Innovation & Enterprise


Industrial expert-in-residence funding

You can host an industrial expert within your group or department at UCL to increase the impact of EPSRC-funded research.

Who it’s for

You’ll be a researcher with an external professional on board who’ll be embedded in your group or department and whose expertise complements yours.

The industrial expert-in-residence (IiR) is expected to be a senior member of their industry and to have demonstrated the appropriate skills and experience for the proposed project. Their current employment can be full-time, part-time, or self-employed. IiRs cannot be from other higher education institutions or other educational establishments.

What projects could qualify

This funding can help you build deep engagement with industry by collaborating with a senior industry expert. The industrial expert in residence (IiR) will spend time in UCL, supporting the development of the impact of specific UCL research programmes and encourage the UCL community to develop an outward-looking approach.

By engaging in this collaboration, the IiR will complement and enhance ongoing UCL activity in the engineering and physical sciences by providing industrial and commercial expertise. This will build UCL’s staff and students’ knowledge of the challenges and motivations of industry and how it relates to their research, and will help develop their commercial skills.

The IiR and their employer will need to show their commitment to the project by providing match funding. In return, they’ll benefit from the experience through, for example, direct access to UCL’s academic expertise and resources as well as the opportunity to give input on the direction of UCL research and people development. 

The types of activities you can get funding for include:

  • Developing training tailored to the UCL EPSRC-funded community who are considering working in industry.
  • Providing support to develop initiatives such as innovation networks, where academia and external stakeholders (industry and governments) build communities of practice.
  • Providing guidance and support on the skills needed to work with potential business partners. This could include mentoring.
  • Exploring and developing the commercial potential of UCL research, using the IiR’s industrial expertise.

Your proposal will need to:

  • show how it maximises the impact of EPSRC-funded research and benefits the UK
  • outline the relevant skills and experience of the proposed expert
  • show how both partners will share their expertise
  • show how the project will have a measurable benefit for both partners. Funding can only be approved where there is evidence of equal benefit to UCL as well as the partner organisation.

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

What funding is available

You can apply for up to £30,000 for projects of 3 months or more.

Your proposed expert (if self-employed) or their employer will need to match the EPSRC IAA funding. The IiR will need to become UCL staff for the purposes of the project.

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 funding scheme 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.)

After you’ve started to fill in the web application form, you can save and return to it as many times as you need before submitting. Note that only one person can access the form.

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 the Knowledge Exchange team to assess its eligibility and make sure it matches the funding criteria. 
  2. If it does, at least three 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. For applications over £15,000, the Innovation & Enterprise Funding Committee will consider the application and make a recommendation to the Executive Director, UCL Innovation & Enterprise on whether to award or decline. She’ll make the final decision. For applications up to £15,000, the Knowledge Exchange team will make the final decision. The same criteria are applied in both cases.

Funding source

  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) 2020-22