Knowledge Transfer Secondments (KTS) scheme - funded by EPSRC

£370k is still available for UCL to support secondments from the original £750k awarded for 3 years by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).  

This scheme aims to support the flow of skilled people both into and out of the University ensuring the real-world application of EPSRC research. Flexible support will be provided to second people (transferring their skills, experience and knowledge) between the research base and external organisations. 

This means that postgraduate researchers* can work on a project in an external organisation (known as outward secondments) or alternatively for staff from an external organisation to work on a project in an academic group in UCL (known as inward secondments).  (For further definition, policy and procedure guidance relating to secondments at UCL, please click here UCL Human Resources website.)

Who might be interested?

  • Academic departments and individuals wishing to enhance their skills and knowledge by developing their research into more commercial ideas, products and services.
  • Academic departments and individuals wishing to develop further collaborative activities with industry.
  • User organisations which have gaps in their own research, business/organisation strategy and staff career development.
  • An existing company collaborator or start-up developed from an EPSRC grant.

How to apply

Applications for the third and final call are invited for funding of up to £50,000 per project, (maximum award based on one-year full-time outward secondment). The remaining available fund is £370k. All applications will be triaged against panel criteria and final decisions to fund will be made by the Knowledge Exchange Management Board, (which consists of Deans and Vice-Deans relating to the remit of EPSRC).  Applicants will be notified of the outcome within a month of submission.

Call announcement Deadline for applications Notification of award Status
November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 Closed
March 2010 end June 2010 July 2010 Closed
August 2010 Friday 29th October 2010 November 2010 OPEN

What will be funded?

Importantly only direct costs will be covered

  • Outward secondments of UCL staff: salary, reasonable travel and subsistence.
  • Inward secondments of employees of external organisations:reasonable costs of research consumables, indirect and estates costs. Does NOT cover salary.

Typically, external organisations will be users of the application of the new knowledge generated by the scheme. They include industry, government departments, charities, regional development agencies and not-for-profit agencies**.

Important considerations

  • The main aim must be to move academic research towards real-world application.
  • The secondment must show strong translational potential.
  • The secondment must be based on and show clear synergy between EPSRC-funded research grant/s and the secondment activity.
  • The secondment can be part-time or full-time.
  • The secondment can last anywhere between a month and one year.
  • Academic staff are not eligible.
  • The secondment must be hosted in the UK (except by agreement with the EPSRC).
  • The secondment must be paid on an equivalent RA scale (outward only).
  • Individuals and groups of individuals can be seconded to multiple projects with different partners.
  • Doctorate secondees must have submitted their thesis (although they can start before their viva or being awarded their degree).
  • Explicit authorisation is needed from Head of Department/line manager.
  • The secondment must not cover general consultancy (user advice or industrial guidance on identifying and exploiting research results based on existing knowledge).
  • The secondment can not be used to provide support for extended studies or writing up.

* This would include post-PhD researchers who were previously funded by any EPSRC research grant (PDRA - Post Doctoral Research Associate, doctoral studentship, DTA - Doctoral Training Account/Doctoral Training Grant, CTA/KTA - Collaborative Training/Knowledge Transfer Account, or CDT - Centre for Doctoral Training) which includes iDTC (Industrial Doctoral Centre - formally known as an EngD or Engineering Doctorate) and DTC (Doctoral Training Centre) etc.

** Secondments to other HEIs or other educational establishments (e.g. schools as part of public engagement work) are not eligible.