Information for graduates and students

Are you a graduate with an interest in smart energy systems? Are you interested in a career in private sector RD&I? Do you want to make a significant contribution to the challenges of Smart Energy for the future? If so, the SEND project needs you!

Keele University is working with businesses, graduates and academics to create Europe’s first ‘at scale’ Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND)* – a living laboratory where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested in a real world environment.

A key element of SEND is a collaborative RD&I product development programme focussing on industry-led university research.  The programme will include a team of 26 Graduate Researchers and Engineers working with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire-based small or medium-size enterprises (SMEs) on a range of RD&I projects linked to the smart energy agenda.

Each RD&I project will consist of a three-year programme of collaborative RD&I activity, delivered by a graduate researcher and a University-based RD&I team working with a local SME.  To help kick-start their careers in private sector RD&I, graduate researchers will be offered the opportunity to register for a PhD while working full-time on the collaboration with the eligible business.

You will be working as part of a new cohort of exceptional researchers in a unique partnership between academia and business.  You will be working with a leading high-growth business undertaking intensive R&D on a specific research project to underpin the development of a new product or service, with the opportunity to use this work as the basis of your PhD programme of study.


  • Opportunity to undertake a substantive collaborative project with a business based in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area
  • Opportunity to become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • A three-year salary / stipend starting at £22,876 pa
  • Postgraduate tuition fees paid for by the partner business
  • Support to help you develop a long-term well-paid and rewarding career
  • Opportunity to gain a postgraduate qualification from a world-leading university

ERDF and UK Government logos *The SEND project (ref. 32R16P00706) is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme, and is available to ERDF eligible companies. The project is also receiving funds from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).