editing.
  • Gain work experience as a consultant including useful examples of how you have applied your knowledge and skills for a client, which you can use in job applications and at interviews.
  • Obtain insight into various career paths and sectors such as consultancy, market research, strategy development, small business structures, heritage, creative arts, local government and the charity sector.
  • Full online training in teamwork, project management, creative problem solving, pitching and career impact is provided.
  • Meet postgraduate researchers from other departments.
  • The best solution wins a prize provided by the client.

What previous participants said

  • I liked the challenge and being able to consider how I could use the skills acquired during my degree in different contexts.
  • I thought it was really well set out, I liked the fact you could work through things at your own pace but there were deadlines too so you couldn't become complacent. ... it was a pleasure to take part in.
  • I would recommend it if people want to move out of academia into industry. 
  • I enjoyed gaining experience in a different sector to mine and getting to meet new researchers.
  • It was good to learn about consultancy and take part in a research project outside the PhD.
  • Accessible for researchers like myself. As I work full-time and miss out on events/opportunities.
  • It was AWESOME!

How it works

The Virtual Consultancy Challenge runs for three-four months each year. The training modules and client webinar will be accessed via a Canvas course which you will be invited to join after registration. You will be allocated to an inter-disciplinary team with fellow postgraduate researchers and you will work together, completing the self-access training modules and addressing your client's brief. The suggested time allocation is 6 hours per week. A full breakdown of the programme structure including a timeline is provided within the Canvas course.

Register for the Virtual Consultancy Challenge 2022


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