Are you looking to:

  • Fast track your career from a unique platform?
  • Take on a role that bridges academia and business?
  • Take ownership of your own project?
  • Apply your academic knowledge to a real life challenge that delivers strategic or tactical change?
  • Gain a further professional qualification?
  • Manage your own substantial training and development budget (you can also use this to attend conferences, cover membership of professional bodies etc)?

A KTP could be the perfect launchpad, helping enhance your career prospects by providing you with an opportunity to manage a challenging project central to a business’s strategic development and long term growth.

You’ll ‘own’ your own project, linked to both a university and a business whose experienced teams will provide you with full support. Acting as both a conduit for knowledge and a project lead, this is a real opportunity to deliver impact and shape your future career development.


A KTP is a mutually beneficial, three-way collaboration between: 

  • A graduate or post graduate (known as an Associate)
  • An organisation (a business of any size, in any sector or a not for profit organisation)
  • A university/research institution (Knowledge Base).

KTPs are designed to deliver an innovation project and bring about lasting, transformative change. As a KTP Associate, you lead the project with full support and input from the organisation and the Knowledge Base teams.

KTP is one of the largest graduate recruitment programmes in the UK – to date there have been over 12,000 KTPs in almost every industry sector and companies of all sizes: in micro-sized to large businesses such as Unilever and Rolls Royce. Right now, over 100 knowledge bases and over 800 graduates are involved in KTPs.

KTP projects last between 12 months and three years and Associate roles can be either part time or full time.

KTP projects last between 12 months and three years with approximately 70% of Associates offered employment by the host business at the end of the project.

Projects can be in any sector and for businesses of all sizes. You will be jointly recruited by the business and the Knowledge Base (usually a university) who will be your employer.  

Based for most of your time at the business’s office you will have an academic supervisor to support you, plus the specialist input of a Knowledge Transfer Adviser from the Knowledge Transfer Networkand, of course, from the business team too.

KTPs offer extensive opportunities for graduates and post-grads, as you provide the link between an expert academic team and a dynamic company. This ‘bridge’ gives you unique and exceptional access to both worlds.

As a KTP Associate, you’ll act as a project lead and can expect to benefit from:

  • A fulfilling employment opportunity where you can apply your knowledge to turn a key strategic innovation idea in to reality
  • The chance to manage a challenging, real-world project
  • An opportunity to tailor-make your role, as each KTP Associate position is unique
  • The chance to implement strategic development within an innovative company
  • Dedicated coaching, mentoring and personal development, as you manage your own personal training budget
  • The opportunity to gain a management qualification/training and the chance to work towards a higher degree.

KTPs span a wide range of academic disciplines and industry sectors. Your KTP could be anything from recipe development for a leading food business, developing marketing campaigns to reach the socially disadvantaged or applying AI to environmental sustainability or health; the projects are diverse; the opportunities are huge.

Typical challenges might focus on designing and introducing new products or better processes, re-organising production facilities, introducing improved quality systems and technology, or developing marketing strategies to break into new markets. The possibilities for transformation via a KTP are almost endless; likewise for KTP Associates. 

KTP Associates spend around 10% of their time in training and personal development. At the start of the KTP you get a training budget to manage – so you decide which courses would benefit you.

You can choose a variety of training modules during your KTP: project management, marketing and communication, finance, leadership and/or personal development, as well as job-specific technical training.

All this in addition to the invaluable experience gained through working on a KTP project with the support of expert teams.

Most current job vacancies for KTP Associates are listed on this site and link you directly to the relevant Knowledge Base job page where you can apply. You may additionally see KTP Associate roles advertised in your university department, careers office, local paper or on recruitment websites. 

Nothing of interest today? Why not register to sign up for job alerts so you’re first to hear of the latest opportunities? 

what they say

David Beattie

“Through KTP, I’ve found a graduate role which offers both academic and industry experience in equal measure. My role is intensely immersive, which I put down to the considerable degree of autonomy the KTP framework affords. Our project is a win-win for its stakeholders, may lead to job creation and will reduce our Carbon footprint. That’s satisfying.” David Beattie

Davidsons Feeds/James Hutton Institute
Melanie Hermann

"I am privileged to work both with gifted academics at the University of Cambridge, and bright minds at Vizzuality, a change agency for a sustainable and fair future. I am grateful for this unique opportunity to work in a job that I love and believe in." Melanie Herrmann, KTP Associate

Vizzuality/University of Cambridge
Neha Sharma

"KTP is like a beautiful interwoven fabric of academia and industry"

KTP Associate, Cosmotec Ltd and University of Salford
Georgiana Nica-Avram

Working with OLIO and the University of Nottingham has helped me develop personally and professionally. It has helped me contribute the skills and knowledge I have gained so far, as well as develop new skills in the fast-paced domain of data science. OLIO is dedicated to addressing one of today’s greatest challenges- food waste, and I am grateful to be part of this solution.

KTP Associate, University of Nottingham / OLIO


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