What is KESS 2?

The Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) programme supports Doctoral and Research Masters awards in Welsh Universities, jointly sponsored by external partners based in the Convergence areas of Wales. Students who receive KESS 2 funding must also come from the Convergence areas of Wales. KESS 2 is funded under the European Structural Investment Funds – ESF Programme through the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO). 

The programme is a collaboration between all Welsh Universities, led by Bangor University – University of South Wales is a partner. The programme is likely to run for 7 years (2015-22).

 The key objectives of Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships are to:

  • Increase the research capacity of small medium enterprises (SMEs) by linking with a PhD / Research Masters project
  • Encourage SMEs to undertake research and recruit researchers
  • Prepare and train individuals to contribute to research as professionals
  • Support the development of key technologies in the Convergence area*
  • Promote Higher-level Skills Development and employability


Prioritised Sectors

KESS 2 is closely aligned to meeting the higher-level skills needs of the Welsh Government’s grand challenge priority areas, and will prioritise projects in these sectors:


  • ICT & Digital Economy
  • Low Carbon, Energy and Environment
  • Life Sciences and Health
  • Advanced Engineering and Materials


For more information on the Grand Challenge areas, please refer to Welsh Government’s Science For Wales document.

The KESS 2 programme is unique in Europe, in the way it uses ESF support to deliver collaborative research projects and higher-level skills training, in partnership with employers.

KESS 2 Team- Contact Us

For more information on getting involved in the KESS 2 Programme at the University of South Wales, please contact:

clare naylor   Clare Naylor, KESS 2 Project Manager 

 alison evans Alison Evans,KESS 2 Programme Administrator

Research & Innovation Services

Tel: 01443 482578


Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys. 

Ysgoloriaeth Sgiliau Economi Gwybodaeth (KESS) yn Gymru gyfan sgiliau lefel uwch yn fenter a arweinir gan Brifysgol Bangor ar ran y sector AU yng Nghymru. Fe’i cyllidir yn rhannol gan Gronfeydd Cymdeithasol Ewropeaidd (ESF) cydgyfeirio ar gyfer Gorllewin Cymru a’r Cymoedd.