Delivery of 3-year research projects linked to a PhD opportunity for the researcher

Keele University is seeking Research Services Providers to help deliver three-year research projects linked to its Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND) project - Europe’s first ‘at scale’ living laboratory where new energy-efficient technologies can be researched, developed and tested in a real world environment.

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).

A key element of SEND is a collaborative Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) product development programme focussing on industry-led research.  

The programme incorporates 26 projects whereby Keele University and other providers work with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire-based small or medium-size enterprises (SMEs) on a RD&I project linked to the smart energy agenda.  Of the 26 projects, circa 12 will be delivered by Keele University and circa 14 will be delivered through procured providers.

Each RD&I project will consist of a three-year programme of collaborative RD&I activity, delivered either by: (i) a dedicated graduate researcher and a Keele University-based RD&I team working with a local SME or; (ii) a procured provider working with a local SME. 

Keele University is open to innovative modes of delivery and encourages tenders from organisations who will offer individuals working on the project the opportunity to register for a PhD while working full-time on the collaboration with the eligible business.  The tender will be for a "supply of services."

Tender opportunities will be advertised on Keele’s website and Contracts Finder and are for a non-negotiable fixed tender price of £61,127 (+ VAT) inclusive of all travel and disbursements.  Included as part of the tender documentation, successful tenderers will be required to enter into a three-way contract with Keele University and the SME.  Any IP arising as a result of the project will be owned by the SME.

If you would like further information or have a potential project that may qualify for funding through this opportunity, please contact Dr Ian Madley, Head of Partnership Development for Natural Sciences, by emailing

SEND Delivery Agreement (Generic, updated March 2018)

Download (280 KB)