NPIF Innovation Placements

ACCE DTP has been allocated funding by NERC via the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to support ACCE students to undertake Innovation Placements with Industry or organisation which can provide placements opportunities aligned with the Industrial Strategy.

These placements are intended to enable and encourage students to explore impact from their research and develop links between academia and industry, sharing knowledge and skills, and increasing mobility and flow of talent between these sectors.

Call for NPIF Placement application re-open. Deadline 22 Oct 2018

There is still funding for 1 (6 months) NPIF Innovation placement available and ACCE DTP would like to reopen the call for formal applications. The deadline to submit your formal application is now 22 Oct 2018.

Timing and duration


  • Must be completed within the 2018/19 academic year between Oct 2018 and 30 Sep 2019;
  • 1 Placement with 6 months duration;
  • On a full-time basis 

It is a requirement of this award that these placements must be completed within the 2018/19 academic year between Sep 2018 and 30 Sep 2019.

ACCE will be able to provide funding for 1 Placement with 6 months duration. The placement will need to be undertaken on a full-time basis and for current students, the PhD period will be extended with the time of the Placement. Your submission time will be extended with the time of the period of the internship.

Eligible students


  • Current PhD students completing PhD within 2018/2019 academic year;
  • Recent graduates completed PhD within 2017/2018 academic year

Although priority is given to current ACCE PhD students who will complete their PhD within the 2018/19 academic year, or recent PhD graduates (with topics in the NERC research remit) who have completed their PhD within the last 12 months, NERC is willing to demonstrate some flexibility. If a student/graduate does not meet the above criteria, NERC will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible hosts/Placement providers


  •  UK Based Industrial (Private and Governmental) companies, NGOs, Charities, etc. 

UK Based NGOs, Charities, Industrial (Private and Governmental) companies etc. are eligible as Placements providers. ACCE will give priority to projects/placements ideas received by 4 Industrial partners who are willing to support a Placement project funded by ACCE- NPIF on their premises. Details and the description of the potential Innovation Placements they can offer to you are available here.

While ACCE DTP (NERC) recognises the benefits associated with placements at NERC Research Centres or Independent Research Organisations (IRO), they are NOT considered to be suitable hosts for the NPIF Innovation placements.

NPIF Innovation placements must clearly demonstrate links with the Industrial Strategy.


  • Stipend and fees for 6 months (beyond 3.5 years funding)
  • Other travel and accommodation expenses during placement;

Students who decide to take this opportunity will receive 6 months extension of their PhD funding period.  This will lead to an extension of the PhD submission period beyond 4 years. If the student has already graduated, they will need to be employed by the host/provider (when the host is eligible for NERC funding) or by the University.

NPIF Placement award will pay:

  • Standard stipend (UKRI of £1,231.41 per month) and fees (£355 per month) for 6 months; or direct salary costs, plus NI and superannuation. Salary costs would be justified and in alignment with the DTP host institution policy for the individual’s level of experience. (the total budget limit for each placement award is £11,904.76)
  • Travel and accommodation and some other small occasional expenses (e.g. taxi or bus fare etc.) 

Application process

  • Identify placement provider/host
  • Establish contact and team up
  • Write a Placement proposal with the provider
  • Send a formal application to ACCE

Deadline for application: 22 Oct 2018

NPIF Innovation Placement application form

The application process is similar to the one already existing for the usual ACCE Placement support. You still need to contact a suitable placement host organisation (Industrial partner). Then you need to communicate with the provider and agree on the timing of the Placement and write a Project Placement proposal together and fill in the ‘ACCE-NPIF Innovation Placements Application Form‘. 

The application form contains the following sections:

  • Personal details of the applicant (students name and details);
  • Details of the placement provider (the organisation where the student will be completing the Innovation placement);
  • Placement proposal details: starting date, end date, main responsibilities,  etc.;
  • Summary of the placement project proposal;
  • Relevance to the Industrial Strategy; 
  • Benefits of the Placement – how will the placement benefit the student; what benefits this will bring to the host University; what benefit this placement will bring to the external partner;
  • Confirmation – to be completed by you, the Placement provider representative and your supervisor.

Application evaluation

Awarded on a competitive basis by the ACCE Management board

Placement funding will be awarded on a competitive basis, and the ACCE Management board will review the applications based on criteria reflecting:

  • Relevance to the Industrial strategy
  • Benefit/impact added value to the student’s training, skills development, employability;
  • Knowledge exchange;
  • Establishment of industry-academia collaboration;


Report due 1 month after completing the placement

The placements holder should report to ACCE DTP within a month of the completion of the Placement. Specifically on:

  • Type and duration of the Placement;
  • Project description and main outputs;
  • How the project objectives and outcome aligned with the Industrial Strategy;
  • Experience, knowledge exchange, networking, acquired skills.