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List of STEP projects

Below you will find a list of Summer Team Enterprise Programme projects. Each project represents a real-life University challenge.

You can indicate a preference of up to three projects on your online application form, simply make a note of the project titles. Unfortunately your preferences are not guaranteed, should your application be successful, but we will do our best to accommodate them.

When thinking about your selection, take into account the skills you already have and the opportunity the project gives to strengthen skills in areas you want to develop. 

Please remember that this is a skills development programme, and the focus is on developing your enterprise skills and other graduate attributes. The suggested outputs of the projects below are secondary to the developmental aspects of this programme, and at least half of your time will be spent in skills development workshops and individual and team reflection. A full induction to the programme will be provided if your application is successful.

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Some of the projects are timezone restricted due to the availability of the staff member who is sponsoring the project. You can see the Project Sponsor availability in the 'further information' section of each project. If you would be unable to meet the project sponsor in the time range they are available, please do not indicate a preference for this project.

How do we create the best one-stop shop for online student induction?

Dr Penny Turnbull, Student Services

Induction and Orientation Moodle Module

The University is creating a new Induction and Orientation module (UG and PG, entrant and returner versions) for academic year 2020/21.  The module will be released in August and contain resources, tasks and other content relating to orientation.  The Enterprise Skills Team will be asked to review proposed and suggest new content for the module, and be involved in related discussions.


The output for this project is Module content.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-2100 BST. 

How do we best manage complex data to keep staff training up to date?

Lilia Chatterjee, Estates

Estates Training Matrix

In Estates we register the training courses required for each role type (to cover both Health and Safety training as well as Continuing Professional Development training) in the form of a Training Matrix and update and monitor the frequency with which each training should be renewed. This ideally should be capable of retaining the details of the historic training provided (course name, date attended and whether passed or not). We intend to be able to run monthly reports to look ahead and advise managers which members of their staff are due for training. Due to the increased number of Estates staff and their varied training needs, the Training Matrix had become impossible to maintain, and neither do we have access to an electronic database. The challenge for the team is to think about how we can best organise this data to ensure that staff training is kept updated. What would be the best approach – a spreadsheet, database, app, or something else? How do other organisations manage complex data like this? Once you decide on the best approach, could you think about how the data would be best organised within it?

Students working on this project could develop their research and IT skills and become more proficient in working with data.


The output for this project is a report and plans for how the data could be organised. If student skill-sets allow, a working model could be developed.


The project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-2100 BST

How do we engage students to get the most from our University museums?

Ellen Fenton, Museums

Understanding student audiences

In 2020 the Wardlaw Museum will open, with a new temporary exhibitions space and a new space that expands capacity for public engagement and outreach activity. The Wardlaw Museum will take visitors inside the University, with four new thematic galleries on its groundbreaking research and global impact, showcasing its extraordinary art, history, science and natural history collections.  The opening of the Wardlaw Museum marks the end of the capital project but the beginning of a five-year transformation of the Museums of the University of St Andrews, inspired by our vision to reimagine university museums through curiosity and conversation. Everything the Museums do will be created by and with the staff and students of the university, based on and inspired by the research and teaching of the University. We want to innovate and experiment, and continuously evaluate our projects and our programmes.  St Andrews’ University Museums aims to enrich the student experience by working collaboratively with the student body in a sustainable way, building an inclusive cultural and social hub in which students see themselves reflected and feel is for them. This project will involve looking at opportunities, challenges and mechanisms for engaging with the student body. We want the group to look at and make recommendations on how we can:

  • Open the Museum in the new semester in a climate of social distancing in a way that would work for students
  • Widen and embed our student career building opportunities and skills.
  • Position the museum as an essential part of the University’s cultural life.
  • Ensure a focus on exciting and significant programming that is exciting, thought provoking and tailored to student audiences.
  • Develop targeted marketing campaign to create buzz and excitement among student audiences 


The output for this project is a report and presentation.


The project sponsor for this project is available for a weekly meeting between 0900-1100 and 1500-1700 BST.

How do we define what enterprise capabilities look like in real life?

Dr Ian Smith, Proctor's Office

Enterprising Capabilities podcast

Students are invited to produce a video or podcast for the Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education website which shows what enterprising capabilities look like in real lives of inspiring leaders in the world of sport, politics, business or culture. Students will each be sent an autobiography of their personal choice (from a list) written by a highly enterprising individual and asked to read this prior to the first meeting of the project team. Each week the challenge will be to discuss with the student team what enterprising looks like for their author in terms of the capability addressed that week (Creativity and innovation; opportunity recognition and evaluation etc.) and to compose a joint narrative for the Moodle page which brings together the different aspects of that capability.  Towards the end of the project, each student will work on the production of their own video/podcast


The output for this project is a podcast/video resource.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0900-2100 BST

How do we know what International Foundation Programme students want?

Deborah Brazendale, International Education Institute

Audit of pre-arrival information for International Foundation Programme students

It would be wonderful to have an audit on prospective-student info online to see where International Foundation Programme audiences are not currently being served but should and could be. That may be too wide of a scope, given the project size, so a more specific focus could be pre-arrival info. We’ve been battling to ensure that standard comms about pre-arrival and Orientation take into account that not all incoming students are UG or PG but there are plenty of gaps and issues, still, along with the overlap (and potential confusion) of Orientation info delivered by web, app and Moodle. 


The output for this project is a report.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-2100 BST.

How do we learn what students want from the Byre Theatre?

Jan McTaggart, Byre Theatre

Making Student Connections: A Research Journey with The Byre Theatre

The Byre Theatre is part of the University of St Andrews and wants to connect more often and more meaningfully with our students than ever before.   The challenges we face include the fact that our student population does not conform to standard profiling platforms such as Mosaic. Therefore, we need a bespoke approach to understanding how to build relationships by better understanding where The Byre can fit into their lives. 


  • Student led productions
  • Amateur productions
  • Professional productions
  • MET/National Theatre Live screenings 

You will create innovative, virtual (and replicable) techniques for charting student journeys including photographic journaling and sharing, virtual customer safaris and others to be devised, using social media, video interviews, photography, in many cases, using existing photos to construct typical St Andrews days and journeys.  Your introduction will include training in data protection, access to existing research and examples of qualitative research in the arts. 

OUTPUTS By the end of the project: we will know:

  • How many St Andrews students have the propensity for engagement? (creating a benchmark)
  • What motivates them
  • What the barriers are
  • What else they are engaged with
  • Identify gaps in provision
  • Identify routes for communication
  • Identify non-attenders (with propensity and without propensity) and ask why
  • Pen Portraits of no more than five student profiles (including non-attenders)
  • Paper submitted to Byre Senior Managers
  • Possible presentation of recommendations to representatives of Management.


  • Increased numbers of student attendance at The Byre
  • Understanding of student behaviours and the role The Byre could play
  • Display/exhibition of visual outputs of student journeys 


  • conduct qualitative research
  • construct a commercial research brief
  • work, virtually, in a professional theatre
  • set benchmarks for marketing purposes
  • write a paper for management


The output for this project is a report and presentation.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-1700 BST.

How do we best organise information about Saints Sport on the web?

John Chapman/ Fergus Knight, Saints Sport

Review and evaluation of the Saints Sport website

The Saints Sport website is being redesigned as part of the University’s internal website project. Ahead of this happening a review of the current site needs to take place. This is to ensure that the new website will be the best it can be for its intended users.   There will be two parts of the team project for students to complete.   Firstly, students will need to evaluate the current Saints Sport website. The team will be asked to map the current site structure and review the existing content against writing for the web best practice. Students will also be provided access to the website analytics so they can review how users are engaging with the current pages. The team may also choose to conduct user research (survey, questionnaire, usability testing) to gauge the opinion of the Saints Sport website. Gathering these requirements will allow students to create user stories from students, staff and the public which will form the basis of the new Saints Sport website.   For the second part of the project, students will need to create a report based on their findings. This should include recommendations on the new site structure, potential new content and suggestions on additional improvements to the Saints Sport website (e.g. new videos and images or an online booking system).


The output for this project is a report.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0900-1700 BST.

How do we best showcase Taught Postgraduate TESOL programmes?

Lesley Thirkell, International Education Institute

Promoting Taught Postgraduate TESOL programmes

The project's output would be create a series of videos which could be used to promote the various PGT TESOL programmes taught through IE. Students would work with the current TESOL students (MSc and PG Cert, studying in St Andrews and by distance learning)  and IE staff to create the videos. The videos would look at student experiences on the various courses, studying and living in St Andrews, studying by distance learning and so. The videos would be shared on the University website and with our representatives around the world, with the aim of encouraging more students, from a wide variety of backgrounds and nationalities, to come and study with us. The videos would be of high quality and would include online interviews with students and staff, and would incorporate existing and possibly new video footage of the town.


The output for this project is a video resource and marketing materials.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0900-1900 BST.

How do we teach ethical leadership?

Alexander Stanley, CEED

Ethical leadership case studies

One of the Pillars of the Enterprise Education Capabilities is “Implementation of ideas through leadership”.  While we want students and university graduates to be active leaders, many recent examples and events demonstrated that that this on its own is not sufficient. There is a need for leaders to base their leadership on a strong ethical foundation and principles. This projects looks to identify and develop several case studies focussed on:  1) Understanding what good / bad ethical leadership is 2) How a leader might go about developing principles and skills to guide ethical leadership 3) Designing several activities, games and interactions that to help improve understanding and development of these ethical principles   While the principal desired outcome is a series of case studies focussed on the afore-mentioned points, there is scope for suggested alternative tools how these case studies might be delivered (i.e. through an app, video resource or presentation.  The intended use of the case studies is to develop the engagement and development of ethical leadership teaching.


The output for this project is case studies.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 1100-2100 BST.

How do we develop the skill-sets of Museum volunteers?

Matthew Sheard, Museums

Design a skills-building voluntary programme at the University Museums

For this project, your team will design the Skills-builder Volunteer Programme that the University Museums will launch in September.  The University Museums are committed to providing opportunities for skills development and practical opportunities for gaining work experience for students at St Andrews. The Skills-builder Volunteer Programme will play a key role in doing this, and will offer students the opportunity to participate in an individually tailored volunteer programme at the Museums with the support of a personal mentor.  The programme that you design will be aimed at helping participants gain the skills and experience they need for a successful career. It will be suitable for those who want a career in arts, heritage, culture, education or festival and events programming in particular, although the skills gained will be transferable across the employment spectrum.  In order to design the perfect skills-builder programme you will consult with students at the University to find out what they want, speak with stakeholders, including Museums staff, the Careers Centre and CEED, and develop one or more proposals from which the Museums team will select one to implement in the new academic year. You will consider questions around content, specific skills to be developed, how it should be implemented and managed, time commitment from both participants and Museums staff, how the Museums themselves will benefit, skills progression, confidence building, how the success of participants should be recognised and practicality.  This is your opportunity to contribute to creating a high-quality experience that will benefit students and build their employability.


The output for this project is a report and presentation.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0900-1700 BST.

How do we ensure the Library builds student community online?

Elizabeth Andrews, Library

“Love the Library online” – what innovative online engagement should the Library adopt to remain an important part of the student experience?

The University Library is proud of its place as part of the overall experience of studying at the University of St Andrews. Many of our users have told us how much they enjoyed the physical spaces and the friendly staff. How can we create that warmth and personal connection in an online environment? The Library would like this project to examine how students prefer to engage with information online and how the Library can adopt successful practices. We would like you to examine how different sectors (for example, entertainment, news, government) present and deliver information and canvas student opinion about these different methods. We would also like you to gather feedback about how students have found the support offered by the Library over these past weeks and months and how they would prefer to get support from the Library going forward. We ask you to help inform the Library on how best to develop a sense of community with students as well as remaining a relevant and trusted service, while using online and digital platforms.


The output for this project is a report, presentation and marketing materials.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-2100 BST.

How do we make best use of our museum collections online?

Jessica Burdge (Museums)/ Andrew Wilson (IT Services)

Digital collections supporting teaching and research

IT Services, Museums and Library Special Collections have been developing digital access to our collections for educational purposes. In the current situation it has become an even higher priority to implement a resource quickly that can do this to support remote teaching in particular, and a concept version of this is already taking shape. However, we see this resource as a tool for the long-term to broaden opportunities for using collections to actively contribute to the University’s mission ‘to deliver an excellent educational experience’. Research has shown the benefits of the active, experiential process of object-based learning in promoting meaning-making for students and long-term retention of ideas. It develops academic skills for research and analysis as well as transferable skills such as teamwork and communication. Using objects in the digital sphere may not be quite the same as experiencing the real thing, but it offers other opportunities for encouraging enquiry, close study, comparison and collaboration. We want to make this resource inspiring, intuitive and easy to use for academic staff and their students. We are therefore looking for a group of students to gather information that will inform the ongoing development of this resource. Using the first iteration of our collections teaching tool as the starting point, the group should (1) collate examples of good practice in digital access to collections, and in particular evidence of the impact from digital/online collections, (2) survey academic staff on how they might use collections for teaching and research if they are more readily available digitally, and (3) carry out user testing / surveying for feedback of the online collection resource already in place at St Andrews to inform and prioritise system development. The project will be supervised jointly between Museums and IT Services to provide support from both the collections and technical sides.


The output for this project is a report.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0700-2100 BST.

How do we capture the lived experience of International Foundation Programme students?

Dinorah Imrie, International Education Institute

International Foundation Programme Testimonials

Current and former students on International Foundation Programmes will have the opportunity to reflect on the different aspects of their experience at St Andrews, put their writing skills into practice and develop their photography skills by producing a written testimonial accompanied by still images which will facilitate the creation of marketing materials at the International Education Institute.  Each student should submit a testimonial containing between 500 and 1000 words, plus a minimum of five high-resolution images in colour and in landscape orientation. The testimonial should capture the different aspects of their time in St Andrews: their expectations and fears before they arrived, their reasons for choosing the University, their learning experience in and outside the classroom, preparing for their undergraduate degree, adapting to a new culture, life in the town, making friends and socialising, and planning for their future.  One of the five images must be a self-portrait clearly showing the student’s face. The rest of the photographs can be a combination of images that represent their experience. Images which were taken in St Andrews will be accepted but images taken in other settings will also be accepted. Images where people are the main focus are preferable. Students must obtain permission from the people in the photograph before submitting any work. Students will be allowed to submit more than five images.


The output for this project is marketing materials.


This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0900-1500 BST.

How can we better understand our academic reputation?

Dr Amanda Kindness, Planning

Measuring our Academic Reputation

Reputation is a challenge to define, and a university typically has multiple types of reputation, including teaching, research and social responsibility. “To have a reputation for something means to be known or remembered for it”.

This Enterprise Skills Team will be asked to consider how we might measure and monitor the University’s Academic Reputation.

Why is it important to understand Academic Reputation?

  • Universities seek to connect the wider world with their work, and academic reputation influences how easily this can be achieved.
  • Academic partnerships are frequently initiated and catalysed by the strength of an institutions’ academic reputation.
  • Universities are increasingly called upon to demonstrate value to the taxpayer, and academic reputation is influential here.
  • In the private sector, an organisation’s brand has been suggested to contribute to up to 60% of ‘stock market value’. Considering this in a University context is fascinating!

The output for this project is a report for a University committee to discuss and take forward where appropriate.

This project sponsor is available to hold a weekly meeting between 0800-1800 BST.