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Enterprising Ad Hoc Academic links skills with opportunities

Jody Nichols - Ad Hoc Academic

PhD student, Jody Nichols, has launched Ad Hoc Academic, a skills-matching website designed to connect people looking for temporary academic positions with those in the academic world seeking to find them. 

Jody began her higher education journey many years ago with the University of Sunderland, completing an undergraduate degree, then a masters and is now not far from completing her PhD. Whilst studying part-time and working as a research manager part-time for the NHS, Jody was offered the opportunity to further her academic career and become an Academic Tutor for the University. It was this opportunity that gave Jody the ‘light bulb’ moment for her business.

Jody masterminded what is now called Ad Hoc Academic, a skills-matching website designed to match the skills of people looking for temporary academic positions with those wishing to find them within the academic world. Ad Hoc Academic is simple to use: quickly and efficiently matching skills so that academics can find and manage the staff they require and people looking for academic work can be found.

Jody developed her business idea by working with the University of Sunderland’s Human Resources Department and the Enterprise Place - a long-running and successful initiative to provide entrepreneurial students and graduates with the space, advice and support to turn their ideas into successful businesses. Jody is now integrating Ad Hoc Academic across the University of Sunderland and hopes to market the system nationally.

Jody commented: "Being an entrepreneur is much more than having a brilliant idea for a business, being an entrepreneur is about taking that brilliant idea and combining it with someone willing to take a leap with you. 

“The University of Sunderland has given me significant support in developing my business idea, I initially contacted The Enterprise Place and they not only provided me with a physical space to develop my business but also with advice, guidance and training in order for me progress. I also approached the University of Sunderland Human Resources department and they obviously saw some potential as they have helped me to progress Ad Hoc Academic to a point where it can be integrated across the University.” 

If you want to work in academia, please join the platform at

The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £2,359,457 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. ‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit 

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