Research and Collaboration

Oxford Physics is working with companies of all sizes from local SMEs to large multinationals on projects across a range of technologies and sectors.

See below for some of the different ways your business can work with us and there are examples of our successful collaborations with industry on the left menu.

Collaborative Research Projects

These projects are ideal for a company who wishes to access extra funding for research whilst benefiting from the expertise of the Oxford Physics Department. They are usually co-funded with a specified set of deliverables and outcomes for each consortium member. The added funding comes from a range of sources, including the European Union, Innovate UK and the Research Councils. This method of working is concerned with generating a collaborative research effort. These projects can be highly innovative as they bring together different approaches, generate new ideas and lead to results that benefit both the company and the university.

Contract Research

If a company needs a specific piece of research carried out then contract research can be a good option. Contract research is focused on industrial needs and is commissioned by the company who normally set the requirements. Usually the university is responsible for doing the research.


This is a good way to access existing knowledge and services in the department. This includes the services, facilities and expertise. It is a simple streamlined process that allows easy access to know-how and is tailored for your specific needs. For further details you can contact Gurinder Punn at Oxford University Innovation Consulting Services at or call on 01865 280826.

Student Projects

We participate in different types of student projects, including CASE awards and summer placements. We also offer companies the opportunity to propose projects for BA and MPhys students to tackle and are always interested in talking to companies about student engagement.

R&D Tax Relief and Credits

You may be eligible for financial incentives in the form of tax credits to help you access research and development (R&D) services from the Department of Physics.

To qualify for R&D tax credits your business must meet certain criteria. If you can answer YES to all the questions below it may be worth seeking further advice from your accountant.

  • Are you undertaking a project that seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainties?
  • Can you define clearly the advance you are seeking?
  • Can you state why the uncertainties were not able to be resolved by a competent professional?
  • Does your project have identifiable start and end dates?
  • Does your R&D relate to the current trade or one you intend to start up based on your R&D?

Further information from the university.

Further information from UK government.

Patent Box
There are also opportunties to receive similar governmental tax incentives and benefits on Patent-derived profits, through the Patent Box.

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