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Find an academic for your third sector research

This page is for third sector organisations (TSOs) who are seeking to undertake research and looking for a starting point to make contact with an academic researcher. Our signposting list is split into three sections; student internships or research placements (with students at different levels of study); research funding; brokerage (where an external organisation helps you to match with an academic) and other sources of research support.

The list is not exhaustive and there is space only to give a short descriptor of each broker, placement or funding source. If you’re aware of other established sources of support that are not on this list please email details to Louise Bowen.  Please also let us know if you find any of the links are out of date.

Find an academic


Getting started with research

If you work in a third sector organisation and are new to doing research the following questions might help with identifying what you need:

  • What type of research do we want to do? Qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, not sure? Working with community members or crunching stats? Some schemes only support specific types of research, so it’s helpful to have a rough idea before you start looking around.
  • What level and amount of research do we need? Would a student (undergraduate or postgraduate) placement work well or do we need to collaborate with a more experienced academic for a longer period of time?
  • When do we need it? Can we be flexible on time scales?
  • What kind of research relationship do we expect? Who sets the research brief and who leads or project manages the research?
  • Is this a competitive scheme that needs us to submit an application?
  • Are there additional costs that our organisation is expected to cover?

More guidance about working on collaborative research can be found in the Knowledge Translation Network’s free to download resource ‘Collaborating with Academics’.

Research Offices at universities can be a useful source of knowledge and signposting to academic researchers and their areas of research expertise.  Some universities have one central point of contact while others have a Research Office webpage for each Faculty or School. Universities also have teams that deal with research consultancy if you are seeking to commission research.

Most universities are keen to find hosts for work placements for their students.  You might be able to use a work placement as an opportunity for a student to help you with some research. Contact your local university/ies to find out more.

Related Resources

Other Resources

Evidence for Success: Collaborating with academics (2016)

Written by the Knowledge Translation Network 'Collaborating with Academics' guides third sector organisations through the process of making collaborations with ...

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