Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP) » The MacDiarmid Institute
Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP)

What we do

Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP)

Building career skills during your research PhD at the MacDiarmid Institute 

Introduction and Motivation

The Career and Relevant-to-Industry Skills Programme (CRISP) is designed for MacDiarmid Institute PhD students to explore and develop the skills which will lead to success in their future careers. The diverse, non-academic range of skills on offer is relevant to a range of employment settings, from start-ups to industrial R&D, and from public institutions to professional services companies. Many of these skills are also useful in academia, particularly for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. We anticipate that future employers will recognise CRISP as a valuable addition to your CV. 

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  • CRISP is an extracurricular programme, in parallel to your PhD research, taking up a maximum of 12 days over a 2-year period.
  • The programme is opt-in and modular. Topics can be selected based on your interests, career aspirations, or out of curiosity. They will be offered in a 2-year rolling cycle.
  • The topics on offer have been identified based on their relevance to potential employers.
  • High-quality, focused and stimulating training sessions will be delivered by a range of experts.
  • Attendance at CRISP will be funded and fully supported by the MacDiarmid Institute.

How it Works

Participants in CRISP will earn a ‘badge’ for participation in each opt-in module. The MacDiarmid Institute will record and attest to the badges obtained by each student. There will be approximately 15 modules on offer in total over a 2-year period, and we have set a goal of 8 badges for achievement of a full CRISP programme. There will be no formal assessment, and badges do not constitute formal qualifications.

Modules will be delivered as face-to-face themed workshops e.g. 2-3 modules may be available over a 2-day period in one location. Students are not expected to attend all available modules within a workshop, and some modules may be delivered in parallel. Each module will typically take half a day or a full day. A small amount of preparatory and follow-up material may be delivered online.

The modules offered will develop skills that are broadly relevant to many career choices. They have been selected through analysis of our alumni data, as well as feedback from a range of potential employers of materials science graduates. We have consulted with start-ups, multinational R&D intensive companies, investors, professional services companies, and government agencies.

Workshops will be interactive, allowing participants to develop an understanding of how to apply new skills to their own areas of research, or enable them to bridge between their scientific discipline and a related field.

Eligibility and selection. Any PhD student affiliated with the MacDiarmid Institute is eligible to participate. Attendance may be subject to capacity limitations. Selection for workshops will consider timeliness of the application (i.e. first-come first-served), travel and emissions logistics, and equity. Due to the rolling nature of the programme, those who miss out on any particular module will have the chance to apply for later modules, and potentially a later version of the same module.

To get involved. Familiarise yourself with the information here, keep an eye on communications from the Institute (e.g. through our weekly Update, newsletters, social media and/or MESA communications) and bookmark this webpage.

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You are encouraged to select 8 or more module options within a 2-year period. It does not matter when you start this 2-year period: topics will roll over on a continuing basis. Mix and match the skills in a way that supports your career aspirations, or to explore things you don’t know about.

Programme scheduling will be flexible - for example, much of the information for workshops 2 and beyond is still to be developed at present. Obviously it is not ideal to decide on which modules to apply for when future modules remain uncertain. Our goal is to release as much information as possible to help you plan your participation, and our present planning is listed below (for further progress, see see the FAQs and more information document).

Workshop 1: “The Science / Commercial Interface”

12-14 October 2021 in Wellington. Available modules are:

  • Sustainability – delivered by the Sustainable Business Network
  • The Friendly TTO (Tech Transfer Office, responsible for an institution’s research commercialization) – led by UniServices, with input from the other TTOs
  • Investment Dynamics - delivered by Bridgewest

(Provisional) Workshop 2: “Skills for an R&D Professional”

February 2022, during the MacDiarmid Institute Symposium. Modules (TBC) may include:

  • Professional communication
  • Project management and operational management
  • Delivering R&D results (to the point of a product launch)
  • Wellbeing

(Provisional) Workshop 3: “Communication and Other Skills for the Public Sector”

Mid-2022. Modules (TBC) may include:

  • Advanced communication skills
  • Government and the public sector
  • Introduction to Māori culture, society and economy

(Provisional) Workshop 4: “Start-Ups”

Late 2022, during the MacDiarmid Institute Symposium. Modules (TBC) may include:

  • Intellectual property
  • Lean business canvas
  • Financial management
  • Governance for start-ups

Early 2023: No workshop due to AMN10 conference.

(Provisional) Workshop 5: “Teams and leadership”

Mid-2023. Modules (TBC) may include:

  • Team dynamics and team optimisation
  • Decision making
  • Teamwork in the public sector

Late 2023: Workshops will recommence in a rolling 2-year cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and more information:

Downloadable as a PDF here.

For any further information, please contact contact us at