Industry-funded PhDs

Launch your career in research and development with an industry-focused, three year funded PhD for graduates with a background in scientific disciplines.

Available PhD Projects

The PhDs advertised below are a suite of industry-led funded PhD projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products and services.


There are currently no available PhD projects.


If you would like to become involved in this programme, register your interest now.

Why do an industry-focused PhD?

  • Do you want to develop your skills and experience in science or engineering to undertake a rewarding and well-paid career?       
  • Have you considered doing a PhD but thought that was just for people wanting to be academics?       
  • Are you interested in how new products, processes and services are developed?       
  • Do you want to be part of a large, strong graduate cohort underpinning the development of radically new products and services?       
  • Do you want to work alongside the people in businesses doing your dream job whilst gaining a PhD?       
  • Do you have what it takes to be a postgraduate at a world-class university?       

If the answer is yes, apply for one of our first cohort of 12 PhDs and register your interest now. You have the opportunity to be the first to be invited to apply for our next cohort of industry-focused three-year funded PhD from Lancaster University.

You could be part of a new cohort of around 40 exceptional PhD researchers working 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, using this work as the basis of your PhD programme of study. Another cohort of researchers may start their industry-focused PhDs in January, April and October 2017, for which you can also register interest now.

Successful applicants could:

  • Receive £15,000 tax-free per year
  • Undertake a substantive collaborative project with a business with a base in the North West of England
  • EU/UK graduates - have your postgraduate tuition fees fully funded for by your partner business, worth £4,195 per year
  • Non-EU/UK graduates - have your fees subsidised from £17,510 per year to £13,315 per year. See published rates by year of entry
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Develop new products, processes and services
  • Be in an enviable position to develop a long-term well-paid career
  • Gain a postgraduate qualification from a world-leading university
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Who can do the industry-funded three year PhDs?

Applicants of any nationality can apply.  We require applicants to have, or expect to graduate with a good first degree (2:1 or I or the equivalent) and/or postgraduate qualification in biological sciences, chemistry, communications, computing, engineering, environmental sciences, geography, mathematics, physics or related disciplines.

2.   What funding is available and why?

A number of tax-free stipends of £15,000 are available for October 2016 entry to help with living costs, and further tax-free stipends of £15,000 available for January 2017, April 2017, June 2017, and October 2017 entry. The design of this PhD and access to a £15,000 tax-free stipend to support living costs is possible due to funding from the European Regional Development Fund.  The PhDs are facilitated by the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, which manages the Low Carbon Lancashire Innovation Hub (LoCaL-i), part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. A £15k stipend may be available to all students offered a place on the PhD programme, regardless of nationality.

3.    What fees do I have to pay?

All successful graduates will have £4,100 for fees paid by the partner company. For EU/UK students, that covers your fees, so the PhD is fully funded. Fees for Non-EU/UK graduates are subsidised from  £16,500/year to £12,500/year.

4.    When will the stipend be paid?

Students who receive the stipend will receive £15k in Year 1, £15k in Year 2 and £15k in Year 3.  The bursary will be paid in 12 monthly instalments each year.

5.    What kinds of companies will I be working with?

The company projects will be with businesses participating in the programme that aspire to innovate and grow through research and development.

6.    What kind of projects could I be doing with businesses?

The projects will take a variety of forms, but will all involve collaborative R&D and commercialisation to support the development of new ventures, products, services or business processes.  View examples of previous projects.

7.     How are the businesses chosen?

There are a team of specialist business development staff recruiting and selecting businesses. Each business has to provide clear evidence of their ambition, resource and global mindset to fully engage with the programme and grow their business. They also have to have a viable PhD-level project that can be supervised by Lancaster academic staff.

8.    Where do I study?

Students will study at Lancaster University and also have the opportunity to work up to 50% of their time with the business partner.

9.    Where will I live?

Postgraduate students at Lancaster University can apply for on-campus accommodation or find accommodation off campus, in Lancaster City Centre and the surrounding areas.  Applications for on-campus accommodation are dealt with by the Graduate College Residence Office.  LUSU Living is Lancaster University’s off-campus accommodation service. You will live in your accommodation and travel to the company when required. 

10. When can I register interest?

We are inviting students to register interest for October 2016 or 2017 entry now through our quick and simple registration form. We will be in touch when projects are available on the website.

11. When can I apply?

Once individual projects are posted on our website, you will then be able to apply for them through the University's online application system. Our online application system is easy to use, and lets you do everything you need: from completing the form, uploading supporting documents (such as degree certificates, transcripts, language test results) and tracking the progress of your application.  The process is the same, whether you are a UK/EU student or an international student.

12.  I have never worked for a business before- does that matter?

You do not need to have worked after graduation to be eligible for this programme, but work experience will nevertheless be very valuable. An interest and empathy with the value of business-driven collaborative R&D with Universities would be helpful.

13.  Why should I apply?

You should apply if you are a graduate with the ambition to reach the highest professional standing and if you want to develop your skills and experience to undertake a rewarding and well-paid career which uses your background in science or engineering.  You will be part of a graduate team at a world-class university underpinning the development of radically new products and services.

14.  How long do I get to spend working with my company?

This will vary from project to project but is likely to be up to 50% of the time.

15.  What are the language requirements for the course?

Studying at PhD level demands a high level of fluency in written and spoken English and excellent comprehension. See the Lancaster University website for more information.

16. What career paths could I follow after completing the industry-focused PhD?

The academic and business-based research skills you acquire through this programme will give you a launch-pad for various types of careers, whether your aim is to establish a new venture, join a business or government institution, or move into University research management.

17.  Who do I contact for more information about the industry-focused PhDs?

You are welcome to contact us with queries and how it might fit with your own background and career plans.

For specific enquiries about the programme in the first instance please contact Amanda and the team at

For queries relating specifically to the Lancaster University admissions process, please contact the Science and Technology Admissions Team