Consultancy is usually an activity where an individual provides the benefit of their personal knowledge or experience of a particular field to a client. Although consultants are often self-employed, they typically work with one client at a time on longer-term projects. For this reason, it’s different from freelancing. Examples of consultancy include:

  • Advice to a company on its research or product development
  • Conducting policy and procedural reviews
  • Acting as an expert witness or undertaking assessments
  • Interpreting results of analyses
  • Heading feasibility and scoping studies

Large consultancy firms recognise that academic researchers offer exceptional problem-solving skills, intellectual curiosity, and a track record of success. The PhD to Consulting Conference provides information on the opportunities available, along with the chance to meet potential recruiters.

In this video, Elizabeth Vorkurka talks about becoming an intellectual property and innovation consultant after completing her PhD in Physics.

University-based Consultancy

Researchers at the University of Sussex can benefit from institutional support while working as a consultant. In addition to access to facilities, billing and taxation are handled on your behalf. In return, the University deducts 15% of your consultancy income.

If you decide to establish a private independent consultancy while employed by the University of Sussex, you’ll need to seek authorisation from your Head of School. This is to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. You’ll also be unable to use university premises or facilities.

For more information, visit the Consultancy webpages (Sussex login required).