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Knowledge Transfer Accounts

Thanks to funding from the Engineering Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), UCL has developed a programme of exchanging knowledge via its Knowledge Transfer Account - with a wide-range of partners in a variety of ways. The aim of the programme is to link high technology and intellectual strength; attract highest-skilled people and partners who can innovate and turn innovation into commercial and social opportunities.

As examples it has developed industrially-focussed Phd and Masters programmes, placed individuals on scholarship with companies, supported managerial/entrepreneurial training, developed inter-disciplinary industrial projects and more.

In turn, these partnerships have resulted in career promotions, first-time jobs, further funded research, short-term solutions to commercial problems, start-up and spin-out companies, patents, licences and so on.

What is KTA


Currently most UK universities have a KTA - Knowledge Transfer Account formerly known as a Collaborative Training Account (CTA)

This account is funded by the UK Government through the DTI’s Science Budget (administered via the EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) so that Universities can develop a two-way transfer of ideas, research results, expertise and skilled people - with private, public and third sector partners.

The UK Government has made and continues to make considerable core investments into Science and innovation as it believes it is a key driver of economic and social growth. These investments aim to encourage and evolve a culture of knowledge exchange, featuring the following where:

  • UK as a key knowledge hub in the global economy
  • Ideas are created, absorbed and deployed rapidly
  • Numbers are driven up of skilled scientists, engineers and technologists
  • Knowledge is effectively translated into business and public service innovation
  • The prospect of economic wealth is enhanced
  • Growth is generated through productivity and employment
  • The needs of business are understood
  • New ideas are brought successfully to the marketplace

Led by Government and Research Councils, the way Universities encourage this to happen (the mechanisms and tactics) are left in hands of universities, partners and the users/customers.

Consequently, funding for the Knowledge Transfer Account is allocated by the EPSRC to each University based on the results of a four yearly bidding process. During this bid, each University puts forward its best ideas on how to generate the most potential and deliver the best results.

Who are KTAs aimed at?


The KTA is for people in the public, private and third sectors who want to work together to strengthen their research and its outcomes for UK economy and society.

Specific examples include:

  • Anyone who wants to study, continue studying or retrain at Masters or Doctoral level in an industry-related discipline and who wants to be recognised as well-equipped for work in industry.
  • Employees in businesses who want to enhance, deepen or extend their existing knowledge and expertise and in many cases prepare for career progression.
  • Businesses (commercial, social, start-up, SME, spin-out) who want to collaborate with the university to learn more about science or technology, entrepreneurship, management innovation etc.
  • Other universities which want to work on inter-disciplinary and/or collaborative knowledge exchange programmes
  • Government departments which want to innovate services
  • Charities, voluntary groups, knowledge transfer networks which want to be involved in discussions, ideas and project-generating.

How are KTAs funded?


Whether you are a current student or working in a company, Collaborative Training offers substantial guaranteed funding over a fixed period (eligibility rules apply – see below). UCL co-ordinates all the funding from the EPSRC concerning Collaborative Training through a central pot of money known as the Collaborative Training Account or CTA.

What is the EPSRC's eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for funding/a scholarship on Collaborative Training, the funder (in this case the EPSRC) stipulates:

To receive a full scholarship (which is tuition costs and fees); you need to be:

  • A UK resident
  • An International student who has Leave to Remain issued by the Home Office

To receive a partial scholarship (which is tuition fees only), you need to be:

  • An EU student who has completed their first degree in the UK

More specifically this means that International students and EU students (who don't meet the criterion above) cannot apply for funding/scholarships on Collaborative Training degrees and projects. However you may receive funding for other types of courses.

Who is eligible to apply?


In general if you are applying for this type of training, you need to meet UCL entrance criteria and if you need funding, then the funder's criteria applies.

What is UCL entrance criteria?

All applicants need to meet UCL recruitment criteria. Broadly speaking, you need to meet relevant postgraduate qualifications or having equivalent appropriate industrial experience - see the UCL's information for prospective students for more details.

What is the funder's eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for funding/a scholarship on KTA Collaborative Training, the funder (in this case the EPSRC) stipulates:

To receive a full scholarship (which is tuition costs and fees); you need to be:

  • A UK resident
  • An International student who has Leave to Remain issued by the Home Office

To receive a partial scholarship (which is tuition fees only), you need to be:

  • An EU student who has completed their first degree in the UK

More specifically this means that International students and EU students (who don't meet the criterion above) cannot apply for funding/scholarships on KTA Collaborative Training degrees and projects. However you may receive funding for other types of courses.

Are there any scholarships available?


Check our Current Portfolio of EPSRC Collaborative Training Account (2004-2011). Click on the relevant Department within the list below. The Departments staff will be happy to discuss any current openings for scholarships or how to apply for a place on a course.

How do I apply?


Once you've decided on the course you're interested in, simply contact the relevant department, check your eligibility with the guidelines they suggest, then visit the UCL Prospective Graduate Students website.