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Fellowships for pure research in science and engineering, applied research in industry, studentships in industrial design and Special Awards

Research Fellowships

Closing date for applications 16 February 2017

Do you have 3 years or less post-doctoral research experience and want to conduct innovative research of your own instigation?

Research Fellowships in Science and Engineering are intended to give scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity for early independence with the objective of contributing to the knowledge base required for a healthy and innovative national culture.  These fellowships are open to all nationalities, usually intending to carry out research at a UK institution.

Please read the 2017 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, details of benefits and how to apply. 

Around 8 awards are made each year, one of which is designated the Brunel Fellowship. Applications from qualified engineering researchers are particular encouraged and the Brunel Fellowship is specifically reserved for them.

Application is entirely online. Applications cannot be submitted without all sections being complete, including references from two academics, neither of which should be from the proposed host institution. Referees are asked particularly to comment on the individual’s ability to undertake original research. References are submitted online via a secure portal and confidential login instructions are sent to referees by automatic email generated by the candidate during the application process.


“Ive been very grateful for the 1851 Fellowship as it gave me an early step up to independent research status, the fact this happened earlier than if I’d taken the usual postdoc route seems to have opened many doors for me on the academic career path”.  Dr Suzie Sheehy, Research Fellow 2010

“The fellowship has allowed me to engage in risky research that I probably would not have dared go into if I hadn’t had the position that this grant enabled me to get.  in the end, I am very glad I did take those risks, as the project has been much more successful (and more interesting!( than I could have hoped for.”  Dr Alex Bartel, Research Fellow 2012

“The Fellowship has been a life-changing opportunity.” Dr Mamatha Nagaraj, Research Fellow 2012

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Industrial Fellowships

Closing date for applications 26 January 2017

Do you want to pursue a PhD without leaving your job or perhaps you want to collaborate with industry on research?

The aim of the scheme is to encourage profitable innovation and creativity in British Industry – to the mutual benefit of the Fellow and his or her sponsoring company. Projects in any science or engineering discipline will be considered.

These prestigious Fellowships are awarded to selected, exceptional graduates with the potential to make an outstanding contribution to Industry for a programme of doctoral level research.  They are open to company employed candidates or nominated Doctoral Centre / CASE candidates.

Please read the 2017 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, benefits and details of how to apply.

Around 9 awards are made each year, one of which is designated the ERA Foundation Fellow for the electro-technology sector.

Promote this Fellowship with our 3 fliers aimed at the individual, company and university respectively.

“The Industrial Fellowship has been a great way to gain innovative advantage with the limited resources inherent to SMEs. It gave us control over the research being conducted and ownership of new IP.  In fact, we’ve patented five new technologies as a direct result of the Fellowship”.  Dr Ian Towle, Ketonex

“Unlike a conventional PhD, the Industrial Fellowship has allowed us to develop a project that was directly tied to company aims, because the Fellow is employed by us throughout. This has really helped in the development of our competitive advantage”. Brian Butchart, SIRAKOSS

“The Industrial Fellowship has been a fantastic opportunity. It has given me the freedom to take something that I was interested in researching and take it to the next level, whilst retaining a salary and strong tie to industry.” Jordan Conway, Industrial Fellow with SIRAKOSS and the University of Aberdeen.

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Industrial Design Studentships

Do you have a good degree in science or engineering and are intending to complete a master's in Industrial Design?

The aim of the scheme is to stimulate industrial design capability among the country’s most able science and engineering graduates. In the Commissioners’ view, industrial design cannot be dissociated from a clear understanding of the underlying engineering science of the product and it is for this reason that first degrees in science or engineering are prescribed. These are complementary, not alternative disciplines. For products to succeed they must not only be fit for purpose, but they must also look good and represent value for money.

Please read the 2016 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, details of benefits and how to apply.

Around 9 Studentships are offered each year for outstanding engineering or science graduates who wish to develop their capabilities in industrial design and who aspire to becoming leading designers in British industry. The scheme is open to applicants resident in the UK who are intending to make a career in British Industry.

Promote this Studentship by downloading our flyer.

How to Apply

All applications much be submitted by email on the downloadable application form and must be accompanied by a full CV, which gives details of past work experience; a statement and evidence of interest and expectations in industrial design, including the intention to make a career in British Industry and evidence of acceptance for the intended course.

“Receiving support from 1851 was an incredible privilege,allowing me to pursue my education and be a part of an invaluable network of highly inspirational people” Nell Bennett

“One of the things I really like about engineering is that it can have a very big impact on the world – it’s great to have that as a driver and a motivator. You spend the majority of your time at work so you might as well do something that you’re passionate about and that you love.” Yusuf Muhammad

“Thanks @royalcom1851 @born2engineer for all the support and enabling so many people to do brilliant things!” Adrian Westaway

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Applications are now closed and will reopen in October.

Design Fellowship

Call for 2-Year Fellowship in Design entitled "Healthier Cities". £50,000 a year.

Healthier Cities

Throughout modern history, cities have shaped the health and well-being of their citizens, and will increasingly continue to do so. This year’s design challenge is to think of practical ways in which citizens can be encouraged to lead healthier lives: examples of interventions might include healthier homes.; more sensible ways of working – at home, in public places or in the workplace; an emphasis on health as well as healthcare at the level of policy-making;  links between urban planning and public health; design for prevention of non-communicable diseases; design and obesity (obesity being ‘the new smoking’); cities and the ageing population.

We have deliberately selected a broad overall topic in order to encourage the widest possible range of applications on the theme. It is not, of course, a new theme. The Victorians were much concerned about hygiene and dispersed cities; the ‘Garden City’ movement tried to offer more radical solutions. But it is an urgent theme, and it provides excellent opportunities for designers.

A broad, holistic approach is encouraged, the aim being to ‘make a difference’.  Entries will accordingly be accepted not only from individuals but also from formal or informal partnerships.  Candidates should be UK based aiming to carry out research over a 2 year period, culminating in either a personal mark of distinction (e.g. PhD) or a milestone output of significance.  In all cases, candidates are asked to identify a mentor who can contribute to, and make expert and objective commentary on the candidate’s work, and who will ensure linkage and promulgation of the work to the appropriate peer group.

The application form can be downloaded from the Commission’s website (address below) which candidates should complete, together with an outline of the proposed project of no more than two pages of A4, plus a CV.  Lavishly produced or illustrated submissions are not required. The full application should then be sent by e-mail, preferably as a PDF, to royalcom1851 @ imperial.ac.uk   

Based on these applications a shortlist will be selected and these candidates will be invited to provide a further, more comprehensive written submission before being interviewed.

Closing date:
5 September 2016


Built Environment Fellowship

A single Fellowship is awarded every other year for two years' research in a specified study area.

The Commission will be awarding the next Fellowship in the Built Environment in 2017.  Full details, including the title of the project, will be posted on this site in June when applications will be invited.   The value of the award is £50,000 per year.  Applications are welcome from post-graduates, researchers, practitioners or professionals on a career break.  Entries will be accepted not only from individuals but also from formal or informal partnerships.



Introduced in 1995, awards have been made for research into:

Landscape and Modernity
Urban Issues, Human Habitation
Transport and the Built Environment
Housing for the 21st Century
Climate Change – The Future for Building Design
Urban Design: Ideas for part of the Commission’s Estate
Towns & Cities in Shock
Genetics and the Built Environment
Cycling and the Built Environment



Special Awards

A very limited number of Special Awards are made to worthy causes and individuals whose aims are consistent with the Commission's Charter to 'increase the means of industrial education' in Britain. These may range from substantial support for other bodies in pursuing specific projects, to travel and study awards to individuals.

However, apart from its programme of Fellowships and Studentship the Commission does not offer any Special Awards for university courses or post-graduate research.

By their very nature, Special Awards are not capable of clear description, since they are assessed by Commissioners on a case by case basis. Applicants should, in the first instance, contact the Secretary before making a written application.