What is a KTP Associate?

A KTP Associate is the graduate who is leading a KTP project. KTP is short for Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which is a scheme that has been running throughout the UK for over 40 years.

The scheme matches up businesses who have a need to innovate, develop and grow, with a university who has the expertise to help them do so. Once the project team is formed, the university recruits a graduate to deliver the project, under the supervision of the company and the academic team.

On top of an annual salary, Associates also get a dedicated training budget of £2,000 per annum. You’ll have responsibility from day one and the potential to gain a permanent job with an innovative company (approximately 78 per cent of graduates are offered employment at the end of a KTP).

Every year, Associates are also invited to the annual KTP Associates Conference. Carlotta Giussani, KTP Associate for a KTP project with the Sourcepark in Hastings told us:

“The KTP Associates Conference in Birmingham was absolutely great experience. It was great opportunity to network with the other Associates and to hear more about other KTP Associates projects and experiences.”

Find all current job opportunities on the national KTP website here: https://info.ktponline.org.uk/action/search/partnership_vac.aspx



The KTP Associate Conference 2015

The KTP Associates Conference has been hosted successfully at the University of Brighton for a number of years, providing a great opportunity to celebrate the successes of KTP and provide networking and presentation opportunities for Associates.

This year’s 2015 Conference marked the beginning of a new era for the event which has been handed over to the KTP community and will be hosted by a different UK university each year.

This year, the Conference was hosted by the West of Scotland KTP Centre, at the University of Strathclyde’s newly opened Technology and Innovation Centre.

Sue Fleming and the five University of Brighton Associates who travelled to Glasgow to attend the event

Around 130 people registered to attend, including 20 oral presentations and 35 poster presentations. The quality and variety of both presentations and posters was impressive and inspiring, really demonstrating that KTP delivers fantastic outcomes for all three partners – the companies, the universities, and of course, the Associates.

We were particularly delighted that one of the University of Brighton’s Associates, Andrew Black, was awarded the best poster prize, against stiff competition from over 35 other posters presented at the event. Andrew’s KTP is with Hove-based Class Of Their Own – one of the UK’s largest out of school care provider – on a 2 year strategic marketing project in which knowledge from a team from the Brighton Business School, led by Senior Lecturer Jane Priddis, will be transferred to guide research to underpin the growth of the business by developing additional complementary services and expanding into new geographical areas.

Tanya Petherick, Director at Class Of Their Own says “We are delighted that Andrew won the recent poster competition.  Andrew worked extremely hard to create an eye-catching, easy to understand poster and developed an engaging short presentation about the project.  So far we have been extremely impressed with the entire KTP process.  In Andrew, we have an Associate who is the perfect fit for our company – he is bursting with enthusiasm yet not afraid to spend time gathering data for our internal marketing audit.  We have had incredible support from the University of Brighton and KTP Adviser.  All in all, we’re very happy not only to win the poster competition but to be part of the KTP process.”

Andrew Black receiving his prize for Best PosterAndrew Black - KTP Associates Conference Poster Winner 2015

Andrew Black receiving his award for Best Poster presentation.

Andrew said: “The conference was a fun opportunity to meet new ‘KTP-ers’ from all over the country, as well as catching up with friends from my KTP residential training modules.  It was really useful with some really interesting presentations; especially showing just how diverse the different kinds of KTP projects are! Winning the poster competition was great! I find my KTP really exciting and it’s nice to know other people do too!”

Sue Fleming joined the five Associates from the University of Brighton who travelled up to Scotland to attend and support the event, and who between them, delivered one oral presentation and four poster presentations.

The 2016 Conference will be hosted by Coventry University and we look forward to seeing the Conference grow from strength to strength, and to celebrating more KTP Associate successes.

Audience KTPAC2015 1 FBarari poster (2)   Image by Guy Hinks. St George Square

Launching my graduate career with KTP: Adam Masters

Adam Masters

I applied for the role of Eco-Retrofit Manager (KTP Associate) as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between The University of Brighton and the Guinness Partnership. It seemed to be the perfect opportunity to gain first hand experience in industry whilst maintaining support from an academic institution and gaining further qualifications. It did not disappoint! In the two year of my KTP I have attained a Master of Science degree, a Certificate in Management and passed a qualification to become a member of the Association of Project Managers to name just a few, all whilst being paid a full time wage.

It certainly wasn’t easy to fit in all of that work and additional qualifications, there were a lot of long days and nights juggling study and work; however I am sure that the opportunities that were presented to me during my two year KTP would not have been available in any other type of job. It feels like I have been given a head start to my career, having the experience and qualifications of somebody who has been working in industry for at least 5 years. My role within the Guinness Partnership was to run a two year pilot project to improve the energy efficiency of six of the organisation’s offices and develop a plan to rollout energy reduction across the remaining offices. Working closely with my company supervisor, Victoria Moore Head of Sustainability and Lead Academic Dr Jon Gates an expert in energy reduction we evaluated the current energy performance of the offices and selected six offices to improve that would provide the greatest learning. By retrofitting these six offices and implementing behaviour change initiatives we were able to make circa £50,000 annual savings and develop a strategy for the rollout of retrofit across the remaining office stock. I now feel as though I am an expert in my field, being invited to talk at national exhibitions and conferences to share my experience.

It is extremely satisfying to see a project such as this through to completion and to witness the benefits of your hard work. Upon completion of my KTP, The Guinness Partnership created a new permanent role which I successfully applied for meaning another smooth transition from one role to another role with additional responsibilities and the opportunity for further personal development. However, regardless of whether the company partner is able to employ the Associate at the end of their contract, I believe that the experience and qualifications that a KTP Associate would hold would make them an extremely strong candidate for any job within their field.

Adam Masters, Sustainability Manager, The Guinness Partnership



Life post-KTP: Burns Research Charity to Diesel Tuning – Richard Allin

Blonde McIndoe1

When I began my KTP with the University of Brighton and Blond McIndoe Research Foundation, the 2 year completion date of the project seemed far away and something that I rarely considered until my final 6 months began and suddenly the reality of making the next step became that more real.

I had an idea of location and the type of work I wanted to do post KTP, but I realised my current CV was in need of a serious overhaul to reflect all the work that I had undertaken since the start of the project.

The KTP benefits log was a very helpful source of examples for this and I would have spent significantly more time trying to remember everything I had done since the start had I not managed to fill it in as part of the review meetings.

For the last 3 months of the project I was regularly job scanning, revising my CV, preparing applications and submitting them to a variety of jobs to direct employers and, unfortunately, recruitment agents who seem to hold the bulk of advertised jobs. My previous experiences with agencies had not been encouraging, and they continued to be disappointing, maintaining my suspicions that many advertised jobs do not exist and act as a CV harvesting scheme.

I had some fall back temporary employment in case I did not manage to make a straight jump from the KTP to my next job but looking back I would advise serious job hunting 6 months from the end if you know your KTP host company does not have a position for you.

Fortunately in the last 2 weeks of my project I was offered interviews from two companies that were very much at opposite ends of the scale. One, a multinational corporation in the agricultural sector and the other a small company specialising in digital diesel tuning products.

Neither role asked for a presentation, which surprised me, but I felt bringing something to show on my iPad would help me put across my skills and experiences much more effectively. I had previously undertaken lots of presentations for my KTP so it didn’t take long to put something together. I thought both interviews went well and was pleased that I could fall back on many examples of demonstrating skills and outcomes through the KTP project.

The training budget and academic support over the past 2 years had also enabled me to develop new knowledge and understanding that proved to be a key factor in securing my current role.

Shortly after being interviewed, the diesel tuning company offered me their role of Marketing Executive and I accepted before waiting for an offer from the multinational as it felt more of a natural fit for me.

Two months in I am currently focusing on planning our new website build and developing SEO strategies for our current site, but I’m also working on everything from new packaging to getting magazine features to planning events and managing the social media, and literally using the skills I developed in the KTP every day!

Blonde McIndoe2

KTP in the charity sector – Veronica Malley


During my KTP Project, I was the Retail Development Manager for St Wilfrid’s Hospice Trading Company and the University of Brighton, where I was responsible for the development of an innovative retail strategy which aimed to increase the revenue in eight shops and online stores, generated in order to support the work of the Hospice.

Just to name a few of the highlights from my project I will start from the beginning; receiving management accreditation from the Ashorne Hill Management College in the first 6 months of my time at St Wilfrid’s allowed me to really understand my position and keep on top of my objectives. The opportunity to gain extensive experience leading a project team, motivating shop managers and working alongside senior managers in a retail environment that was and definitely still is a fast paced and rapidly changing will forever remain with me as much more than simply ‘a job.’

It was so satisfying to change people’s perceptions about charity retail and I still find myself talking people into sustainable fashion. There were many challenges that I had faced in this project like at any organisation budgets are tight and one is forced to think creatively about how to make the most from what you have. I was so lucky to have such an open minded organisation to work for who were so willing to support the KTP and our ideas. We managed to get £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to open a completely new concept shop called Rotate, which opened on the principal high street in Eastbourne this past June.

Working on tight deadlines and managing many different projects at one time, going from refitting shops one week to presenting a workshop on branding to the charity’s board of directors the next, I learned what it meant to work under pressure and still maintain control over all the situations at hand. Bringing new ideas to the table during monthly management meetings and motivating a team of shop managers was an essential part of my job and one that I loved doing.

Learning throughout the project from my academic supervisors Harvey Ells and Chris Dutton from the University of Brighton’s School of Service Management, by the end of the project I was advising on all decisions regarding shop design, visual merchandising and store layouts. To do this I had to manage close relationships with printers, designers and industry professionals including other business development managers, start-up companies and wholesalers. All this work led to making positive strides forward and in one year we managed to raise our turnover by 29%.

I would now consider myself a creative manager and one of the great benefits that has come out of the project was the close relationships I made with the University of Brighton and St Wilfrid’s. Recently, I have moved to London and am now working as a Marketing Coordinator for a Film school, where I am using many of the skills I developed during my time as a KTP Associate. I am in no doubt that the experience I gained and the fact I had demonstrated my ability to take responsibility contributed to me getting this role and taking my next step on the career ladder.

The KTP project gave me the opportunity to grow and the nurturing and support of my work from all those involved will stay with me for the rest of my career. I would tell future KTP’s to always do their research before committing to the project and once they have to just jump right in and appreciate every chance that the scheme gives you. It was a wonderful time in my life which I will always cherish.

Veronica Malley, St Wilfrids Hospice KTP


How KTP launched my career – Jugal Desai

My KTP project was with Dando Drilling International, a company with over 146 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and sales of water well, mineral exploration, geotechnical and GHP drilling rigs and equipment. My KTP project was about integrating the supply chain and enhancing the product development process at Dando in order to strategically support the company in becoming more competitive.


My primary role was to lead and manage strategic change at the company. No matter how simple this sounds I believe that what I did is equivalent to most of the tasks that are done by strategic management teams. I not only had to lead a change but also work with the top management to define the vision for it and, with the help of , construct the path to push it forward and engage staff with the process to ensure buy-in. The major work then for me and the company managers was to make everyday operations hassle-free. My work involved all the aspects of the business viz. creative designing, decision making, implementing, analysis, networking, making etc. What I did has helped to develop an in-depth understanding of the engineering business and its management. Therefore, I call KTP  a good ‘Learning-By-Doing’ programme for aspiring engineering and/or management executives and I believe this is the KTP’s ‘Unique Selling Point’.


Overcoming the challenges

Like every change project, the key challenge in our project was to motivate and drive the project stakeholders towards a successful change. To gain their trust and confidence was one of the biggest challenges. UoB helped me in realising the fact that the Law of Engineering Attraction is Innovation – people are attracted towards innovative products, processes and promotions so this is what we used to overcome the challenges. We designed and demonstrated an innovative system and process and promoted it with an innovative flair which helped us in gaining trust and confidence and to develop positive curiosity for change among stakeholders.


What I’m doing now

My KTP ended in April 2014 having fulfilled all its objectives and delivered a great impact for Dando. This was reflected in the final report which was graded ‘outstanding’. Post KTP, I was employed by Dando as Operations Manager.  As rightly quoted by Benjamin Franklin, “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” One of the biggest tasks of my current role is to keep on finding this meaning and implementing it. My current role looks strategically at identifying, designing and implementing a business operational change which supports future growth. At the same time, the role involves fulfilling current demands successfully.


The benefits of being a KTP Associate

I believe that “To know what you know and what you do not know, that is true knowledge” – UoB and Dando have helped me in finding “what I know and what I do not know”. I undertook training, professional qualifications and, most importantly, received moral support which has significantly impacted on my knowledge and experience. At the same, I had a platform to implement this knowledge in the real world. This I believe is one of the biggest benefits of being a KTP Associate. I was part of a top-management decision making process and at the same time I was a learner. This ‘Learning-By-Doing’ principle of KTP is the biggest benefit that an Associate can gain early in their career.

Jugal Desai during filming for the Dando Drilling KTP video case study 

Jugal Desai during filming for the Dando Drilling KTP video case study


Jugal Desai, Design Operations Engineer at Dando Drilling International