Knowledge Transfer Partnership: increasing research skills at The Daycare Trust
The charity campaigns for high-quality, accessible, and affordable childcare. However, their staff had limited quantitative research skills and capabilities which restricted their ability to bid for work with research or data analysis elements. It was also restricting their ability to undertake authoritative analysis of government data.
They decided to undertake a KTP to improve their ability to generate new income through research and consultancy bids and to reduce the cost of outsourcing research related activity, which in turn had a radical impact on the range of services the Trust could offer.
KTPs are programmes that encourage collaboration between universities and businesses in the UK. KTPs involve three parties: a university, a recent graduate and a company – including small, medium and large companies, charities, not-for-profit organisations and the public sector.
Part-funded by the government, KTPs provide unique benefits to all three parties; the university as a whole, the student associate and the business. LSBU apply their knowledge and expertise to important problems facing businesses, identifying new research themes and undergraduate and postgraduate projects. The results are often published in high quality journals and conference papers. Recent LSBU graduates are able to enhance their employability and skills and get the opportunity to earn a full salary. The company gets the qualities of an outstanding graduate partially paid for and the expertise and technical support of the university – who work in close connection with all parties. Read more about KTPs.
The purpose of the KTP partnership was to develop staff capabilities by creating an in-house quantitative research skill-set. Ben Evans, the project associate helped the Trust by developing a research strategy for them outlining the knowledge and skills required to deliver this. The new skills were identified as:
- providing greater research team familiarity with and use of national datasets, including the Millennium Cohort Study, Growing up in Scotland, the Family Resources Survey and the Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parent
- the ability to use new research tools: Survey Money, NESSTAR, ArcView and STATA
- greater expertise in conducting surveys.
These skills were embedded in the team through formal and informal face to face training as well as the development of instruction manuals.
As a consequence of the KTP, the Trust has also been able to undertake new research, enabling them to increase profile and turnover. In the two years of the KTP they were able to work on nine projects that they would not have been able to do previously. They are now also one of only a handful of NGO's with quantitative research capabilities.
"This project will ensure we develop into a more dynamic and credible research unit, ultimately ensuring our position as a leading research provider and authoritative voice on childcare issues within both the public and political spheres."
Read more on the Daycare Trust website.