Innovation & Enterprise


Enterprise secondments funding

Put your research into practice outside academia, and build a lasting relationship with a non-academic partner organisation, with funding support.

Who it’s for

You'll be a member of academic staff with a partner organisation on board that’s based in the UK. It could be a business, charity, NGO or public sector organisation (e.g. local/national government, a hospital etc.).

Your secondee will be a current UCL member of staff or doctoral student. Early career researchers particularly benefit from the experience.

What projects could qualify

Your project must increase the impact of research outputs from previous or existing EPSRC research grants. 

If your project doesn’t have an EPSRC link, please contact the Knowledge Exchange team (knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk) to discuss opportunities for funding.

Funding of £20,000 can typically support a secondment of up to 3 months full-time or longer part-time (6 months is the maximum for PhD students).

As a secondee, you would ideally spend a minimum of 50% of the project based at your partner organisation’s offices.

Your proposal will need to:

  • show how both partners will share their expertise 
  • make a measurable difference to both, for example by exploring the development of new products or services, changing policy, etc.
  • benefit the secondee personally (e.g. joint industry or policy publications, skills development, commercial exposure, networks etc.) and UCL (e.g. through dissemination of outputs and best practice in the department, academic colleague visits etc.).

Further details on eligibility requirements can be found in our secondments funding guide (Word).

How much you can apply for

You can apply for up to £20,000.

Your external partner must make a cash or in-kind contribution of at least 25%.

Projects where the partner organisation(s) match the EPSRC IAA funding and/or carry some cash co-funding will be prioritised.

Variations to this contribution may be acceptable in specific circumstances. Further details can be found in our secondments funding guide (Word).

When your project can start

If you applied in the last call, the earliest you can start is 21 May 2024.

Funds must be spent fully by 31 March 2025.

Projects can be of any length, so long as they end by 31 March 2025.

When to apply

Applications are currently closed.

Submissions received outside published call dates will not be considered.

How to apply

We'd encourage you to speak to the Knowledge Exchange team (knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk) for advice on shaping your application and its eligibility. We strongly encourage you to do so at the earliest opportunity, irrespective of the stage of development of your project. 

  1. Read our secondment funding guide (Word) for advice on completing your application and details of the documents we’ll need to see.
  2. Read our guide to using the web application form (Word), and what information you'll need to have to hand before starting.
  3. Prepare the costing spreadsheet (Excel) (you need to provide this as well as your Standalone Worktribe costings).
  4. Fill in the web application form on our online portal. (You'll need your UCL login. Only one person can access the form. You can save and return to the form at any time.)

You can use the application template (Word) to share information with co-investigators or other colleagues if this is helpful. But applications must be submitted via the web application form (emailed applications will not be accepted).

If you have any feedback on the web form, please send to knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk so we can improve the process. 

After you apply

  1. Your proposal will be assessed by a member of the team to assess its eligibility and make sure it matches the funding criteria. 
  2. If it does, at least two members of innovation-engaged UCL staff will review it. Your application will be assessed on its suitability for the scheme, feasibility, and potential for impact. 
  3. The Knowledge Exchange team will take the decision and make a recommendation to the Executive Director, UCL Innovation & Enterprise on whether to award or decline. They’ll make the final decision.

Funding source

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) 2022-25.

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