Knowledge Exchange Placement Programme

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UK technical staff who want to expand their skills and knowledge in a specialist area through a placement, can now apply to the Technical Skills Knowledge Exchange Placement Programme.

Learn new specialist skills from leading experts, share and consolidate best practice across institutes, and network with fellow technicians. 

Programme overview

Placements can take place at universities or research institutes within the UK, or internationally.

This opportunity allows individuals to learn from world-class research centres and technical experts from across the globe.


Placements are fully funded for UK technical professionals who successfully apply and meet the eligibility and selection criteria.  


Who is the programme aimed at?

All UK technical professionals and research technical professionals (RTPs) who want the chance to gain relevant experience in a technical field of interest.

Technicians from creative arts and scientific disciplines are encouraged to apply. 


Placements typically last between 1- 5 days and can extend over this time, if appropriate.


The placement has been a rewarding learning experience, one that has contributed to my personal and professional development in a very positive way.


Tumie Akintewe, University of Birmingham, Biosciences


Benefits of a Technical Skills Knowledge Exchange Placement


  • Learn more about a novel research technique, a particular piece of specialist equipment and or a specialist technical skill to enhance your professional development.
  • Find out about best practice methods and ways of working from other technical colleagues.
  • Network with other technical professionals who work in a similar field to you.
  • Take world-class learning and expertise back to your own institution
Applications are encouraged from


  • Technical professionals who know the institute they want to conduct their placement with.
  • Technical professionals who do not know the institute they want to conduct their placement with, but have identified a particular skill or piece of technology they are keen to experience. In this instance, we will work to place an applicant with an appropriate host institute.


Two men sat on a sofa in a broadcasting studio at Cranfield University

“It has certainly taught me new ways of looking at things and new technology to bring back to Keele.”

Sam Galantini, Keele University, Media

Key dates and programme schedule
Application deadline Outcome confirmed 
1 March 2024 w/c 25 March 2024
1 June 2024 w/c 24 June 2024
31 October 2024 w/c 25 November 2024
3 March 2025 w/c 24 March 2025
2 June 2025 w/c 30 June 2025
31 October 2025 w/c 24 November 2025
2 March 2026 w/c 30 March 2026


Eligibility and selection criteria

Applications are assessed on an individual basis and will be reviewed by a panel of technical professionals across a wide range of disciplines.

  • Applicants must be technical professionals or RTPs in a UK university or higher education institute.
  • Placement must have vocational relevance.
  • Manager’s approval is required.
  • Learning outcomes and details of how the placement will support and develop the applicant must be made clear.
  • Value for money.
  • Benefits you can bring back to your own organisation.

ITSS will not provide funding for pure training courses from recognised technical training providers. Funding is intended to provide applicants with placements working alongside fellow technicians.  Sharing experiences and insights between technical colleagues are two key principles of the Programme.


Knowledge Exchange Placement Programme FAQs
Who can apply?

Technical professionals from a UK higher education or research institute. ITSS plans to offer this opportunity to as many technicians as possible, so if successful, technicians may only undertake one placement during the 3-year scheme. If unsuccessful, technicians are more than welcome to apply again in the future.

Can I still apply if I don't know the institute I would like to visit?

Yes In this case, the ITSS team will seek to place you with an appropriate host.

How long do placements last?

We would typically expect placements to last for up to one week (5 working days). We will, however, consider an extended placement as necessary, particularly for international requests. 

How much will the placement cost me?

The placement is fully funded by ITSS. Should technicians incur subsistence costs, this will be reimbursed. 

How do I calculate the amount of funding to request if I don't know where the placement will be?

If you have an idea as to where in the country/world your placement might be and how many days you might need to visit, please just make an estimate towards travel, accommodation, materials and equipment use.

If there is more than one technician from my organisation who would benefit from the same placement can we all/both apply?

Where there are several colleagues applying to receive funding for the same Placement Scheme, these should be submitted as a separate application for each individual, rather than one application for the group. Please bear in mind, the funds will be allocated on a case-by-case basis and technicians canonly be successsful for one funding application until 2026.

If successful, how will I receive the funding for the placement?

Please use your own institutional travel booking systems and policies to book your placement activity. ITSS will then reimburse your institution via a purchase order / invoice process.  


If you incur reasonable subsistence costs during your placement, you can then claim expenses from ITSS afterwards. Please get in touch with to request a subsistence expense claim. 

Who will book my travel and accommodation?

You are expected to book this yourself through the system that your institution usesYou should ensure your booking complies with your institutions travel policy and insurance arrangements (please do check at the time of booking).

When will I hear of my application has been successful?

Please see the table above to determine when you will find out if you have been successful in your application. Please bear in mind that this is a rolling funding opportunity and technicians can apply at any time.

How soon after hearing I have been successful must I undertake the placement?

Within 3 months from the time the outcome is communicated. If there are any issues around completing it before that date please let us know and we may be able to extend the time.

Who is on the decision-making committee?

The decision-making committee is made up of a sub-group of the ITSS Technical Council with support from the ITSS Operations team.

What makes a good application?

You should include full details of the placement that you wish to undertake and include a summary of your current job role. Be clear how the placement is relevant to your current role and how attending will develop you both personally and within your job. Also include how the skills you can learn on this placement can be brought back and utilised within your home institution.

If you do not know specifically where you would like to undertake a placement, please include as much detail as possible on the knowledge and skills you would like to gain from your placement and the specialism/equipment techniques etc. that you would like to enhance.