Innovation & Enterprise


UKRI IAA doctoral student internship support and impact projects

Access funding for training, an internship with a non-academic organisation or, if you've completed your doctoral studies, a short post at UCL to engage in impact-focused activities.

Who it’s for

You'll be a UCL-registered doctoral student who has been funded by the EPSRC or BBSRC. 

What projects could qualify

Funding can be used for:

  1. Doctoral student internship
    You’ll need to have an internship or secondment lined up with a non-academic organisation. The internship should be complementary to your doctoral studies and not an integral part of your research. (e.g. you cannot carry out activities essential to the development of your doctoral thesis; the internship cannot be hosted by the organisation co-funding your CASE studentship, or DTP etc).

  2. Short impact project - ‘Focus on Impact’
    You’ll have completed your doctoral studies and be ready to take on a short post at UCL to focus on impact-related activity. The activity should focus on putting previous research findings to use outside academia. This could include developing partnerships with external organisations, working with user groups, steps towards commercialisation, etc. Some examples of the types of eligible activities are available on the Vitae website.

  3. Short training course
    The course must have a focus on developing your knowledge exchange or research impact-related skills. For examples, visit the Praxis Auril website.

The project should provide you with opportunities, skills and experience that you would not acquire through your doctoral studies.

The funds cannot be used to cover research or public engagement projects such as one-way dissemination (e.g. a conference, or podcast), setting up new businesses, or protection of IP (e.g. patenting costs).

Funding can support a project of up to 3 months.

How much you can apply for

You can apply for up to £7,000.

Funds can be used to cover your salary, travel and subsistence, training costs and any other costs directly required for the project.

When to apply

Applications are currently closed.

You’ll hear if your application has been successful 1 week after the closing date of the call.

Submissions received outside call dates will not be considered but please contact the Knowledge Exchange team (knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk) to discuss whether there will be alternative opportunities for funding.

When your project can start

If you applied in the last call and you're successful, the earliest your project can start is 21 May 2024 (to allow time for the award to be processed).

If you're applying for funding for a training course, please do not book anything before confirming your application has been successful.

How to apply

You can submit documents and finalise details with your supervisor or other staff after the application deadline, but please ensure you submit the application form with details of what you currently plan to do by the closing date.

1. Read relevant guidance and policy


You’re encouraged to email the team at knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions. We strongly recommend you do so at the earliest opportunity, irrespective of the stage of development of your project.

2. Fill in the application form

Fill in the form on Microsoft forms. You'll need to login using your UCL credentials (user ID: ucyxxxxx and password).

Only one person can access the form as it is accessed through your UCL Microsoft login. After you’ve started to fill in the form, the information is saved as long as you do not change browsers or log out of your Microsoft account.

In the application form, you’ll need to outline:

  • what you'll be doing
  • what this funding will allow you to achieve that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do
  • how the opportunity to access these funds benefits you
  • what the impact of the work will be (impact projects only – this can include skills and benefits to the student)
  • details of the training course (if relevant)

As these funds cannot be used to fund research, you need to confirm in your application that this activity is additional to your core doctoral studies. The work can be incorporated into your thesis, but this cannot be the main aim of the work, which should instead focus on added value.

2.1 Training course applications

If applying for funding for a training course, you'll need to provide the title of the course, details of its contents, its cost and the dates. On the form, use the following fields to provide this information:

  • Project title - enter the title of the course
  • Project start date and end date - enter the dates of the course
  • What will you be doing? - provide details of the course contents and enter links to any online promotional material

3. Gather and submit supporting documents

You’ll need to provide the following supporting documentation:

  • Confirmation of approval from your doctoral supervisor 
  • Confirmation email from your host organisation/group or the UCL Head of Department (an offer letter will also be acceptable)
  • Confirmation of approval from your finance team (only needed for impact projects; usually Departmental Administrator or Departmental Manager)
  • A standalone Worktribe costing (questions on preparing your Worktribe budget should be directed to your department’s finance team). Estates costs, infrastructure and technician costs, and indirect costs are not covered by this funding.

You can use this email template when emailing you supervisor and finance contact:

Please can you reply to this email to confirm that you are supportive of my application for the UKRI Impact Acceleration [scheme] funding from [dates]. 

[Any additional details].

The funding will cover [summary of costs requested] but will not cover indirect or estates costs where incurred.

You can either upload your supporting documents as PDFs when completing the application form, or email to knowledge.exchange@ucl.ac.uk after you've submitted the form.

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, it will be reviewed by innovation-engaged UCL staff. Where demand exceeds funds available, final-year doctoral students will be prioritised.
  3. The Knowledge Exchange team will make the final decision based on the reviews.

Funding source

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

Terms and conditions

  1. By using the funds, you agree to abide by the conditions laid out below and in the award letter. All projects should adhere to UCL’s standard best practice and ethical guidance.
  2. This grant cannot be transferred to another organisation or another individual.
  3. Funds may only be used for the costs described in the application for the project awarded. Any changes must be authorised by UCL Innovation & Enterprise (e.g. if you need an extension, or to spend money on something different to that outlined in the application). Note that approved changes will only be progressed by a member of the Research and Innovation Services team upon approval from UCL Innovation & Enterprise. Extension requests will require a new award letter before they can be progressed.
  4. This funding must not be used towards estates and indirect costs, patents, protection of intellectual property.
  5. Project participants will be required to take part in the monitoring and reporting processes associated with the scheme and the development of case studies.
  6. The PI will be your doctoral supervisor and is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate collaboration agreement is in place with any partners, where applicable. This must be arranged via your Department’s Research Contracts Manager.
  7. The PI is responsible for ensuring any person engaged, employed, or who may volunteer to work on this project (including students, postdoctoral research assistants, sponsored researchers, etc.) complies fully with the UK legislation on right to work throughout any time they are participating on the project. They may have number of weekly hours restriction as part of their student status. For more information please check the UCL HR website and/or contact your local HR team or HR Business Partner for assistance.
  8. Funds are distributed using the normal UCL financial regulations and systems. All successful applicants are issued with an award letter from UCL Innovation & Enterprise or another approved signatory, which will provide details of the sum awarded, any specific conditions associated with the project (usually set by reviewers or the Innovation & Enterprise Funding Committee), and the project’s unique reference number. Funds will be allocated to the PI’s department and projects will then be assigned a dedicated Departmental MyFinance project code.

    To allow auditing and monitoring according to UKRI requirements, costs should be charged directly to the dedicated account, rather than by transferring money to other accounts. 

    All projects will have a start and end date. No commitments can be made outside these dates. After the end date, departments will have 3 months to process invoices, etc., then the project will be shut down.

    Any unaccounted costs or underspends will be reclaimed for re-use within further calls.

    It is the responsibility of PIs to monitor the expenditure and budget. The day-to-day management of the funds and any overspends in expenditure outside the funds awarded will be the responsibility of the PI’s department. UCL Innovation & Enterprise are not responsible for the day-to-day management of the funds. 

  9.  Awardees will be required to acknowledge UCL EPSRC or BBSRC Impact Acceleration Account support in any published outcomes (including media communication) associated with the award.