Early during our research career we realised that sometimes it is difficult to find the right collaborator with the expertise you need to complete your research project. Some other times what you are looking for (but you do not seem to find anywhere) is a specific piece of equipment and some technical help to use it. That is how the idea of creating the online platform ResearcherSkills came to us.
We wanted to provide researchers with a useful tool that would help them find exactly what they are looking for in their projects. To build such a tool we needed some initial funding and, after seeking advice from the Spark’s team at the University of Leeds, ResearcherSkills became a reality. Spark gave us the amazing opportunity to be Enterprise Scholars last year. This meant getting involved in great networking events where we met and got advice from business mentors and University staff, as well as getting access to funding. Spark has also awarded ResearcherSkills with the third prize at the Spark’s Business Plan Competition 2016 and we had recently gained financial support as part of Spark's Business Accelerator Scheme.
Since we started this venture we have encountered some challenges, such as juggling our full-time job as researchers at the University and pushing forward our idea.Still, we have fully enjoyed every step, seeing how our ideas and designs were turned into reality. We are proud of creating and offering the first online tool that allows our fellows researchers to create a skill-based profile. And what does this mean? That you can use our free platform to increase your visibility to other researchers, expand your network and improve your equipment turnover. We have implemented a very simple profile set-up so that you don’t have to waste your time filling in endless profile questionnaires. And what if you just want to browse? No problem, we have kept searches free to everyone, everywhere!
If you want to learn more about Spark and what they do, click here.