Innovation and Enterprise


EPSRC: Secondments (enterprise) funding

Find out about the EPSRC secondments (enterprise) funding and how to apply for it.

Call for proposals

Enterprise Secondment Awards support UCL staff and researchers to promote their engagement in knowledge exchange through secondments with companies, social enterprises, charities and other non-academic organisations.

Proposal criteria

Your proposal should meet the following criteria:

  • Projects should have a clear knowledge-exchange focus
  • Project partners must have a UK-based research presence
  • Secondments should be endorsed by the secondee’s line manager, who will usually act as principal investigator (PI) for the project
  • Secondments should have demonstrable link to underpinning research in the EPSRC portfolio
  • Projects should demonstrate measurable impact to all partners, and should attract direct (cash) and/or in-kind contributions from the external partner
  • Projects should be no more than £30,000 for one to six months' work
  • Secondments to other HEIs (universities) or other educational establishments are not eligible
  • Applicants should seek approval and support from their Head of Department before applying

Projects will be prioritised based on their impact or the building of longer-term research partnerships. 

Impacts will be monitored through identifiable and measurable outcomes such as new jobs, scientific dissemination and follow-on activity (e.g. business start-ups and/or new collaborations with clear potential for intellectual property (IP) development and/or development of longer-term research partnerships).

The prospective benefits to project stakeholders (e.g. secondee, UCL, external partner) will all be considered.

Project duration

Projects should be no more than £30,000 for one to six months' work. (A higher sum may be available in exceptional circumstances.)

Allowable costs

A Worktribe standalone costing will need to be prepared and submitted for departmental review. As this is an internal grant, Research Finance Unit (RFU) approval isn't required.

Only direct costs are funded. This includes salary, national insurance (NI) and pension costs, reasonable travel and subsistence, and appropriate consumables.

The secondments will be supported for all career stages, from doctoral students to academic staff (the latter integrating with UCL’s existing sabbatical scheme).

How to apply / forms

  1. Read the information on this page, as well as the Enterprise Secondment application guidance (PDF).
  2. Fill in the Enterprise Secondment application form (DOCX).
  3. Check you've included all necessary documentation.
  4. Send your completed application form and supporting documents to form to Kemil Thomas at kemil.thomas@ucl.ac.uk

What you must include

To be accepted, your submission must include:

  • the completed application form
  • an email/letter from the Head of Department confirming their support of the PI/secondee collaborating on the project, as well as confirmation that they're aware the project isn't costed at full FEC and IAA funding won't cover any overheads recovery)
  • a copy of the Worktribe standalone budget breakdown
  • an up-to-date CV of the secondee
  • a letter of support from the external partner
  • (if the secondee is a PhD student - CRS period) a letter from the main academic supervisor confirming their support and that the student’s studies will not be affected by undertaking the secondment and no extension will be required in finishing their PhD

Key dates and deadlines - 2017 to 2018 funding

The last application deadline for 2017 has now passed. New calls for 2018 submissions will be announced before Christmas

Conditions of funding

The PI and secondee must:

  • commit to take part in the monitoring processes
  • engage with UCL Business (UCLB) and the UCL Research Contracts office to ensure UCL’s IP is protected and its value maximised where appropriate

Funds are dispensed using the normal UCL financial regulations and systems. Funds must be spent within the terms and conditions of the UCL IAA EPSRC. Any unaccounted costs or underspends will be clawed back for re-use within further calls. Overspends are the responsibility of the department.

Further information about conditions and benefits can be found in the Enterprise Secondment application guidance (PDF).

Assessment of proposals

Awards may be reviewed in confidence by members of the UCL community. The decision to award, suggest resubmission, or to decline, rests with the UCL Innovation and Enterprise Funding Committee, following which applicants will be notified about any next steps.

Applications for less than £15,000 funding may be awarded between meetings.


If you'd like to discuss a potential secondment funding application, please contact Kemil Thomas at kemil.thomas@ucl.ac.uk