Collaborative research

Areas of expertise          Timescales             Funding & pricing             Working arrangements & options


Whether your business is a micro-company of just a couple of employees, or a large enterprise with operations worldwide, we have the resourses and expertise to form mutually beneficial research and development collaborations. 

Our wide range of schemes enables us to tailor our partnership agreement to your needs, in terms of timescale, pricing and intellectual property (IP) rights.

For more detailed information, please see below. or to discuss your specific requirements please contact the School's Technology Translation Fellow:

Dr Alick Deacon
0161 275 4084

Areas of expertise

With over 150 academic and research staff, and more than 250 post-graduate students, we have coverage across a wide range of physics research fields. However, from an industrial point of view, it is the underlying skills and knowledge that are often of most interest to our partners. The infographic below lists some of the areas in which we have significant expertise.

Please note that due to the dynamic nature of our research, and the size of the School, this is not a comprehensive list, but is indicative of the highest profile areas sought by commercial partners.


We are able to run collaborative projects from just a few weeks up to several years in duration, across a number of different schemes to suit the budget and level of expertise required by the project. 

Some examples of our schemes include:

  • Undergraduate student final-year projects;
  • Student placements/internships;
  • PhDs;
  • Short-term consultancy;
  • Collaborative R&D projects;
  • Knowledge exchange arrangements.

The relative timescales of these options are illustrated below.

Funding and pricing

The School of Physics & Astronomy benefits from a number of funding sources, which compliment investment from our industry partners. 

As well as projects funded outright by business, we frequently make use of research council (RCUK) impact acceleration and innovations co-sponsorship programmes, Innovate UK schemes such as the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) and European funding available through Horizon 2020.

Working arrangements & options

There is scope for a great deal of flexibility in collaborative research projects, including:

  • Split-site working, where researchers may carry out activities both at the University and company premises;
  • Use of facilities, enabling industry scientists to access dedicated research equipment;
  • Secondments of staff, both into and out of the University;
  • Co-supervision of undergraduate and post-graduate students, where both an industry sponsor and academic will have responsibility for the teaching and development of a student;
  • IP agreements, where both partners can benefit from new discoveries;
  • Perks for industry partners, including official visitor status, access to  cross-disciplinary research groups, facilities, international collaborations and markets.
▲ Up to the top