Partnerships are a cost-effective way for industry, non-profit and public-sector organisations to access Imperial’s unparalleled expertise. To create a win-win scenario, various collaboration models (listed below) are available, often with opportunities for co-funding. 

Please contact us for further information and we will be happy to get on a call to discuss your specific requirements.

Collaboration models

Collaborative grant-funded projects

We can work jointly on grant-funded projects where some of the funding comes from external sources such as from the UK government agencies, example Innovate UK

Directly sponsored research

Projects directly sponsored with a 1-1 relation between the external sponsor (funder-partner) and us  – on a particular scope of work, and guaranteed access to the research results. This could be via PhD studentships, sponsoring research projects involving academics and post-doctoral researchers, research fellowships and internship opportunities for Masters Project. 

Sponsor a PhD studentship

PhD studentship projects are longer term projects spanning 3.5-4 years (for full time) and for problems that need novel solutions. These could be fully funded by industry/external partner and in some cases (such as CDTs and iCase) they could be supported by government grants. As well as sponsoring researchers, partners can attend or host workshops, host researcher secondments or mini projects, or provide data/software. 

Two of our CDTs are currently looking for external partners: 
CDT in Mathematics of Random Systems,
CDT in Statistics and Machine Learning (StatML).

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a kind of collaborative grant project where the idea is to transfer/embed knowledge from the university to the company via a KTP associate, who plays a much more central role than other research projects. It is a 3-way partnership between:

  • a UK-based business of any size or a not-for-profit organisation
  • an academic, research organisation or Catapult. This could be a university, college or research and technology organisation in the UK
  • a suitably-qualified graduate, with the capability to lead a strategic business project

They are generally 1-3 years in duration. Innovate UK contributes 67% for a SME (50% for a large company) of allowable costs to the University and the Company contributes 33% (50%). The Company can provide top-up on salaries. A KTP application must be completed jointly by the prospective business and the academic or research organisation partner, with the agreement of a Knowledge Transfer Adviser.

Find out more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Research donation / Gift

Gifts are charitable contributions for which the company (donor) does not receive any tangible benefits in return, though they qualify for tax treatment as charitable contribution by donor. Gifts can be completely unrestricted or restricted for use in a specific area (e.g. faculty, department, research group etc.), by an individual (e.g. an academic) and/or for a specific purpose (e.g. research, PhD student, equipment etc). Common uses for donations are Research, Student Support, Capital Projects and Endowments.

Short-term consultancy projects

Projects can fall under the category of consultancy where the industry/external partner pays based on per-day rates/small piece of work. Providing expert advice through Imperial Consultants (ICON), a wholly owned consultancy company of Imperial, is an established mechanism for us to share knowledge and expertise with external organisations.