KESS2

The Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships KESS2 scheme will partner over 500 businesses with academics and postgraduate research students to develop innovative research projects aimed at driving business growth.


The £36m EU-backed scheme to develop post-graduate research and innovation skills in partnership with small and medium-sized businesses has been announced by the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.


The map for the area that is eligible can be​ found here​.  Please note the map also illustrates other assisted areas in the UK, however only the West Wales and the Valleys (in blue/grey:  noted as 'a' areas) is eligible in this project. 

​Factsheet

Please read the factsheet below for more information for businesses, companies and organisations: 

Eligibility

To be eligible for ESF funding sub projects must adhere to the following criteria:

  • ​Be scoped in partnership with a company partner.

  • Project activity must be in the convergence region of Wales.​

  • The company partner will have to contribute an annual cash contribution between £3k - £4k +VAT (depending on company size).

  • Sub projects must fit within one of the WG grand challenge areas : Life Sciences & Health; Low Carbon, Energy & Environment ; ICT & Digital Economy; Advanced Engineering & Materials.​

  • Must lead to a Masters by Research; MRes or PhD qualification.​

  • Must be completed in 3.5 years for PhD; 1year 3 months for Research Masters.​

 ​

Once proposed sub projects have been approved, a scholarship will be offered.


​The scholarship offers the eligible participant (student) :​ 

  • A mon​thly stipend in line with RCUK rates : 3 years of funding @ £14,002 per year for PhD; one year funding @ £11,313 for Research Masters.

  • University tuition fees are waived by Cardiff Metropolitan University,​

  • An opportunity to access a suite of higher level skills training and attendance at a residential KESS Grad School. All participants must complete the KESS Postgraduate Skills Development Award.

  • A minimum of 30 days a year working with the company partner on their allocated project.​

  • Standard KESS budget for other research project related costs (travel, consumables and equipment).​

  • Student must complete and submit their thesis in 3.5 years for PhD; 1year 3 months for Research Masters.​​

  • Applicants should be resident in the convergence area of Wales ​on appointment, and should have the right to work in the region on qualification

​Due to the limited time remaining for the completion of the KESS2 Project:

  • There will be no call for Expressions of Interest, instead all applications will proceed straight to full application form (this form is unchanged from previous calls)
  • A scholar is to be named on the application form (please seek advice from KESS@cardiffmet.ac.uk if this is not possible)
  • All sub-projects will be expected to start in April 2018 (the correct level of stipend for a PhD is shown using the drop-down box on the Budget form: Oct 17 – Sept 20.)

KESS2 - Application forms for sub projects (Cardiff Met Staff Only)

 ​> KESS2 Project Application Form

 >​ KESS2 Budget Form (Section C) - Please note this is an un-editable Pdf version, to have access to the Excel editable version please contact KESS@cardiffmet.ac.uk

 > KESS2 Project Application Guidance Notes

A 3rd call will open from 14th December 2017 until midday on 14th February 2018. Interested parties are to complete the full application form and submit to KESS@cardiffmet.ac.uk

The final date for queries to the KESS2 team regarding sub-projects will be Friday 2nd February 

KESS2 - PhD Scholarship Vacancies

Please see our open applications for KESS2 Scholarships, please ensure you have checked the eligibility criteria prior to applying which can be found in the above dropdown list.  

> Isolation & Purification of bioactive peptides from protease treated bovine milk protein (whey protein and β-casein) to develop biotechnologies and process technologies for scaled up production of peptide-containing products with health benefits.

Deadline: 28th February 2018

There is a significant body of published evidence indicating that milk proteins, particularly their hydrolysates, have a potential to form the basis for the development of novel functional food ingredients. To date, very few dairy companies have fully capitalised on this potential. Some of the generic benefits of casein and whey protein hydrolysate include their ease of digestion and their content of bioactive peptides, many of which can confer health benefits above and beyond the normal nutritional impact.  

The aim of the research project is to develop technologies to derive bioactive peptides from bovine milk proteins (whey and casein). The peptides will be analysed and subjected to fractionation and the fractions of interest will undergo further enrichment processing. The ultimate aim is to apply the developed protocols and process bio/technologies for scaled up production of the resulting peptide-containing products. The peptide enrichment selected is anticipated to form the basis of products with particular health benefits. 

The project will provide the successful candidate with an exciting opportunity to work across academia and industry. The project supervisory team will be comprised of academic members of staff from Cardiff Metropolitan University department of Healthcare and Food, part of the School of Sport & Health Sciences, and industrial supervisors from Volac International Ltd. The student will carry out research and development at Cardiff Metropolitan University's Llandaff campus and at Volac International, Port Talbot, where they will use and develop skills in a number of biotechnological, process technology and protein analysis techniques as well as developing communications and project management skills. 

For more information click here.


> Isolation and Purification of glycomacropeptide (GMP) from whey on industrial scale for its use as a bioactive compound to improve human health. 

Deadline:  28th February 2018

Whey protein is an important and valuable source of high quality protein and bioactive compounds. Whey protein concentrates and isolates have been in the market for some time and used, especially by athletes, to aid as a nutritional supplement for muscle growth and recovery. Whey protein is also rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAA) which are important for improving protein synthesis especially for patients with liver failure.   

GMP is an important (64 amino acids peptide) constituent in whey.  Published work indicates GMP’s nutritional and bioactivity potential for improving metabolism, neutralising bacterial and viral enterotoxins and for enhancing the immune system. In addition, the absence of the aromatic amino acid, phenylalanine (PA) means that it can be used for patients with the metabolic disorder phenylketoneuria (PKU). Other reported health benefits include the stimulation of fat and protein digestion and it’s bifidogenic effect, encouraging the growth of probiotics, with associated immunological health benefits. 

The main emphasis of this project is to isolate and purify GMP for these well-recognised health benefits.

Our research has previously isolated and used GMP for its potential as a mineral binding peptide to minimise dental erosion. The main aim of this project is to further isolate GMP from whey using chromatographic techniques, namely ion exchange chromatography, in combination with other purification methods which will include ultrafiltration techniques. This will produce specific purified peptide fractions which will be characterised and used to assess their potential as supplements and as active ingredients in food formulations. We envisage that this project will lead to the development of innovative, scalable technologies and products for both the ingredients and consumer markets.  

The project will provide the successful candidate with an exciting opportunity to work across academia and industry. The project supervisory team will be comprised of academic members of staff from Cardiff Metropolitan University department of Healthcare and Food, part of the School of Sport & Health Sciences, industrial supervisors from Volac International Ltd and external experts. The student will carry out research and development at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Llandaff campus and at Volac International, Port Talbot, where they will use and develop skills in a number of biotechnological, process technology and protein analysis techniques as well as developing communications and project management skills. 

For more information click here. 


> Engaging Workers to adopt positive Health and Safety Behaviours (Cardiff Metropolitan University and Bridgend Ford Engine Plant)

Deadline:  28th February 2018

Employers want engaged employees because, as well as being happier, healthier and more fulfilled, they deliver improved business performance. Research has repeatedly pointed to a relationship between how people are managed, their attitudes and behaviour, and business performance. Positive relationships are evidenced with profit, revenue growth, customer satisfaction, productivity, innovation, staff retention, efficiency and improved health and safety performance. (CIPD,2016). Positive engagement is seen as a far more successful means of securing improved, more sustainable positive outcomes in health and safety performance leading to healthier more productive working environments (Healy and Sugden, 2012). This project looks to embrace a broader approach in engaging workers in health and safety agendas in line with HSE strategy ‘fit for work, fit for life.’ This requires a shift in emphasis from current reactive approaches that focuses on managing and controlling workplace hazards.

The project aims understand the mechanisms that bring about organisational change that result in improved Health and Safety performance arising from increased worker engagement. The project will explore the barriers and beliefs that challenge successful implementation of worker engagement initiatives and will develop evidence based tools that measure worker engagement in order to provide a baseline assessment for manufacturing environments and also measure the impact of introducing targeted interventions.

Applicants must have a good first degree in a relevant discipline area. Effective analytical and written and verbal communication skills are critical. As the project will be split between work at the University and Bridgend Ford engine plant it is desirable that the successful candidate has a driving licence and the ability to travel between sites.

For more information click here


> Using Distributed Ledger Technologies to Guarantee the Integrity of the Company Register

Deadline:  28th February 2018

This proposed KESS2 doctoral research project will investigate the use of distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain to guarantee the integrity of the UK’s company register, in collaboration with Companies House based in Cardiff. This innovative, national-scale project is predicated on the spectacular rise of interest in digital currencies or cryptocurrencies -- especially the variants of Bitcoin – which has drawn attention to the potential application of its underlying blockchain technology: an open, distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of transactional data records hardened against tampering and revision, even by operators of the datastore’s nodes. Companies House that incorporates and dissolves limited companies in UK and has over 3 millions registered companies in their database with over 500,000 new companies registered each year.  Through this research Companies House aims to identify new technologies to improve and protect the integrity of the data of those registers, and identify technologies that can link related registers.

Applicants must have a good first degree in a relevant discipline area with interest in database and or cryptocurrency.  Effective analytical and good written and communication skills are critical.  Both Cardiff Metropolitan University and Companies House are within walking distance. 

For more information click here. 


> Provably Secure Cloud Storage Technologies for Big User Data

Deadline:  9th March 2018

This project will investigate different technologies for secure data storage in the cloud. This is a key challenge for essentially every business in every economic sector, both public and private. As more data is moving to the cloud, security, accessibility and usability becomes a key issue. This work addresses some of these challenges, building upon Ultranyx’s expertise in this space, as well as applying these research innovations into new products and services.  Thus, the adaptation of the Zero Storage Platform (ZSP) algorithm to secure cloud data will be the primary focus of this KESS 2 doctoral research project.

The research entails developing their novel Zero Storage Platform (ZSP) algorithm which supports safe storage and recovery of sensitive data in the cloud using disaggregation and orchestration techniques within a multi cloud environment. The algorithm’s storage technique will also minimise the impact of a data breach from any of the cloud stores. A component of the work will be to ensure the algorithm is optimally tuned for current and future cloud storage use-cases, supporting non-functional requirements for differing transactional workloads. The research will also focus on using the developed algorithm in the areas of securing and managing data for use with Internet of Things devices, media data and blockchain use cases for open auditability and transparency.

For more information click here. 

​Application forms and Guidance notes