Dr Ruth Weir is Entrepreneurship Advisor at UCL.
Her primary role is to oversee the SPERO programme, which is a doctoral training programme in entrepreneurship specifically dedicated to the needs of the doctoral community. The programme wants to equip UCL PhD students and other doctoral students to be best placed to be competitive for their future careers.
Ruth is currently working on a two-year research project looking at the benefits of knowledge exchange programmes in collaboration with The University of Manchester. The project is examining two different models of doctoral training programmes in entrepreneurship to steer best practice in the higher education sector.
The way we teach entrepreneurial skills to the students is eclectic. These skills are highly applicable to students but up to now there’s been more focus on research and teaching at universities. Now though, we’re seeing a wave building behind entrepreneurship as a complete skillset that can help people formulate their own unique careers going forwards.
Research is important because it informs how we interact with the complex world around us.
Ruth believes the process of creating a novel startup has strong parallels with the fundamental scientific method:
- observing the world
- coming up with a research question and hypothesis
- doing experiments to test those things
- collecting and analysing data
- coming to conclusions
- communicating the findings to the wider world.
You need to come up with a minimal viable product that you then test and iterate and then communicate those findings and your vision to the wider world. And it’s those parallels between the process of the scientific method and the startup process that mean researchers make excellent entrepreneurs.
Last updated: 28 July 2021