CASE Partnership Guidelines

Collaborative awards in science and engineering, also known as Industrial or CASE studentships, allow non-academic organisations to partner with PhD research. They offer training opportunities, access to expertise and equipment, and financial support. CASE Partners provide doctoral students with additional research training experiences, via mutually beneficial collaborations spanning private and public sectors.

A CASE partnership can provide training and expertise not available in an academic setting, adding real-world context to your research. It offers the opportunity to make industry contacts who may be important to your future career. It also includes a £4000 contribution to research costs (£1000 per annum). By consulting with a CASE partner, you can better shape your research questions to meet the needs of the end-users (business, policy-makers, NGOs), ultimately making your results more impactful and relevant.

Eligibility

  • Any non-academic organisation within the public, private or third sector that has research and/or end-user interests in NERC’s remit is eligible to act as a CASE partner within a DTP. This includes private industry, the research organisations of the nationalised industries, public bodies such as regional water companies, county planning offices and public sector research establishments (PSREs).
  • Higher Education Institutes are not eligible to act as CASE partners.
  • International organisations are able to act as CASE partners in some instances –  to be eligible as a CASE partner, international organisations must be able to provide the student with an opportunity to gain skills that could not be provided by a UK-based partner.
  • Non-academic partners within a DTP may act as CASE partners.

    When considering potential CASE partners for a PhD project, our list of associate partners is a good place to start. These organisations have already expressed an interested in collaborating with London NERC DTP students.

Requirements

  • Supplementing the studentship by a minimum of £1000 p.a. for the duration of the studentship. This payment should be made to the lead research organisation to supplement the Research & Training Support Grant (RTSG).
  • It is mandatory that students spend a part of their training (between three and eighteen months) with the CASE partner. This placement represents an important contribution to the studentship  and should provide specific training or access to capabilities and expertise not available at the academic partner.
  • In addition to the cash contribution above, meeting any extra expenses (such as travel and subsistence) incurred by the student visiting and working in the CASE establishment(s).
  • Contributing in cash or in kind towards necessary materials whilst the student is based at the CASE partner establishment(s).

How to arrange a CASE Partnership

Students who are interested in a CASE partnership should begin by discussing this with their supervisor(s), and with the DTP Office. They will advise you on whether a CASE studentship is appropriate for the project, and help the student to select a relevant organisation. The DTP has a list of associate partners, who have already expressed an interest in partnering with PhD projects. This list may be helpful, but students should also consider other eligible organisations to find the most appropriate partner.

Supervisors can also enlist CASE partners for exemplar projects that they list on the website. If a supervisor is interested in developing a project with a CASE partner, please contact Kate Moore for more information. Supervisors may also add CASE partners to projects already listed on the website.

For further guidance please refer to: CASE Studentships Guide.

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