Flexit

12/27/2013

In 2009, RJ developed an entirely new postdoctoral initiative known as 'Flexit'. The main purpose of the project is to strengthen the ties between Humanities and Social Sciences research and the private sector, which is commonly regarded as the weakest link in the 'knowledge triangle'.

The Flexit Programme is a pilot project which seeks to find new flexible solutions in order to spread research and researchers outside of academia. Its primary goals are to:

  • Build new bridges and networks between research in the humanities and social sciences and the sectors outside the university.
  • Ease knowledge transference and influence the merit system. This is to help both the private and public sectors to access and utilise the competency of academics with doctorates in the fields of the humanities and social sciences. RJ also seeks to increase appreciation within academia of input and experience from business and public organisations.
  • Demonstrate the possibility of alternative careers for researchers within the humanities and social sciences.

Within the framework of a pilot project, five trainee positions at five different companies were announced. Three of these resulted in appointments at three companies: Good Old: Martin Berg (see Report in the column to the right), ConsumerLab Ericsson: Marcus Persson and NCC: Susanna Toivanen (see Report in the column to the right).

Facilitating the transfer of knowledge will, RJ expects, mean that more people outside academia will perceive and demand the skills of Humanities and Social Sciences PhD graduates. At the same time, alternative employment opportunities are opening up for these researchers, who will have a key function in the new networks that, it is hoped, will emerge.

In 2010 another four ‘in-house researchers’ were appointed at the following companies: Ergonomidesign (Magnus Roos), Jung (Mikolaj Dymek), LOTS design (Sara Ljungblad) and Skanska (Lina Wedin).

In 2012, the programme was expanded with new Flexit researchers at Bonnierförlagen (Sweden’s largest publishing group): Alexandra Borg, Forsman & Bodenfors (an advertising agency): Jonas Andersson and the publishing association De Oberoende: Anna-Maria Rimm.

Thanks to the researchers’ presence at the companies and through the seminars and conferences, RJ expects to facilitate knowledge transfer between HEIs and the business sector.