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Connected Everything is working to identify the key challenges we face as digital technologies transform our industrial systems and to support new collaborations between academics from diverse discipline areas to address these challenges and respond to the question “how do we support the future of manufacturing in the UK?”.

As part of its activities relating to people movement and skills, Connected Everything is pleased to launch its Early Career Researcher (ECR) Placement Scheme which is aiming to facilitate cross disciplinary research in the area of digital manufacturing. Purpose The main purpose of this scheme is to support research training and development opportunities for postgraduate and early career researchers working within UK Higher Educations Institutions, in a new disciplinary, institutional or applied setting. Whilst priority will be given to placements where the researcher will be working in a different institutional or organisational setting, placements may include spending time within a different research context within the applicant’s home institution.

Placement opportunities within an industrial setting are particularly welcomed. Applicants for this placement scheme are encouraged to think creatively about how their proposed placements will contribute to at least one of the thematic areas or key research challenges identified by Connected Everything, alongside personal research development.

Research Topics

Work undertaken by Connected Everything has identified six individual thematic areas fundamental to the transformation towards digital manufacturing:

• Industrial Internet of Things

• Cyber-physical production systems

• Data analytics and decision making

• Service design and customisation

• Design for future manufacturing, including the circular economy

• The future industrial worker

Reports have been drafted on each of these thematic areas. As a result of reviewing these, along with other national reports such as the ‘Made Smarter’ review, four key ‘challenges’ have been identified as research priorities for the digital manufacturing community.

These are:

• “One hour from design to delivery”

• “Right data, right format, right time”

• “Feeling the pulse of the factory”

• “From kilos and years to grams and months”

Available resource & eligibility

There is up to £40,000 available, which is expected to support 6 to 8 placements.

Placements will typically be:

4 – 6 weeks in length

Must be underway by 01 October 2018 and complete by 31 March 2019.

Eligible costs would be salaries of both applicant and host supervisor (if required), consumables and travel and subsistence but not estates or indirect costs.  Awards can only be made to institutions eligible for funding from EPSRC.
Each successful candidate may be the recipient of a single award only. The award can be used in conjunction with other funding to support a placement.

Conditions of the award

In addition to a placement report and video diary, successful applicants will be expected to attend the Connected Everything Conference 2019, which will take place in June 2019 at the University of Nottingham. Funding must not be used for attendance at conferences, training seminars and the like. Eligible costs are restricted to economy travel and subsistence at the agreed institutional rate. The costs of the research are not eligible.

Assessment Procedure

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Opportunity for the candidate to acquire new skills and knowledge
  • Outcomes and outputs that can contribute to the advancement of the key research challenges or thematic areas
  • Suitability of Applicant
  • Suitability of Host
  • Feasibility of Proposal
  • Value for Money

A sub-group of Connected Everything’s Executive Group will assess the applications and make recommendations to the full Executive Group for approval.


29 March 2018: Deadline for submissions

04 May 2018: Applicants notified of result of application

By 01 October 2018: All placements underway

By 31 March 2019: All placements complete

31 May 2019: Submission deadline for placement reports