To mark Careers in Ideas Week (16 to 22 November 2020), we’re delighted to bring you some new resources for your careers and outreach work. They’re designed to make life easier for busy IP professionals who are giving careers talks or running work experience events for school students, in particular sixth-formers. Please feel free to download and use them, develop them, or be inspired by them to create your own. And do please let us know how you get on with using them and send us your further suggestions: we’d love to have your input into the resources we provide in the future.

You can also access these materials from our resources page or the Careers in Ideas website resources page, along with others such as our directory of outreach organisations and our databases of schools and universities.

Chris Burnett, who leads our Careers in Ideas resources team, tells us more about the various Careers in Ideas resources, including the latest additions.

Chris writes:

Outreach to schools and universities is a very important aspect of Careers in Ideas, because it provides an opportunity for students to learn about careers they would otherwise never have heard of. Going into a school or university and talking about what you do could be the inspiration a student needs for their choice of career.

It is therefore important that your visit is as interesting and inspiring as possible.

To this end, we have put together a few resources that could be used when going to visit a school or university. We hope that this makes it as easy as possible to prepare for careers and outreach events.

The resources you use will ideally be tailor-made for the audience in order to engage the students, however we have hopefully provided some useful base materials, such as the following:


  • Presentations – there are currently three presentations available:
    • The first is from a panel discussion chaired by Julie Barrett (Purposive Step Consulting) and originally presented to the University of Law; it contains some useful slides and links, particularly on in-house roles vs private practice.
    • The second has been used for talks to sixth form science students; its first half is generally about introducing the students to IP, using Coca-Cola as an example, whilst its second half is rather more patent-focussed. It can be tailored for your organisation and the context of your outreach activities.
    • The third is the original Careers in Ideas template presentation which provides a basic introduction to careers in IP.
  • A suggested lesson plan:
    • This is based on a lesson given to sixth form science students, but could be adapted easily. It combines interactive group work with an introductory presentation. Splitting the students into small groups with an array of props proved to be engaging, and there is no shortage of props that could be used, covering the full range of IP; some ideas are provided.
  • A work experience pack:
    • This was created from work experience days provided by AA Thornton to sixth formers who studied a variety of subjects. First published for IP Inclusive Week 2018, it includes presentations, lesson plans and resources for group work. We are grateful to AA Thornton for sharing it. You can find more information about it here.
  • A leaflet:
    • This provides a useful guide to the various types of IP careers, and can be printed off for handing out at face-to-face events or circulated online to attendees of virtual events.
  • “Intro to IP”:
    • This is a series of quizzes and resources that make a fun introduction to IP, including examples of famous patents, a trade mark/logo quiz and examples of infringements.


We hope these resources will provide a useful starting point for outreach, or for student visits to your organisation or department. We appreciate that these are fairly sixth-form- and patent-focussed, and ongoing projects will look at resources tailored to a greater range of ages and subjects. The important thing is to understand your audience and provide examples which they can relate to. IP is everywhere, so finding suitable props should not be difficult.

Good luck to everybody who undertakes outreach, and we hope these resources prove helpful. We are always working on new materials, and trying to improve those on offer. If you have any suggestions or materials of your own to share, please do get in touch with one of us.


The Careers in Ideas resources team
Becky Brooks, Julie Browne, Christopher Burnett, Carol Nyahasha, Heather Scott



Page published on 18th November 2020
Page last modified on 18th November 2020
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