She wants to find ways to give back

Emilene Leite, researcher at the Department of business studies, takes part in the Mentor4Research programme at Uppsala University.

Many social challenges require close dialogue between companies, public organisations and civil society. This is well known, and is usually easier said than done. Emilene Leite wants to contribute with her knowledge of how such collaboration can be designed and is now seeking both approaches and contact routes.

“I’ve asked myself how my research can be useful outside of the academic world, and am constantly thinking about different applications of my results. As a social scientist studying companies, there are many opportunities to transform my research into something that can be commercialised,” says Emilene Leite, researcher at the Department of Business Studies.

Over the past six years, she has interviewed many managers at different levels in business, as well as people within government authorities and civil society. The aim is to understand the successes and setbacks in collaborations involving these parties.

“I am investigating how multinational companies’ relationships with government authorities and civil society affect the innovation processes of the companies. Here, the question of how companies handle collaboration and competition internally within the organisation is of particular interest to me,” explains Emilene Leite.

She sees great potential for training programmes for managers and leaders who want to understand the development of public-private collaboration. To move forward with her ideas, which focus on both different types of training courses as well as compiling examples from research into a popular science book, she applied to the Mentor4Research programme.

“Here, I get greater understanding of the commercialisation process and advice about how to further develop my idea from a mentor with experience from both the academic and the business world.

Emilene Leite also talks about another need that was met through the programme. And what a welcome bonus.

“Despite belonging to the Department of Business Studies and having companies as my research object, my network tends to be more focused on the research community. Mentor4Research has given me what I need to build a network of people outside of academia. I also got the opportunity to get to know colleagues from completely different research areas, like life science. Their experience and perspective has given me new insights into my business challenges and future decisions.”

Speaking of the future, is a career outside of the academic world appealing?

“I love what I do. I have a passion for research and teaching, but I would really like to have a stronger connection to the business world than I do at present. Thus far, my experience is limited to interacting for academic purposes, but I want more than that. And now I have the power to do something about it.”