Procedure Academic Consultancy Training

The aim of ACT is to offer teams of students the opportunity to execute an academic consultancy project in collaboration with an external commissioner. The student teams, composed of students with various disciplinary (and often cultural) backgrounds, work in a trans-disciplinary manner. This means that based on data gathering and analysis, the teams merge multiple academic and practical knowledge in order to respond to the consultancy question of the commissioner. Their work ends with an academic consultancy advice on future actions for their commissioner.

Procedure

Consultancy questions can be submitted throughout the entire academic year. Each year, there are 5 start moments for the course ACT. These are in September, November, January, March and May.

To determine whether (and for which academic period) the project can be offered to the students, the following is examined:

  1. Whether the consultancy question meets the requirements that the course ACT sets for a question;

  2. Whether the subject of the consultancy question matches the expertise of the students who have registered for the course for the next period. This varies per period.

Expecially this last point determines the starting point of when a consultancy question can be offered. Therefore, please note that there may be some time between submitting and starting the project.

Below this page, you will find information about what is expected of you as a commissioner.


Submit a question

Send us a description of the consultancy question by sending a draft via the contact form. This draft of the consultancy question can be filled in in the form that can be downloaded at the top of this page.

What to keep in mind?

If you want to submit a consultancy question, please consider the following points:

  • Use the form, which is available at the top of this page, to describe your consultancy question;

  • The description should draw the attention of students and inform them about the expected output;

  • The outline of the students' task must be clear. However, at this stage, it is not necessary to give a very detailed description of the tasks;

  • You can add the form as an attachment on the contact page.


Question submitted, and then?

Once you have contacted us via the contact page, we will go the following steps with you as soon as possible:

  1. We will discuss your consultancy question with you;

  2. We then assess whether the question is suitable for the course ACT and in what period the question can be offered to the students;

  3. When the question is suitable, we will develop the consultancy question into a student project with you.


Does your consultancy question not fit the requirements of ACT?

Do you have doubts whether your consultancy question suits the characteristics of the ACT course? Please contact Society Based Education via the contact form. Together we will discuss the possibilities for your question.

What we expect from a commissioner:

Availability

  • During the first three weeks of the project, the commissioner is requested to be available two or three times for a short interview. This will give the students the opportunity to write a project- and budget proposal;
  • The commissioner judges the project- and budget proposal as if the students were a professional consulting firm;
  • Hereupon, the commissioner is asked to have contact with the students a few times. This implies that the commissioner is available for one or two meetings during the project, and is also available for contact via e-mail;
  • In addition, he or she must be available for one meeting at the end, which may or may not be followed by the final presentation.

The dates for these meetings are largely fixed before the start of the project and are communicated when a project has been submitted.

Costs

  • The commissioner is asked to reimburse the expenses incurred - such as travel expenses, printing costs, etc. of students. The amount of these expenses depends on the request of the commissioner. For example, the costs increase if the students have to travel more often. The costs usually vary between 300 and 800 euros;
  • The course requires an administrative fee of 50 euro. The students make a budget overview in advance and ask the commissioner to approve this;
  • After the agreement has been reached, both parties, plus a representative from the university, sign the final budget proposal and the project plan, giving it the status of a contract;
  • The final bill will never exceed the approved and signed budget and only the actual costs will be charged.

Collaboration

  • The commissioner must be aware that although the students are studying at Master level, the teams are still operating in a learning environment;
  • This means that the commissioner is expected to be open about creating a setting in which the students feel supported in achieving learning outcomes as improved profesional working skills. The commissioner can achieve this by providing relevant information and explaining their query and needs. Because it is a learning environment, this also implies that the output of the students cannot be used by the commissioner as publications from Wagenigen University (disclaimer).