Introduction to industrial CASE
Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE) provides funding for PhD studentships where businesses take the lead in arranging projects with an academic partner of their choice.
These aim of these awards is to provide PhD students with a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration between academic and partner organisations for example industry and policy making bodies.
Benefits to the student - Industrial CASE provides outstanding students access to training, facilities and expertise not available in an academic setting alone. Students benefit from a diversity of experimental approaches with an applied / translational dimension. Students have an opportunity to develop a range of valuable skills and significantly enhance their future employability; many will become research leaders of the future.
Benefits to the academic / partner organisations - Industrial CASE studentships encourage productive engagement between partners who benefit from a motivated, high-quality PhD student undertaking cutting-edge research relevant to the organisations‘ priorities and objectives. The studentship provides opportunities to explore novel research collaborations and strengthen current partnerships.
Defining an excellent CASE Studentship:
- High-quality project - a challenging, feasible and realistically achievable PhD project which stimulates excellent discovery-oriented research. Through a truly collaborative approach, it provides tangible benefits to all partners.
- High-quality training environment - Through access to distinctive but complementary environments, partners provide a stimulating framework for research training in the proposed field. Joint supervision gives a unique and broadening perspective on the impact of collaborative research.
- High-quality student experience - An enriched integrated training experience allows the student to acquire novel skills and expertise. The student gains a wider understanding of, for example, applied research or policy development that will enhance their future career prospects
Industrial CASE studentships
Students receive funding for a full EPSRC studentship for 4 years. Companies provide additional top up to the project of a minimum of a third of the EPSRC funding. The student must spend at least three months at the company, and the company pays any travel and subsistence costs. Projects should be in the area of engineering and the physical sciences.
How it works
A company allocated an award defines a research project and picks an academic partner. Once the arrangements for the project have been agreed between the company and research organisation, they can recruit a student.
Companies may place these studentships with any Research Organisation that also receives Doctoral Training Partnership funding from EPSRC. The rationale for this is twofold:
- To provide a potentially better student experience (via the student being part of a larger cohort of individuals working in leading research teams for example).
- To facilitate the strategic use of all EPSRC's students via EPSRC working with a smaller group of companies and research organisations, to target training at areas of particular strategic importance.
How industrial CASE awards are allocated
We allocate awards directly to businesses, primarily using an algorithm based on financial contributions on EPSRC-funded research. Following a review of the allocation process, all other routes to CASE awards have been discontinued in order to target support more strategically and efficiently.
To be an Industrial CASE sponsor, companies must have an established UK-based research and/or commercial production capability.
Student eligibility requirements for EPSRC Industrial CASE funding are the same as for our other studentship awards, namely:
- A relevant connection with the UK, usually established by residence
- An upper second class honours degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level
EU students may be eligible for a fees-only award (no maintenance grant). Please see student eligibility for details and contact your university postgraduate admissions office for advice.
Additional industrial partners on ICASE
An industrial partner in receipt of ICASE vouchers may involve one additional UK-based industrial partner (such as an SME) on a project.
The industrial partner which was allocated the ICASE vouchers becomes the lead industrial partner, and in line with the standard ICASE requirements, is responsible for contributing the 33% financial top-up and the student’s expenses incurred during secondment. Student placements may be with either industrial partner, or both.
The ICASE contact at the lead industrial partner will be the point of contact between the additional industrial partner and EPSRC.
The collaboration agreement between the lead industrial partner, the partnering university and the additional industrial partner should formalise exactly how any contributions from the additional industrial partner are delivered (e.g. via the lead industrial partner, or directly to the university). The lead industrial partner and partnering university will be responsible for ensuring the quality and funding of the studentship.
Awards are funded through Industrial CASE accounts. Further information on this can be found in the Industrial CASE accounts terms and conditions document which is available to download on the Industrial CASE landing page.
Information on individual university Industrial CASE accounts can be found on the List Schemes page on the Grants on the Web website.
Industrial CASE is not our only scheme where industry can get involved with PhD projects. Companies can sponsor students and projects supported through EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).
Note: To actively support and encourage collaboration through the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) route, EPSRC has, since 2009, set the research organisation the target of converting 10% of its DTP funds into CASE awards.
Please see below a list of the companies who qualified for the 2019/20 ICASE voucher allocation.