The Industrial CASE studentship collaborative training competition gives PhD students experience outside a purely academic environment.
The competition 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 and accelerator science or must 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, that involves experience outside a purely academic environment and that 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 competition extends the Industrial CASE competition 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 competition. 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 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.
Small and medium enterprises (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.