Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Science and technology projects: industrial CASE and CASE plus studentship

Apply for funding to provide training for a PhD student at your organisation.

You must be an eligible research organisation. Training must be provided jointly with a non-academic organisation.

The project must fall within the STFC core science programme in one of:

  • astronomy
  • solar and planetary science
  • particle physics
  • particle astrophysics and cosmology
  • nuclear physics
  • accelerator science.

The industrial CASE-plus studentship opportunity additionally helps students to become more effective in promoting technology and knowledge transfer, should their chosen career path take them into either academic research or industry.

Who can apply

Proposals should be submitted by a supervisor from a research organisation eligible to be the academic partner through the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

Proposals may be led by either the academic supervisor at an eligible UK university or research institute or supervisors at the non-academic partner organisation.

The application process must be completed by the academic partner, who will then be the recipient of the award.

Before preparing and submitting a proposal, it is essential you ensure the non-academic partner and academic institution are both eligible.

Organisations eligible for research council funding cannot act as a non-academic partner. In most cases, the non-academic partner will be a company and must have an established UK-based research or commercial production capability.

Organisations eligible to receive STFC grant funding and those independent research organisations approved as eligible to hold grants may act as the academic partner, but not as the non-academic partner. Non-university academic-related partners would need to host the studentship in conjunction with the university where the student would be registered.

Other UK-based organisations (including UK subsidiaries of foreign firms) may act as the non-academic partner if they can provide students with distinctive research training and experience not available in an academic setting.

In exceptional cases, organisations based overseas may be eligible. However, they must have an established UK-based research or production capability and be able to provide the student with an opportunity to gain skills not currently available in the UK.

Academic departments must hold STFC studentship accreditation or submit an accreditation application with their proposal.

What we're looking for

The industrial CASE studentship collaborative training funding opportunity gives PhD students experience outside a purely academic environment.

The opportunity provides support for students working on projects that involve joint supervision by a member of staff at an academic or related institution, and an employee of a non-academic organisation such as a UK industrial firm, public sector organisation or charity.

The projects must:

  • fall within the STFC core science programme in:
    • astronomy
    • solar and planetary science
    • particle physics
    • particle astrophysics and cosmology
    • nuclear physics
    • accelerator science
  • aim to apply technologies or techniques developed within the programme into other areas.

The primary aim of industrial CASE is to provide the student with training that:

  • is high quality
  • involves experience outside a purely academic environment
  • seeks to further the STFC core science programme or to apply the knowledge and capability developed within the programme to areas where it will have a societal or economic impact.

STFC will, for all CASE studentships, provide an enhancement to the student stipend of £1,615 (compared with other STFC studentships).

Industrial CASE-plus studentships

The industrial CASE-plus studentship opportunity extends the industrial CASE opportunity to help students become more effective in promoting technology and knowledge transfer, should their chosen career path take them into either academic research or industry.

For the first three and a half years of the award, industrial CASE-plus operates in the same way as the industrial CASE opportunity. The main difference is that the student spends a further year on the premises of the non-academic partner, working full-time as an employee and gaining further technological training.

Non-academic partner responsibilities

Industrial CASE awards are for a minimum of three and a half years. During the period of the award, the student is required to spend a period on the premises of the non-academic partner.

For a three and a half year award, the cumulative period should be no less than nine months but this could be spread over the period of the studentship and would not normally exceed 18 months. The time spent during this period should be beneficial to the student, with the non-academic partner providing access to training, facilities and expertise not available in the student’s academic setting.

The non-academic partner is required to take part in recruitment and monitoring of the student and to maintain active contact with the student and academic supervisor throughout the period of the studentship. Non-academic partners, excluding small and medium enterprises (SMEs), are required to make a financial contribution to both the student and the project. It must include:

  • a minimum annual contribution to the academic research organisation towards the cost of the project of £1,400
  • all additional expenses incurred by the student as a direct result of attendance at the premises of the non-academic partner, such as the cost of travel and accommodation (including the cost of flights in the case of overseas companies)
  • all additional expenses incurred due to the use of equipment and facilities, costs associated with conference and meeting attendance, and consumables
  • a minimum annual contribution to the student of £2,760.

SMEs

There is no longer a requirement for SMEs to make a contribution to the academic research organisation or to the student’s stipend. These costs will instead be provided by STFC.

SMEs would still be expected to fund the additional accommodation and travel costs associated with attending the non-academic partner and additional expenses incurred due to the use of equipment and facilities. SMEs can make additional financial contributions.

The definition of an SME is:

  • the company must have a staff headcount of less than 250
  • the company must have a turnover not exceeding €50 million or a balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.

Industrial CASE-plus studentships only

During the additional year, the student is employed by the non-academic partner at a salary equivalent to that of a new STFC postdoctoral researcher.

STFC will contribute 50% of the salary cost incurred by the non-academic partner (up to a maximum STFC contribution of £14,250). STFC will not commence funding for the additional year until the PhD thesis has been submitted.

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. Proposals should be submitted by a supervisor from a research organisation eligible to be the academic partner.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook.

We recommend you start your application early.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Submitting your application

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: Industrial CASE 2022/Industrial CASE-plus 2022.

This will populate:

  • council: STFC
  • document type: studentship proposal
  • scheme: Industrial CASE
  • call/type/mode: Industrial CASE 2022/Industrial CASE-plus 2022.

Project details (up to 150 characters)

Assign a reference to this proposal so that it is easily identifiable to you in the ‘Studentship Proposal – Current Documents’ menu within Je-S.

Title

Please give the project title for your proposal.

Research organisation

The lead organisation is the academic institution and is responsible for the submission of the proposal.

Please enter the department within which the project will be based.

Grant holder

This is the lead supervisor of the project at the academic institution. Please give details of the person to whom all STFC correspondence should be sent to regarding the processing and outcome of the proposal, and to whom any related queries should be directed.

Project summary (up to 4,000 characters)

Please provide a description of the proposed project and the relevance of the project to STFC’s remit in a manner for a non-specialist reader. This summary will be made publicly available if the proposal is funded. Please ensure that your proposal project is within remit prior to submission.

Please include details of your collaborating partner.

This summary should be considered as the ‘abstract’ for your proposal. The 4,000 character limit is an agreed length for all proposals on Je-S. Please do not aim to use this limit. The case for support form is intended for the detailed description of the proposal.

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

Deadline

STFC must receive your application by 29 September 2022 at 16:00.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.

You should ensure that you submit your proposal to your institution’s approval pool a minimum of five working days in advance of the deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out prior to final submission to us.

Attachments

Industrial CASE proposals require two additional document attachments:

  • an industrial CASE ‘case for support’ proforma
  • non-academic partner or company details.

Industrial CASE-plus proposals require three additional document attachments:

  • an industrial CASE ‘case for support’ proforma
  • non-academic partner or company details
  • CASE-plus document.

All mandatory attachments must be completed using the standard STFC templates. See the ‘additional info’ section to download these templates. This excludes the CASE-plus document, which is a statement of support (including justification for the extra year of funding) and does not require a template. No other attachments will be considered.

The documents must be submitted as PDF attachments and written as per STFC specific requirements. Standard Arial font size 11 is the preferred font for STFC.

The required attachments must be submitted with the project proposal proforma in Je-S. We will not accept stand-alone documents.

How we will assess your application

The key assessment criterion will be the overall quality of training offered by the academic institution and the proposed non-academic partner.

The assessment panel will not necessarily be experts in your field. Therefore, please pitch your application, particularly your case for support, to a non-specialist audience drawn from the broad fields of astronomy, particle physics and nuclear physics. The proposal must:

  • be of acceptable technical quality
  • have a high enough level of industrial collaboration and support
  • have an acceptable project management plan to be considered for funding.

The project

The panel will consider:

  • whether the proposed project is well-aligned to STFC’s core programme
  • whether the project is of sufficient quality for a PhD project
  • whether the project is achievable for the student in the timeframe and whether the milestones are realistic
  • what is innovative about this project
  • whether there is an explanation of the risks (technical, environmental), how they will be tackled and alternative approaches that may be used in contingency.

Impact plan

The panel will consider what economic, social and environmental benefits, beyond that of the investigator’s immediate professional circle, the project is expected to deliver.

Research environments, training and support

The panel will consider:

  • what the overall quality of the academic research environment and training programme is to be made available to the student
  • whether the academic partner shows a level of commitment to the studentship, and provides interactions with other students and researchers
  • what the overall quality of the non-academic environment and the research training programme is to be made available to the student by the non-academic partner
  • what facilities the non-academic environment provides for research training and whether the proposed project relate to the facilities available.

Management and monitoring

The panel will consider:

  • what the overall quality of the proposed management of the student is with the non-academic partner
  • whether there are suitable arrangements in place for supervision of the student at both the academic and non-academic partners
  • whether there are provisions in place for monitoring progress.

Collaboration

The panel will consider:

  • whether a case has been made for the collaboration
  • whether the application demonstrates a robust partnership
  • how the student will benefit from the collaboration
  • how the awarding of a studentship will benefit the academic partner
  • how the awarding of a studentship will benefit the non-academic partner
  • whether there are suitable intellectual property rights arrangements in place
  • whether there are specific details on specific training that will be carried out when the student is on placement at the non-academic partner that could not be carried out at the academic partner.

Industrial CASE-plus only

The panel will consider:

  • how the project in the additional year enhances the work of the previous three and a half years in terms of time, cost, quality and achievement
  • what additional technological training the student will receive
  • how the student will become more effective in promoting knowledge transfer
  • how the awarding of the additional year will benefit the academic and non-academic partner.

The panel will score each application and meet via video teleconference to agree a ranked list at the end of November 2022.

It is expected that decisions will be announced early January 2023.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal, please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

Jemma Wilson, Programme Manager

Email: studentships@stfc.ukri.org

Get help with applying through Je-S

Email

jeshelp@je-s.ukri.org

Telephone

01793 444164

Opening times

Je-S helpdesk opening times

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