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We are Skillfluence – an experienced, dynamic training company that provides transferable skills training to researchers and academics, to complement institutional provision.  We specialise in upskilling participants to work effectively with others outside of academia such as businesses, industry and the public.

What We Do

We specialise in transferable skills training that equips Researchers to work with others, both inside and outside of academia.  We aim to help them maximise the social and economic impact of their research, but also to realise the value their skills and expertise could have on industry and society.

Who We Work With

We develop and deliver programmes for universities, CDTs, research centres, innovation centres, business accelerators and UKRI-funded Project Leads.  Programme participants often include PhD students, early career researchers, academics and professional staff in universities and industry.

Our Approach

We have a core portfolio of programmes that can be delivered online or face-to-face.  We offer different levels of learning, from introductory, taster courses to longer, more interactive sessions – we tailor to your needs.  We can also enhance the learning experience with live case studies and challenges from guest speakers.


Training for Researchers, Academics and Professional Staff in universities in an interactive, online platform to support development during COVID-19.

The Learning Experience

Skillfluence programmes are available in an online, live, interactive format to ensure learners are still able to access our dynamic training in these difficult times. 

To reduce the amount of screen time, we utilise pre-workshop content that can be undertaken flexibly, in advance of the live sessions with our trainers.  This is followed by an application task that can be applied to an individual context or situation that will consolidate learning.

Our Core Programmes

Our core training programmes are tailored to your participants.  Whether they are looking for training in business acumen; communicating with impact; leadership; time management; careers development or networking, we can work with you to create the programme you’re looking for. 

We can also include expert speakers, live challenges and mentoring to add an extra dimension.

Range of Engagement Levels

Our existing webinars, day-long courses and week-long residentials are now available online!

Our “Online Shorts” have been a hit, turning the classic one-day, face-to-face event into a four-stage learning journey over a day or a week.  Our new range of Masterclasses see our popular programmes like “Connecting with Industry” delivered over a six-week period.  We’ve also developed “Sprints” and “Super Sprints” if time is really tight or you want to try something new.


We have a unique capability to combine multiple competencies to build a single cohesive programme - whether it's a 1-day workshop or a 12-month "curriculum". This approach amplifies the cohort effect and simplifies administration by working with a single supplier.

Collaboration & Multi-Disciplinary Working

Researchers learn how to apply tools and techniques that support and promote effective collaboration, including group decision making and consensus building.  

Entrepreneurship & Commercialisation

Participants explore and gain a deeper understanding of 4 common pathways to commercialising technology, as well as a guide for navigating the startup ecosystem. 

Responsible Research & Innovation

Researchers learn to anticipate and assess potential impacts and societal expectations of their work.  They learn the importance of an inclusive and sustainable approach to research. 

Working with Industry

Researchers learn to understand industry drivers and how to speak the “language of business”. Participants learn to explain their research in a way that is relevant and compelling to industry. 

Presentation Skills

Learn how to create and deliver impactful presentations. This includes presentation design, dealing with difficult questions and how to present complex data. 

Career Planning

Define your long term career aspirations and map out a plan for achieving your goals.  Then learn practical ways to strengthen your CV and improve your interview skills.

Social Media Skills

Researchers learn how to navigate the world of social media, discovering how to use social media as a career development tool and as a powerful research tool.  

Leadership Skills

Practical approach to leadership that teaches researchers how to build cohesive teams, get the best out of people, lead under pressure and how to pro-actively develop personal leadership skills.

Science Communication

Learn how to effectively communicate your research to a range of different audiences, as well as exploring specific strategies for increasing public engagement. 

Project Management

Learn proven and effective project management techniques and methodologies specifically tailored to the lab environment as well as planning and managing PhD theses.    

Innovation Tools

Participants learn the key stages of the innovation process and specific tools and methods that when applied, can significantly increase innovation success rates. 


Providing PhD students with practical strategies, tactics and tools to strengthen mental and emotional resilience enabling them to effectively cope with the stresses of academic life.


Skillfluence has delivered a wide range of programmes for leading universities, research centres, industry associations and economic development agencies. Below is a sample of some of our recent projects.

Working with Industry – Blended Programme

The Working with Industry Blended Programme was developed in partnership with Kings College London to address 2 specific challenges. 1.)...
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The 4-Day MBA

  Skillfluence has been working in partnership with SynbiCITE since 2015 to help run the “4-Day MBA” programme.  The aim of...
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Presenting your Science

This workshop for PhD students delivered through SULSA offered participants the opportunity to learn how to speak clearly and confidently about...
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PhD Cohort Programme

Skillfluence delivers a programme of eight workshops that are offered to each cohort of students over the course of their...
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On-line Academy – AGRIFORVALOR

  AGRIFORVALOR is an ongoing project funded through the Horizion 2020 Research & Innovation Programme with the stated purpose “to...
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Making it Concrete – Investing Women Angels

  Investing Women Angels is a network of angel investors who are passionate about entrepreneurs.  They support entrepreneurship with investment,...
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Innovation & Industry Engagement Academy

This was an Innovative, first of its kind programme run in partnership with Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). The programme...
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Graduate Leadership Programme

Working with the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, Skillfluence designed an 18 month Graduate Leadership Programme.  The programme consists of a...
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Creativity@home – Edinburgh Centre for Robotics

Working closely with Edinburgh Centre for Robotics we designed and ran a 2 day EPSRC creativity@home workshop for their PhD...
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Business Bootcamp – Train the Trainer

Working with Edinburgh Research & Innovation as part of Projecte EMISHA, funded by ERASMUS+, Skillfluence designed and delivered a comprehensive...
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Business Boost for Social Sciences

Business Boost for Social Sciences This course helps researchers in the Social Sciences identify opportunities for industry engagement and develop...
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BioRenewables Innovation BioCamp

We designed and deliver two, 1-week programmes for the BioRenewables Development Centre in York. This is a European project from...
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The Team

A Diverse & Talented Team of Trainers, Coaches, Content Developers and Entrepreneurs

Alison Gray

Alison is the founder & Director of Skillfluence. She has a worked for over 15 years in the skills arena for Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Careers Scotland. Alison studied cutting edge Training Design at UC Berkeley, Collaborative Leadership at the American Management Association and Lean Startup methodology at Stanford University. She is passionate about science & technology and specialises in tailoring innovative training programmes for science professionals.

Dr Rachel Clark

Rachel is the Chief Operating Officer at Skillfluence and has over 15 years of experience working in academia since completing her PhD.  She draws on her research and professional services experience to manage customer relationships for Skillfluence and contributes to the design and delivery of our training. Rachel has experience of engaging with businesses, organisations and the public through project management of Engage with Strathclyde, Images of Research and Explorathon.

Zach Sorrells

Zach has been working in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship for over 15 years.  He’s an experienced trainer, facilitator, coach and entrepreneur and believes in a disciplined, structured and systems-based approach to innovation and business growth.  He has applied, or taught, this approach in a variety of roles with individuals, companies and organisations ranging from multi-nationals, SMEs, economic development agencies, universities, SMEs, angel investors, startups and high school students.

Sharon Lennie

Sharon is the Training Coordinator at Skillfluence. Working in the operations team, Sharon has experience of Conference & Event Management and HR from previous roles in companies such as Hilton and Amaris Hospitality. With significant experience of planning and building client relationships, she joins Skillfluence excited to build connections with customers and trainers.

Jamie McCallum

Jamie delivers training programmes that draw on his specialist experience in business strategy, innovation and product commercialisation.  He has worked on over 100 strategy and innovation projects for companies in the UK, Europe and USA.  Jamie is also the Course Director for the PathFinder programme funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Joanne Hagerty

Joanne is a creative and entrepreneurial consultant and trainer who loves using systematic innovation tools and techniques to bring ideas to life. She has first hand experience building and growing enterprises across a range of sectors. Joanne enjoys working on projects where technologies emerge and sectors converge. Joanne has extensive experience, delivering workshops to over 800 enterprises helping them grow their enterprises through practical and pragmatic use of innovation.

Dr Jamie Gallagher

Jamie is an award-winning engagement professional specialising in engagement, impact and evaluation. He works across dozens of institutions and subject areas has improved the reach, profile and impact of research engagement in almost every academic discipline.  He has a PhD in Chemistry and Electrical Engineering and was named one of the “100 leading practising scientists in the UK”.

Dr Hannah Roberts

Hannah is a career coach and professional skills trainer. During her extensive academic and industrial career, she took research from concept to start-up. Since 2018, she has been a qualified and regulated coach; trained in Talent Dynamics profiling. Specialising in team dynamics, career planning, online networking and social media skills, research planning, commercialisation and management tools. Hannah has a particular passion for diversity and inclusion and women’s leadership development.

Dr Ian Archer

Dr Ian Archer joined  the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre as Technical Director in 2015 where he is responsible for directing the technical strategy of the Centre. Ian worked at Ingenza from 2004 after spending 6 years as a Work Group Leader in Process Technology with Zeneca (latterly Avecia) in Grangemouth, Scotland. He received his degree and PhD in chemistry from Imperial College, London. Ian is an Honorary Lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the...
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Jessica Fox

Jessica Fox is a film director, author and nerd-whisperer. She has over 15 years of directing experience with credits that span film, theatre and TV. Her memoir, “Three Things You Need To Know About Rockets” was Waterstone’s book of the month and named ‘romantic memoir of the year’ by the DailyMail.  She was a storyteller for NASA and between productions enjoys working with scientists exploring the relationship between storytelling, creativity and communication.

Heather Livingston

Heather is an experienced trainer, facilitator and coach. She specialises in helping individuals and groups work positively towards effective career transition, change and development.  Heather is a fully qualified Careers Adviser and member of the CDI (Career Development Institute) with 20 years career management experience across all sectors. She is skilled in developing and delivering workshops to help people successfully develop and progress in their careers with confidence and purpose.

Dr Jen Allanson

Jen is a successful academic with an international profile. In 1999 she became the first full-time female lecturer in Computer Science at Lancaster University. She became a senior lecturer in The School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at LJMU and held an honorary lectureship in The School of Psychology while researching human-computer interaction. Since 2005, Jen has been a professional trainer & facilitator, delivering nearly 300 workshops & training events in the UK, Europe and Japan.

Julia Shalet

Julia Shalet, also known as Product Doctor, is an award-winning innovator, product mentor, qualitative researcher, university lecturer & trainer with more than 20 years experience moving forward new ideas and bringing successful new products and propositions to market. Her work has been recognised by the BBC, Guardian, Observer & Independent. Her book, The Really Good Idea Test was published by Pearson & is a 2021 Axiom Business Book Award winner.

Jennifer Steven

Jennifer is a Careers Consultant currently working for the University of Edinburgh with responsibility for students across a variety of disciplines and at all levels within the institution. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh, Jennifer worked in diverse Russell Group institutions delivering workshops and training plus individual advice to a range of students, plus staff and those on executive programmes. She worked for the London School of Economics and Political Science for a number of years...
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Evelyn Simpson

Evelyn is a highly experienced business coach, trainer, mentor, and NXD. She is a self-confessed start-up geek and has worked extensively with high growth companies throughout the UK ecosystem. Evelyn has worked with start-ups and their founders on leadership, strategy and funding, advocating a disciplined and practical approach, and has a particular passion for supporting female founders.

Dr Cait Murray-Green

Cait is a Scientist with a marketing diploma and a PGCert in Sustainable Development.  She has experience as researcher, has had commercial roles in industry and also supported commercialisation & innovation through Scottish Enterprise and NERC.  She is an Innovator, Entrepreneur and Consultant and brings this wealth of experience to her training for Skillfluence. 

Laurie Macpherson

Laurie has an employability background and mentors people to find roles that they love at the salary that they deserve.  She has worked on contracts with SAIC and WiSA through Skillfluence and delivers and facilitates training for various providers including The Lens, Business in the Community and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Victoria McCallum

Victoria is the Project Manager for the Pathfinder Accelerator Course run by Skillfluence for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.  Victoria was formerly the Head of Marketing for Europe in a biotech multi-national where she led the team responsible for all marketing and communication across all of their European territories. 

Clients & Partners