Nottingham University Consultants (NUC)
External work and Consultancy
The University established Nottingham University Consultants (NUC), a trading division of Nottingham University Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Ltd, to specifically provide management, commercial and financial support and expertise to staff wishing to carry out consultancy.
Academics providing consultancy via NUC are also covered by the University's Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Staff are encouraged to use NUC to support their consultancy work.
Nottingham University Consultants (NUC)
Advantages to academic consultants of using NUC
- Preparation of quotations and proposals
- Contract negotiation and legal support
- Support on project pricing
- Accounting support including invoicing and credit control
- Advice on all aspects of consultancy work
- A direct link with The University of Nottingham
- Professional Indemnity Insurance cover
- Combined package of consultancy and services rendered
- Flexible payment of fees, either as personal income or waived via donation
The development of external work directly supports The University of Nottingham's Global Strategy 2020 and specifically in research and knowledge exchange. Knowledge exchange activities generate benefits for the economy and society, enhance the University's reputation for teaching excellence and world changing research, including through REF Impact case studies, and increases its market share of income from private, public and third sectors.
The University actively supports academics with their industrial engagement. Many already have good connections and regularly provide expertise and advice to external organisations.
The University adopts a positive attitude to academics acting as consultants as an effective way of disseminating knowledge. Unlike research, consultancy does not have, as its prime purpose, the generation of new knowledge. A typical consultancy project is short-term, makes minimal use of University facilities, has a formal agreement and the contracted outputs are usually owned by the client. In addition, the University doesn't normally have freedom to publish without client approval.
Examples of consultancy include:
- Acting as an expert witness
- Providing technical or creative expertise and solutions to industrial problems
- Company literature review
- Provision of expert reports
- External courses and workshops
- Serving on professional and government committees
- Consulting on collaborative research projects
Benefits to the University
- Expanding business engagement
- Leveraging research activities
- REF Impact case studies
- Promoting corporate alliances
- Enhancing the University’s reputation
- Encouraging knowledge exchange
Benefits to academics
- Building links with industry
- Developing reputation
- Expanding skills and experience
- Strengthening portfolio of achievements
- Enhancing personal income or research funds
Benefits to clients
- Access to world-class research backed by academic expertise and state-of-the art facilities
External work approval - what to do next
For full-time academic staff, permission may be granted for up to 50 days external work a year as long as there is no adverse impact on their academic duties. External work which is deemed sufficiently central to the duties of academic staff carries 'automatic permissions', though in the case of activities such as journal editing or some appointments to external bodies, Head of School approval is required.
In all other cases permission to do external work, be this consultancy or working as a director, must be obtained from the Head of School and the Director of Business Engagement and Innovation Services. The approval process is designed to protect the interests of the University and its academics and to ensure there are no potential conflicts or that staff do not overcommit to external work. For full details, see the External Work Policy .
A short online form needs to be completed in order to request approval for external work.