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Knowledge Transfer Fellowships

Funds are available to support 3-12 month Knowledge Transfer Fellowships to transfer knowledge and expertise linked to EPSRC research between the University and a partner company. The Fellowship will fund a researcher or member of academic staff to undertake a secondment to a business or other partner organisation. Fellowships are also open to company employees to spend time working in a University department to facilitate knowledge transfer.

The exchange of people between industry and academia creates a two-way flow of knowledge and expertise, allowing both partners to benefit from new perspectives and insights. Researchers can gain great career benefit from spending time in industry to understand the different needs and culture of commercial organisations, making useful links and contacts for the future. Potential applicants are advised to consult the Secondments – Lessons from Practice guide available at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/rso/iaa/bestpractice/

Who can apply

Outward Fellowships: Academic staff, postdoctoral research staff and completing PhD students can be considered for a Fellowship. Fellowship applications are particularly welcomed from completing PhD students and post-doctoral researchers to transfer the results of their research into a partner company or other organisation.  PhD students/PDRAs are recommended to consult their supervisor as the first step in applying for a Fellowship. PhD students must have submitted their thesis before commencing the Fellowship.

Inward Fellowships: Applications are invited from academic staff to host a named industry contact in their Department for a 3-12 month Fellowship.

Applicants need not personally have been previously funded by an EPSRC grant or studentship. However the field of work must fall within EPSRC remit and the proposal must demonstrate how knowledge and expertise linked to EPSRC research will be transferred between the University and the partner company.

Eligible Costs

Outward Fellowships: Staff costs (full- or part-time) for the Fellow plus travel and subsistence can be included up to a maximum of £60 000.

Inward Fellowships: Travel and subsistence, consumables, and other direct costs can be supported up to a maximum of £60 000.  NB IAA funds cannot be used for employment costs of the incoming Fellow as they will continue to be employed by their existing employer.

In all cases funds cannot be used for patent costs, estates costs, indirect costs or capital items of equipment. Full Economic Costing (FEC) must be used when completing the form. Please consult with your departmental finance team to obtain an X5 costing for your proposal. The spend on these awards must be completed by 31st March 2017 latest or funds will be returned to EPSRC, however most projects are expected to complete well in advance of this date.

Application process

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact their departmental Knowledge Transfer Facilitator (KTF) for advice. A list of KTFs is available at www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/rso/iaa/ktf/. If your department does not have a Knowledge Transfer Facilitator, please contact researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk with any queries.

Applicants must ensure they are aware of any internal Departmental deadlines for approval by Head of Department before submission.

Expression of Interest Deadline 1st June 2015

Expressions of Interest should be emailed to researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk by the PI with their name and Department, the name of the proposed Fellow and company partner and a short overview of the proposed project. EoIs are not subject to formal assessment but are requested for planning purposes.

Full application Deadline 22nd June 2015

Full proposals should be emailed to researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk

Assessment process

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will be considered by a cross-disciplinary panel of academics with experience in industrial collaboration.

Applications will be considered against the following over-arching criteria

  • Quality of project plan;
  • Potential benefits to all partners;
  • Value added by the IAA funding.

Proposal Requirements

Please collate all documents and submit as one PDF document.

The proposal should consist of no more than 4 sides of A4 text outlining the rationale and plan for the Fellowship to include:

  • Brief explanation of underpinning research and link to previous EPSRC funding;
  • Clear list of project tasks and a GANTT chart;
  • Working pattern for the Fellow stating working location and whether full- or part-time;
  • Brief overview of the company’s activities;
  • Commercial reason for the company's interest;
  • Details of resources to be committed by the company;
  • Relevant track record of the PI;
  • Expected benefits to the Fellow, the company and the Department/University.


  • Completed budget and signature form;
  • A letter of support from the company partner, confirming support including agreed details of the secondment  of staff on a full- or part-time basis as appropriate.

An appropriate collaboration agreement covering IP terms must be signed between the Fellow, University and company before the Fellowship begins. Please contact the Research Operations Office for advice. 

As a matter of good practice, any proposed changes to project timescales or scope should be by prior agreement with the company partner.

Progress reviews

As a condition of the grant, progress review meetings must be held at the start of the project and then at least every 3 months with your Departmental Knowledge Transfer Facilitator, or equivalent, to monitor project progress and identify any additional support needs.

Any questions regarding the scheme arrangements should be directed to researchstrategy@admin.cam.ac.uk.