Research Collaboration and Joint Research Projects


Knowledge Transfer Champion
Mr. Tony Ward
tel: +44 (0)1904 323021

See also:

There are a range of ways that the Department can collaborate with industry on research topics:

We're happy to discuss these and any other possibilities. Please contact the academic most closely associated with the work of interest, or for general queries, contact Tony Ward.

Direct Research Contracts

Research groups in the Department can undertake research contracts. Each contract is managed by an academic or research fellow.

Research contracts can be set up in a number of ways to suit both parties; for example, one mechanism might be a study report to be purchased by the customer. If a series of short tasks are envisaged, a Tasking Contract can be set up; this provides a framework with an agreed daily rate for undertaking short tasks at short notice.

The costs of such contracts primarily cover the researchers' salaries and other expenses. For shorter/smaller contracts it is likely that suitable research staff will be available, however for longer/larger contracts additional staff can be recruited. In return, the industrial partner can draw upon the expertise of the Research Group as a whole, and gain access to our facilities.

If the particular expertise of a member of staff is required, then a research contract can "buy out" their time from teaching and administration duties. This is only practical for larger contracts (at least one year) due to the need to recruit additional staff to take over these duties.

For more details please contact the leader of the appropriate research group.

Collaborative Research Programmes

In addition to direct funding of research, there are a number of opportunities for longer-term research collaboration between companies/agencies and the University.

In particular, European Union programmes can be highly rewarding, although they do require significant time and effort to establish. We are very willing to join consortia or programmes where we can add value, and are currently actively involved with various Expressions Of Interest (EOIs) and Proposals.

Sponsoring a Postgraduate Research Student

The main postgraduate programme is the PhD: this is usually a 3 year full-time research programme undertaken at York. Students are drawn from a range of applicants, including York graduating students, other UK graduating students, and overseas applicants. There are a range of options by which such students can be supported, including:

Free-standing fully-funded studentships

A company can sponsor a student directly, by providing living expenses to the student as well as the University fees. This is relatively expensive, but totally flexible. How much is paid to the student by way of cost-of living support is largely between the student and the sponsor, although up to £15000 p.a. might be a guideline.

While not necessary, it is common for the students to spend some time each year working at the sponsoring company.

EPSRC studentships

EPSRC award industrial CASE studentships for which the company must apply. These can provide full funding for the student throughout their PhD studies, although the company is also required to make an additional contribution. The student is required to spend at least three months working at the company, and undertake a project relevant to the company.

Other EPSRC studentships are awarded to the university, and pay the student living expenses as well as the University fees. The number of available studentships is very limited, and there is usually fierce competition for them in the early Spring. Industrial involvement in EPSRC-funded research programmes is welcomed, and is comparatively inexpensive; however there is less opportunity to influence the direction of the work.

Partial self-funded students

We receive large numbers of applications from overseas students, the majority of whom are seeking additional financial support to make their studies viable. Any contribution towards their fees and living expenses will be well received.

The department offers a one-year MSc by Research, which includes some taught courses along with a major research project. While few students can afford to fund themselves for three years, a few can for one-year, and this provides a lower-cost possibility for a shorter research project. It is also possible to take the MSc on a part-time basis.