The Graduate School continually develops its programmes being informed by research and development projects that have been undertaken.

A range of these projects are shown below:

Innovation & Industry

Industry Impact

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Doctoral Researchers' Views on Entrepreneurship

In 2012, Imperial College London and Tsinghua University undertook an evaluation of researchers views to entrepreneurship.Informal evidence of differing views on entrepreneurship between Chinese and British doctoral students prompted a quantitative and qualitative investigation, designed to generate a fuller insight. The findings confirmed that Chinese students were more likely to agree that research should contribute to economic success and to view entrepreneurship as a natural means of doing so, as part of their ‘responsibility to improve the future’. In contrast, the British students' views were less positive, with one participant associating entrepreneurship with commerce and a ‘dirty word’. The study explores the factors contributing to this range of views and implications for researchers and universities. It concludes with recommendations to produce more informed and proactive engagement of researchers with entrepreneurialism.

Please click here in order to read the full paper.

PhD and Knowledge Economy

This project sought to include STEM PhD students in the on going debate over their place in the knowledge economy. The UK’s political and business leaders view STEM PhD students as standing at the heart of the UK’s growing knowledge economy because they possess the highly valuable STEM expertise and skills needed for a model of economic growth underpinned by knowledge flow and technological innovation. The knowledge economy articulates a new vision of the use and value of science, and supposes that the scientific community will relinquish its historic distance from the interested agendas of the political and business communities. Data were collected over two years - using focus groups, an online survey and depth-interviews - to examine STEM PhD students' awareness of, and attitudes toward, the knowledge economy. The project concluded that while STEM PhD students are aware of the knowledge economy, their understandings of it are poorly informed; which leads them to develop high-risk career strategies, founded upon outdated ideas of science and its relationship with society. We advocate that the STEM PhD ought to be reformed so as to allow the space for students to think more deeply about the context of contemporary science, and their futures as scientific researchers. We are in the process of refining these reform proposals, to be disseminated through academic publication and recommendations to College management.

Creativity in STEM Research

Understanding, attitude and environment: The essentials for developing creativity in STEM researchers

Investigating the factors which facilitate creative research in STEM disciplines.

2013: Journal Paper in International Journal of Researcher Development


This Vitae Innovate funded project investigated the factors that facilitate creativity in STEM academic research environments. More than 30 interviews were carried out with PhD students, postdocs and supervisors/principal investigators. 

The outputs of this project include three Good Practice Guides, which you may download below:

Ready, Steady, Change

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Motivation to Teach - Comparison between China and the UK

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Chinese Student Experience of Western Teaching Approaches

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