Academic Consulting in a Nutshell

What is consulting? Private sector companies, public organisations, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are looking for independent, unbiased, quality-driven solutions to the challenges they face. Consulting within an academic institution offers a way for you to share your research expertise to address these issues.

Consulting can be a direct route to engage with clients on project activity in your research area alongside your role at LSE

Different types of consulting

The consulting industry is changing and, currently, two distinct markets can be identified: low-cost consulting, which is ultimately about problems and solutions that clients understand and where the work is defined and understood; and high-value consulting, which deals with situations where clients are less confident about the question and the work needed. The latter tends to be the type of work that management consulting firms dominate. LSE Consulting’s activity predominately falls into low-cost consulting. 

Examples of academic consulting activity include:

  • Evidence and systematic reviews: comprehensive and exhaustive review of relevant literature to assess the impact of evidence
  • Policy research: analysis of the implementation, development, and effects of policy changes across different contexts
  • Socio-economic analysis: application of social science research to contemporary issues that organisations face
  • Corporate and industry analysis: broad analysis of corporate and industry dynamics to deliver practical recommendations that are responsive to changing market needs
  • Evaluation and impact studies: measurement of outcomes using diagnostic tools to help identify opportunities for improvement and achieve practices which are sustainable and transferable

Consulting alongside academia

Consulting can be a direct route to engage with clients on project activity in your research area alongside your role at LSE. It offers an additional income beyond your salary and can be undertaken separately to your role at LSE.

LSE Consulting has been set up by the School to provide a service to help you undertake and manage consulting activity in addition to your LSE role. You do not need to seek permission from your Department or Centre to engage in consulting projects, although you may want to inform them or seek their advice.

It’s our role to help academic experts get paired with projects that match their experience, skills, and scope of interest.

Who is LSE Consulting?

LSE Consulting is a team within LSE Research and Innovation that manages consulting via LSE’s subsidiary LSE Enterprise Ltd. Our main aim is to provide flexible support to academics seeking to undertake consulting activity.

We have accumulated considerable knowledge and expertise in all aspects of project delivery, encompassing bidding and proposal preparation, negotiation, project management and implementation. A major part of our operation is providing services in these areas and sharing this knowledge with academic colleagues and Departments/Centres across the School.

LSE Consulting has helped LSE experts create impact across the globe for over two decades. We are now one of the leading academic consultancies in the UK and sit comfortably alongside private players in a competitive market.

We offer flexible and varied support that is tailored to the nature of the project and the needs of both clients and academics. 

We help with:

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Proposal support
Identification of new opportunities
Advice on procurement processes
Guidance on proposal structure, organisation and timelines
Budget preparation

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Contract management
Contractual and Intellectual Property negotiation
Financial management
Contracting of all experts
Provision of professional indemnity insurance

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Project management and research assistance
Liaison with clients
Management of large multidisciplinary teams
Coordination of the project team
Desk research, report drafting and proofreading
Administration of surveys and stakeholder interviews
Project websites and dissemination of research findings

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Partnerships with academic departments
Market intelligence
Targeted business development
Portfolio management
Department promotion

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Product and service development
Advice on packaging of products and services
Intellectual Property protection
Design of pricing models
Marketing support


Want to know more about how consulting can benefit you? Click here.