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Researchers at UCL, Imperial College London and King's College London can apply for attachments at the Crick, thanks to the innovative way we work with our university partners.

Applications now open

The 2021 call for attachments is now open for researchers at King's College London, Imperial College London and the Crick. UCL will not be accepting applications for new Crick attachments in 2021.

Visit our university partners' websites to find out more about the application process:

The deadline for application varies for each of our partners.

Get in touch with the team

University attachments bring researchers from our partner universities to the Crick, often for several years, and enable new multidisciplinary collaborations to be formed.

The university researchers bring expertise in translational, clinical, physical, mathematical and computational sciences. Their skills and ideas are crucial for the interdisciplinary approaches needed to explore questions at the forefront of biomedical research.

The university researchers can benefit from the ability to broaden their experience, pick up new skills and techniques and collaborate with the leading biomedical research groups at the institute. They can also make full use of our state-of-the-art research equipment, technical advice and instruction available through the Crick's science technology platforms.

Types of attachment

  • Secondments allow a research group leader at one of our university partners to transfer all or part of their group to the Crick for an agreed period. The group leaders are usually early in their careers and will be at the Crick for three to six years.
  • Satellites are small groups (usually one to three people) of university researchers embedded in a Crick research group or STP for a set time.
    • Project-based satellite: a substantive project-focused collaboration between a satellite group leader and a 'host' Crick group leader (up to three years)
    • Programmatic satellite: link with multiple Crick groups or STPs, either by providing new facilities or technologies or a larger-scale collaborative programme (up to five years)
    • Crick group leaders can also establish satellite groups at UCL, Imperial and King's.
  • Sabbaticals enable a research group leader to spend up to a year working in a Crick research group for hands-on collaboration or to learn a new technique.

Case studies

Jernej Ule

Jernej Ule, UCL

Seconded to the Crick from UCL, Jernej Ule’s group is investigating how RNAs and proteins come together in our cells, and how this contributes to development or disease. Their research focuses on motor neurone disease (MND) – a fatal disease also referred to as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“My group of nine researchers are all based at the Crick, where we have greatly benefited from work with different research facilities and initiated important new collaborations,” explains Jernej. 

Ed Tate

Ed Tate, Imperial College London

Ed Tate manages a research group split between Imperial College London and the Crick, and is an example of how university attachments can bring expertise in the physical sciences to collaborations at the Crick. “We work with chemistry but we apply it to biology,” says Ed.

“When we see a biomedical or biological problem we think would be interesting to try to solve, we can decide to tackle it from a new perspective – and the Crick enables us to do that very effectively.” 

Snezhana Oliferenko

Snezhana Oliferenko, King's College London

On a five-year secondment from King’s College London, Snezhana Oliferenko’s group of six researchers is studying the comparative biology of cell division. “It’s a great environment for meeting like-minded people and talking science," she says.

"It’s also a very good experience for my team to be exposed to interesting and diverse thinking.” 

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How it works

Researchers from UCL, Imperial and King’s can apply for university attachment positions at the Crick.

There is an annual call for research proposals, with slightly different deadlines for the three universities.

Successful applicants are selected through a competitive process, based on:

  • Excellence of the research proposal
  • Benefits in career development for the applicant
  • Added value to the research group, the Crick and the university
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Career stage and track record of the applicant: proposals from early-career researchers are encouraged, as it is consistent with our aim to create future science leaders.

It is expected that projects will be externally funded. Applications where funding is not yet in place can be considered but selection will be contingent upon a successful grant application.

The university staff transferring to the Crick remain employees of their home institution.

Research training with universities