More than £24m of funding for industrial studentships


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Over 200 doctoral students will benefit from more than £24 million of funding to work on pressing research challenges with UK businesses through this year’s Industrial Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (ICASE) studentships.

The 204 ICASE studentships are supported by an investment of £18 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC*), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI**), and £6.7 million from the 35 industrial partners, including GSK, Unilever, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Gaining skills

The ICASE students will work on research projects co-developed by the industrial partners and host universities.

These projects will provide the students with the opportunity to gain expertise and skills applicable to future roles in academia or industry, as well as contribute to projects with real-world relevance and impact.

The ICASE scheme, which has been running since 1994, provides students with valuable industrial experience and access to training, facilities, and expertise.

Generating impact

As highlighted by previous ICASE studentships, the research projects will generate direct impact for some of the UK’s leading businesses.

For example, William Christian and Professor Eann Patterson from the University of Liverpool used their ICASE collaboration with Airbus to develop a new method to detect the initiation of cracks in aircraft before they are visible to the eye.

This technique could have positive environmental and industrial impacts with greater knowledge of defect mechanics allowing the development of lighter aircraft leading to lower emissions.

Environmental benefits

Another example from a previous cohort is Nottingham Trent University’s Professor Emily Burton and Dawn Scholey, who collaborated with Peterborough-based animal nutrition and agricultural service company AB Agri.

The collaboration led to a new form of bioprocessed protein to replace South American soya beans. In turn, this has reduced the environmental impact from meat poultry production and led to significant new economic opportunities in the US for the company.

Dr Andrew Bourne, EPSRC Director for Partnerships, said:

“ICASE studentships equip outstanding early career researchers with the skills and experience they need to forge an impactful career across engineering and the physical sciences.

“And through their studentships, they generate real impact through fundamental discovery science that will benefit not only the businesses they are based at but society and the economy as well.”

Find out more: https://epsrc.ukri.org/skills/students/industrial-case/intro/

EPSRC* - https://epsrc.ukri.org/
UKRI** - https://www.ukri.org/

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 423267

Fax: +44 (0) 1223 420268