Knowledge Exchange Skills Scholarship (KESS 2)

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University, supporting doctoral, MPhil and research master's degree qualifications in all Welsh universities, jointly sponsored by external partners from Wales.

The Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships

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.

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; 1 year 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 website

View Bangor University KESS2 Alumni Case Studies


View Available Scholarship Vacancies


Staff E-mail Position Phone
Penny Dowdney KESS 2 Wales Manager 01248 38 2266
Brian Murcutt KESS 2 Project Co-ordinator 01248 38 2162
Aashu Jayadeep Doctoral School Administrator 01248 38 2357
Dawn Davies

KESS 2 Senior Finance Officer

01248 38 2846
Mererid Gordon

KESS 2 Marketing and

Publicity Officer

01248 38 8715
Sandra Roberts KESS 2 Monitoring Officer 01248 38 2501
KESS 2 General Enquiries  
Institution Name E-mail Role Telephone
Aberystwyth University Linda Cook KESS 2 Project Officer 01970 621879
Cardiff University Esther Meadows

KESS 2 Finance and Compliance Officer

02920 879439
Cardiff Metropolitan University Rae Depaul KESS 2 Project Manager 02920 416441
Glyndŵr University Stewart Milne Head of Research Services 01978 293573
Swansea University

Jane Kelly

Jane Phipps

KESS 2 Project


01792 513565

01792 513729

University of Wales Trinity

Saint David(UWTSD)

Nicola Powell KESS 2 Administrator 01792 481199
Univesity of South Wales(USW) Clare Naylor USW KESS 2 Programme Manager 01443 654496

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