Sometimes all you need is an independent umpire. Someone who can read a room, learn about your research quickly and get to an outcome. As a Centre Director, Faculty Dean or University Vice-Chancellor, leading your team through a planning and development exercise is almost impossible. You’re either too deep in the discussion – perhaps even pushing things in a very specific direction – with your team reluctant to bring you back. Or, you’re avoiding making reasonable suggestions, because you don’t want to be that boss.

Dr Richard Huysmans has worked with Deans, Vice-Chancellors, Directors, Heads and CEOs to facilitate progress on all manner of projects.

Enhanced PhD programs

With 50% of PhD graduates leaving academia immediately following graduation, there is a strong need to prepare them for life outside academia. Richard works with academics, centres, institutes, departments, faculties and schools to help build PhD programs that prepare students for life, not just academia.

In Australia, 50% of students enrolling in a PhD intend to LEAVE academia upon graduation. It is time our PhD programs caught up, and trained students for my diverse career options.

Dr Huysmans has helped plan and build enhanced PhD programs that serve to identify and develop skills that will be useful inside and outside academia.

As PhD holders, we know the value a PhD has to life beyond our PhD. However, our current training programs are not equipping students with this information prior to graduation. Nor are they preparing students for the competitive nature of academic life. And the reality that fewer than 10% will be academics long term.

Working with you and your team, Richard helps plan and implement enhanced PhD programs that foster stronger connections within non-academic partners. Programs that foster diverse career pathways, yet encourage graduants to maintain connections to their PhD supervisor. Further promoting non-academic collaborations beyond the PhD.

Institute Establishment

Dr Richard Huysmans has been involved in the proposal, establishment and operation of more than 10 research institutes and centres. Somehow they’ve all been funded! If you want to build something new, Richard is the person for you.

Is your research group awesome?

Do you want to take your work to the next level?

But, not sure how to turn your research group into a centre or institute?

Back in the old days, researchers would form a new centre or institute as a way of improving positioning. The process was as simple as renaming your group as “the centre or institute of [your favourite topic]”. You might change the word order a bit. So you can have a nice acronym.

However, those days are well passed.

Universities want institutes and centres to be based on track record or evidence of success. Most have a process, system or structure they want you to follow.

Funding agencies don’t just hand out these grants and titles either.

Strategy and Planning

Already have an established research centre or institute? Need some help setting goals and priorities? Not sure where to start or how to measure success? Dr Richard Huysmans works with academics to help set their strategic priorities and directions, and then implement them.

Increasingly (academic) research is catching up with other parts of good business practice and developing programs and strategies to guide the work.

Although, a lot (maybe even most) academic researchers don’t think project management is something that can be applied to research. But, that’s wrong. Most who have that view have not tried project management. They have not tried project management in research. They haven’t tried developing strategy. They haven’t tried building and sticking to a program of works.

But, if you’re here, that’s clearly not you.

You’re interested in how planning, strategy, project, programs and portfolios can be used to build a bigger project. To build on previous work. To build a team. To support a team. To unify a team.

University Collaborations

Getting two (or more) researchers to collaborate is easy – just put a pot of money in front of them. However, getting their institutions to work together is a whole other problem.

Dr Richard Huysmans has solved (some of) these problems. He has worked with all Victorian universities on long-standing partnerships (more than 9 years of collaboration), achieving outcomes that continue to satisfy government, academic, university and stakeholder requirements.

If you what to form a multi-university collaboration, Richard is a pretty good place to start.

Nobel Prizes cannot be awarded to teams…

Students cannot be supervised by researchers from multiple universities…

Systems prevent data sharing outside organisations…


There’s an expectation that collaboration – across universities – happens.

Industry engagement infographic

Industry Engagement

With grant success rates getting as low as 10%, industry engagement is as important for funding as it is for impact. But how do you do it? Where do you start? Who cares about what I know? Dr Richard Huysmans can help answer all of these questions and more. You can start by asking for a copy of his book – Connect the Docs. Then give him a call.

Did you know that:

  • 90% of a decision is made before potential collaborators contact you?
  • Ten pieces of content are consumed before someone decides to work with you?
  • Do you, your staff or colleagues find research translation challenging?
  • Is it difficult to to acquire industry funding for grants?
  • Does it feel like hard to work trying to connect with or identify industry collaborators?
  • Don’t have the bandwidth to keep losing time on fruitless conversations?

Maybe you’re even afraid that having your ideas on display for people to criticise and take apart means people won’t want to work with you? Or perhaps you’re afraid your work isn’t translatable at all….

There are people out there who want to work with you.
You just need to make it easy for them to find you.

Grant and Proposal Development

Grant success rates are edging ever closer to 10% . Yet, Dr Richard Huysmans has maintained success rates at 70%. Why? Its all about independence. Contact him to find out more.

How much time do you spend writing grants, tenders and proposals?

People who work with me spend hours or days writing, not weeks or months writing a grant.

Would your time be better spent doing research? Would you rather be writing a journal article than a grant proposal?

Most researchers say that asking for money (in whatever form that might take) is the last thing they want to do. Researching, experimenting, communicating results – they’re the things that light them up.

So, if you’re interested in:

  1. Increased success
  2. Putting less effort into grant writing; and
  3. spending more time doing what you love

Get in touch.

Richard would love to chat about working together.

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