How to Apply

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ESF logo

The Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships is a major European Convergence programme led by Bangor University on behalf of the Welsh higher education sector. Benefiting from European Social Funds (ESF), KESS supports collaborative research projects at Masters and Phd levels alongside businesses and organisations based in the Convergence area of Wales (West Wales and the Valleys).

Project proposals need to be scoped by a BU academic and a company partner – with the project focusing on addressing a company need.
We are planning to run KESS 2 calls twice a year – for October and January starts.

To be eligible for ESF funding projects must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Be scoped in partnership with a company partner.
  • Project activity must be in the convergence region of Wales.
  • The company partner will have to contribute an annual cash contribution between £3k – £4k +VAT (depending on company size).
  • Projects must fit within one of the WG grand challenge areas : Life Sciences & Health; Low Carbon, Energy & Environment; ICT & Digital Economy; Advanced Engineering & Materials.
  • Must lead to a Masters by Research; MRes or PhD qualification.
  • Must be completed in 3.5 years for PhD; 1year 3 months for Research Masters.

Once proposed projects have been approved, a scholarship will be offered.

The scholarship offers the eligible participant (student) :

  • A monthly stipend in line with RCUK rates: 3 years of funding @ £14,002 per year for PhD; one year funding @ £11,313 for Research Masters.
  • University tuition fees are waived by BU.
  • An opportunity to access a suite of higher level skills training and attendance at a residential KESS Grad School. All participants must complete the KESS Postgraduate Skills Development Award.
  • A minimum of 30 days a year working with the company partner on their allocated project.
  • Standard KESS budget for other research project related costs (travel, consumables and equipment).
  • Student must complete and submit their thesis in 3.5 years for PhD; 1year 3 months for Research Masters.

Applicants should be resident in the convergence area of Wales on appointment, and should have the right to work in the region on qualification.

KESS 2 company fact sheets are available as follows:

KESS 2 call:

Please visit KESS 2 website for information on our next call dates.

Other KESS 2 project downloads are available.