Sponsor a Student

** Open call for cohort 5 projects, starting September 2019 **

As a project sponsor you can define the scope of the project, own its outputs and leverage your contribution with 75% of studentship costs met by the CDT.

Time frame: doctoral projects start on 1st June each year for a 3 year term.

Location: students are based at either the University of Sheffield or University of Southampton for the project term, benefiting from a placement of minimum one week per year with the industry sponsor. Students can spend more time at the sponsor company if requested.

Contribution: As a sponsor you will nominate a point of contact for the student and participate in regular interaction with the student to review the research progress. The CDT co-funds the project from its EPSRC grant, covering tuition fees, EPSRC stipend and training costs. The industry partner contributes £43,200 + VAT over the project term towards the training and project costs, and any stipend uplift to the student.

How to propose a project: send a project idea [ideally with objectives and the resources required for it] to sharon.brown@sheffield.ac.uk

Deadline for proposals: for each annual cycle we aim to allocate students throughout the academic year, completing student-project allocations by Easter.

From short-term undergraduate projects to 3 year PhD studentships, our students have excellent skills, knowledge and access to University equipment and facilities which can enrich your R&D requirements

Why sponsor?

Sponsoring a student is an ideal opportunity for your company to be involved in creating and driving a research project tailored to your own company’s development needs, with access to world class research facilities and experts in energy storage.

  • Cost effective way for companies to get involved in relevant leading edge research which most companies would not have the funding, expertise or equipment to undertake alone.
  • The research project is based on a proposal from the sponsoring company, so the research is of real technical and commercial significance.
  • Our students are graduates who possess excellent academic track records and are highly committed to solving real world research problems, who are given excellent broad energy storage and professional skills training – an excellent asset to the sponsor.
  • Through the Centre your organisation will have access to world-leading expertise in energy storage and start-of-the-art equipment at both Universities, and will be part of an extended network of EPSRC sponsored Doctoral Training Centres in the UK.
Added Value

Projects receive significant funding from the EPSRC and the Universities, with sponsors contributing c. 25% of total project costs.
Sponsors are likely to be eligible for R & D tax credit for return of 25% of their sponsorship cost.
Sponsors that can offer a project early in the academic year can participate in student allocation from the cohort, and benefit from the student being able to undertake project related research during their training year.

What will it cost?

Typical sponsorship for a CDT student is £43,200 over the project term. A PhD costs approximately £150,000 in total, hence the majority of costs are funded by the ESPRC and the Universities. Sponsors can recover 25% of their contribution via Research and Development tax credits.

How are projects selected?

Potential sponsors may download and submit a project outline using our Proposal Form. The Centres Industrial Steering Committee (ISC) and Academic Board will (after further consultation with you if necessary) evaluate the proposal.

What about IPR?

Every project is a close partnership between the sponsor and the University, and there will be some joint outputs and publications. We can negotiate IP arrangements, and will follow a reasonable approach to publication (i.e. sponsor prior approval, removal of sensitive information, timing of publication etc).


The ISC and Board review PhD project proposals at regular intervals throughout the year, with release to the students as soon as the project details are agreed. Research projects start on 1st June every year, for each cohort of students, to correspond with the start of their summer project. We recommend that you contact the Centre Manager as soon as possible if you are considering submitting a project proposal.

How are students recruited?

We advertise widely through the relevant channels, and sponsors are also encouraged to advertise within their company if they are keen to encourage employees to pursue a PhD. Candidates must have or expect to obtain a first or good 2:1 undergraduate degree and/or a Merit in a postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject. We accept applications from final year students, recent graduates and those already in employment.