Kent Graduate School

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Professional Opportunities for Postgraduates (POP)

Paid short-term placements to enhance your skills and complement your experience



The Graduate School and Kent Innovation and Enterprise are collaborating to launch a placement scheme providing professional opportunities for postgraduate researchers in the 2017/18 academic year.



What is POP and How Does it Work?

There are two strands to the paid scheme:

I. Academic staff and postgraduate researchers* can work with a business or organisation to develop a short-term placement proposal (of up to 3 months, longer if part-time).

II. Businesses and organisations can propose a placement which would then be advertised to postgraduate researchers who could then make an application for the placement.

*Please note that postgraduate researchers must be registered during the time that the placement is due to take place in order to participate in the scheme

Postgraduate placement opportunities will be supported by Industrial Strategy funding and funding from the company or organisation on a 50/50 basis. The stipend for postgraduates undertaking the professional opportunities will be based on the annual Research Council rate of ≈£1,212.00 per month.

Below are key priority areas for the Industrial Strategy funding for the University of Kent. The company/organisation or the nature of the project is required to fit with one or more of these areas.

  • Clean energy technologies including batteries

  • Robotics and artificial intelligence

  • Digital enabling technology in health

  • Transformative digital technologies including, for example, internet of things, supercomputing and 5G mobile network technology

  • Photonics

  • Manufacturing and materials for the future

  • Integrated and sustainable cities

  • Technologies for the creative industries

If you are unsure about project/company fit, please get in touch with Kent Innovation and Enterprise at or 01227 827376, as there may be other areas that could be developed for a collaboration project.



What are the benefits of participating in POP?

Benefits for postgraduate researchers
The scheme will enable our postgraduate researchers to:

  • Undertake a full or part time opportunity working with a business or organisation
  • Bring their expertise to a discrete project or problem
  • Extend their skills, knowledge and experience in a commercial environment
  • Take part in a programme supporting knowledge transfer and University-business engagement

The scheme will also provide an excellent opportunity for academic schools to deepen their relationships with external companies and organisations.

Benefits for companies and organisations
The scheme will enable companies and organisations to:

  • Access a service facilitating knowledge transfer and business growth
  • Engage a postgraduate for a short-term project or activity
  • Benefit from specialist expertise and skills in a particular area or discipline
  • Tailor the placement to suit business need



Application Information

Please see the application buttons below. The closing date for all applications will be 12.00pm on the 14th of February 2018. The outcome of the application process will be announced by the end of February 2018 with placements expected to start from March 2018.

Stage I: Inquiry

Keen to undertake a placement but not sure where to start? KIE and the Graduate School would be pleased to work with you in developing your ideas. Please complete the expression of interest form below by the 14th of December 2017, and a member of the team will be in contact to discuss the next steps.

Stage I: Inquiry

Business applicants are encouraged to contact Kent Innovation and Enterprise to discuss potential projects prior to the completion of the application form. KIE can be contacted at or 01227 827376.

Stage II: Formal Application

If you already feel confident with your proposal, you are welcome to proceed directly to the formal application stage without making an initial inquiry by clicking on the application button below.

Staff and postgraduate researchers interested in finding out more about the scheme should contact the Graduate School:  or telephone: 01227 (8)16419.

Stage II: Formal Application

After speaking with Kent Innovation and Enterprise about potential projects, businesses/organisations are invited to submit an application by clicking on the application button below.

Businesses or organisations interested in finding out more about the scheme should contact Kent Innovation and Enterprise: or telephone: 01227 827376


POP Launch Event

15 November 2017

The POP was launched on 15th November 2017, and the event was hosted by Professor Paul Allain (Dean of the Graduate School) with a welcome address from Professor Philippe De Wilde (DVC of Research and Innovation). The launch included reflection and advice from individuals who had undertaken placements during their postgraduate studies including Dr Hannah Swift (Eastern ARC Research Fellow), Hannah Huxley (PhD candidate in the Centre for American Studies), Emily Bartlett (PhD candidate in the School of History) and Brian Gutierrez (Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate). Claire Martin (Placement Development and Employability Manager from the Careers and Employability Service) gave an overview of the services CES can provide to students who are searching for placements or preparing to make applications. Links to all the presentations are provided below.



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Last Updated: 15/12/2017