KTP Researcher (HE)

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Job Description

KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) researchers work in a wide range of fields in the sciences and social sciences. They are usually based jointly in a university department and a private company or public sector organisation and work on projects alone, or in collaboration with colleagues in the same institution or in another university. The hours of work will be shared between the two partners involved but researchers can work for long hours, especially as deadlines draw closer. More senior researchers are involved in hiring of other staff and in managing budgets and applying for funding to maintain the projects on which they are working.


  • Plan research project, including one's own role within it
  • Seek funding for the project from external and internal sources
  • Lead pilot projects/feasibility studies if required
  • Undertake research, either laboratory- or office-based or in the field
  • Record findings
  • Present findings to peers at conferences or in published articles
  • Keep records and accounts of the management of the project
  • At more senior level, manage other staff

Salary and Conditions

Many KTP researchers do not have permanent positions; they are on temporary contracts for the life of the particular project. Researchers can spend many years jumping from project to project without any real job security. Projects can last anything from a few months to a number of years. However, this flexibility and variety suits some people. The starting salary for a KTP researcher is between £18,000-25,000.

Entry Criteria

Some research posts welcome applicants who have not yet started their PhDs, whereas others are for someone who is post-doctoral (i.e. who has their doctorate already). As well as a formal qualification employers are usually looking for a particular set of skills gained doing similar sorts of research such as using certain statistical methods or certain pieces of equipment. They will also expect you to display in-depth knowledge of the overall field of research.

Career Path

Researchers start out by assisting on someone else’s project, usually for a period of a few months or a year. By doing this they gain experience and are then able to move on to long term projects and manage their own budgets and staff at a more senior level.

Major employers

KTP researchers are mostly employed in publicly funded universities or HE colleges. Oxford and Cambridge are the most prestigious of these, followed by research-based institutions such as the Russell Group. The post-1992 group of universities, which used to be Polytechnics, also employ many lecturers. There is one private university in the UK, based in Buckingham. Every large town or city in the UK now has its own university. The other partner in the KTP job will be a private or publicly funded organisation outside the university sector.

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