Skip to content Skip to navigation

Secondments & Placements

What is a C-DICE Placement / Secondment?

A placement / secondment is a temporary transfer of a postdoctoral research fellow (postdoc) or early career researcher (ECR) to another workplace or post. C-DICE placements are short term (<1 month) transfers which include a stipend for travel and subsistence, while C-DICE secondments are a medium term (1-6 months) transfers which compensate secondees for their salary and include a stipend for travel and subsistence.

What’s the difference between a placement and a secondment? For a quick summary, click here.

C-DICE Themes

The overarching goal of C-DICE is to accelerate progress towards a net-zero society by 2050 by building and sustaining the advanced skills base required to create a pipeline of world-class talent for the Infrastructure, Cities and Energy sectors. C-DICE placement / secondment projects must align with one or more of the following:

  • Research in infrastructure, cities and/or energy
  • Research using the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) facilities
  • Knowledge exchange between collaborating C-DICE HEIs
  • Networking benefits for postdocs or ECRs

There are two ways that a C-DICE placement can be created. Either the host organisation can work with C-DICE to develop a project for a placement or postdocs/ECRs can respond to an Open Call and co-create a project with a host of their choosing. Currently, C-DICE is working with host organisations to develop projects for secondments, but there may be Open Calls for secondments in the future – watch this space!

Benefits of a placement / secondment to postdocs/ECRs

A placement / secondment introduces postdocs and ECRs to new perspectives, skills, and techniques, while giving them new opportunities & responsibilities. A C-DICE secondee can “sector-hop”, test innovative thinking and skills in a different environment, and gain access to world-leading facilities and research teams. A C-DICE placement / secondment is a unique tool for career development and a means to expand the secondee’s network. In some cases, a placement / secondment may lead to further opportunities. If a postdoc / ECR is currently working on an EPSRC funded project, EPSRC has guaranteed an extension to allow for participation in C-DICE placements/secondments.

Who is eligible to apply for a C-DICE placement / secondment?

  • Applicants must have a PhD (or have passed their viva with minor corrections) before undertaking a C-DICE placement / secondment.
  • Applicants must have a research role to go back to after the placement / secondment.
  • There must be a C-DICE connection. This can be achieved in two ways:
    • Host organisation is in the C-DICE network (a C-DICE partner, a C-DICE university, or an ERA or UKCRIC facility).
    • Applicant’s home institution is in the C-DICE network.
  • For advertised placements / secondments, applicant must meet the essential criteria listed in the advert.

How to apply

  • Sign up to Inkpath and link to C-DICE. For more details on how, click here.
  • Search for placement / secondment opportunities OR open call.
  • Apply using Inkpath.
  • For an advertised placement / secondment opportunity, you will need:
    • advert number (Inkpath activity number)
    • narrative CV (for guidance, click here)
    • cover letter
    • letter of support from your supervisor
  • For an open call placement proposal, you will need:
    • research proposal concept and objectives (500 words)
    • host supervisor name, contact details, and institution
    • alignment to C-DICE themes (250 words)
    • budget justification and requested funding
    • narrative CV (optional)
    • cover letter (optional)
    • letters of support from your supervisor and the host supervisor

Benefits of a placement / secondment to a host organisation

C-DICE is collaborating with businesses, non-profit organisations, SMEs, local authorities, research facilities, and higher education institutions to host placements and secondments. A C-DICE secondee can work on specific problems, and address short, well-defined projects using existing resources. Host organisations can gain access to innovative thinking and skills, providing a complementary perspective or dimension to future, ongoing. or past projects. Hosts can also gain access to world-leading facilities and research teams at the 18 HEIs across the ERA and UKCRIC partnerships. developing employee skills while minimising impact to their work. Hosts can help support and develop the next generation of researchers and perhaps develop permanent relationships. If you are a business and want more information about C-DICE placements / secondments, find out more at the C-DICE secondments for businesses flyer.

How to propose a placement / secondment

Fill in the Project proposal pro forma and email it to to arrange a discussion of next steps.

Which projects are eligible for C-DICE funding?

  • Project must align with the C-DICE themes (see above).
  • Placement / secondment must add value to the PDRF/ECR’s development, either in a new project, a new work environment, a new experience or a training benefit.
  • Host organisation must be willing to share IP with the home institution. If not, the host must fully fund the placement / secondment.
  • Depending on the institution type (big company, SME, non-profit organisation, local authority, or HEI) match-funding may be available.

Important links

  • For a list of UKCRIC facilities, click here
  • For a list of ERA facilities, click here
  • Open call for HEI to HEI placements
  • Expression of interest to industry placements / secondments – Activity DEAB0008 in Inkpath
  • Expression of interest to HEI placements / secondments – Activity DEAB0009 in Inkpath

Summary: Differences Between Placement & Secondment

duration< 1 month1-6 months
funding availabletravel & subsistencepostdoc’s salary, travel & subsistence
can be hosted by industry (companies, SMEs, non-profits, local authorities)yesyes
can be hosted by academia (universities, ERA or UKCRIC research facilities, research institutes)yesyes
postdoc proposes project / answers open callyesnot currently available
host (industry or academia) proposes projectyesyes

Live Secondment Opportunities

Live funded opportunities, including secondments and networking grants, can be found here. They can also be found in table form here.