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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

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 2019 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, details of benefits and how to apply. Our Privacy Notice can be downloaded here.

Around 10 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.


“The 1851 Fellowship has been one of the defining aspects of my academic career.  It has allowed me to focus on developing my own research program, which will form the basis of my work for years to come, and has been instrumental in establishing my career and research profile. I am truly grateful.”  Dr Tom Montenegro-Johnson, Research Fellow 2014

“The 1851 Fellowship gave me the best ever start to my independent career.  Not only did it help me to make friends across disciplines with other 1851 awardees of my time, but it helped me connect with the incredible previous Fellows.  It helped me identify commonalities of character, attitudes and perspectives of thought-leaders in science that I have tried to nurture in my own approach.” Professor Yamuna Krishnan, Research Fellow 2002

“The 1851 Fellowship really provided a platform for me to launch my independent research career.  There is no doubt that, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  Dr Rhodri Davies, Research Fellow 2008

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Industrial Fellowships

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 2019 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, benefits and details of how to apply. Our Privacy Notice can be downloaded here.

Around 10 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

Closing Date 25 April 2019

Are you an engineer with entrepreneurial flair?

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 2019 Terms and Conditions with care for full eligibility criteria, details of benefits and how to apply. Our Privacy Notice can be downloaded here.

Around 10 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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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 2019.  Full details, including the title of the project, will be posted on this site in June 2019 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 and cities in Shock
  • Genetics and the Built Environment
  • Cycling and the Built Environment
  • Manufacturing an Inhabitable City 

Design Fellowship

Design and 'Fake News': This year's fellowship is to examine the topic of verification, disclosure and honesty in the design process.

In an age where we are presented with ‘multiple truths’ uncertainty is increasing for many:  absolute conviction in opinions may be based on limited or selective information. Sources of news and information are diverging and the population can be forgiven for not knowing who or what to trust if behind every idea lies an ulterior motive political or commercial. Clarity is needed more than ever. Designers are trained to analyse problems and reconcile conflicting requirements using imagination and knowledge to propose products and services that at best improve people’s lives. To succeed designers need many attributes such as determination, but particularly rhetorical skills to persuade others of the ingenuity and viability of their ideas.

This year’s fellowship is to examine the topic of verification, disclosure and honesty in the design process. It is intended to be wide ranging in scope, for instance potentially using harvested data to compare design promises with outcomes, or to create systems or tools to measure how products or structures or buildings (or infrastructures) are performing. The intention is to find ways of disrupting questionable information and to provide ease of access to facts about consumption.

A broad overall approach is encouraged, the aim being to ‘make a difference’. The results of the Fellowship are expected to take the form of a design idea, with supporting research.  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.

Key dates are as follows:

Closing date for initial applications
– Monday 3 September 2018

Second submissions requested
– mid-September 2018

Closing date for second submissions
– Thursday 11 October 2018

Interviews and final selection
– late November 2018



RAEng 1851 Enterprise Fellowship

Funded by the 1851 Royal Commission the RAEng 1851 Enterprise Fellowship scheme forms part of our shared commitment to stimulate excellence and encourage creativity and innovation in engineering by identifying and supporting the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies.

The Fellowship provides money-can’t-buy bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring, which is composed of some of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry.

The core aims of the Enterprise Fellowships are:

  1. To bring engineering innovations to market for a wider public benefit
  2. To improve the skills of the awardee.
  3. To develop role models of entrepreneurship; and
  4. To develop a wider alumni network to further the aims of the Hub.
Click here for Guidance Notes.

The Fellowships provide:

  • Up to £60,000 funding
  • Mentoring from the Royal Academy’s  Fellowship
  • Approximately Twelve days business training
  • Public relations support
  • Access to the Academy’s networks
  • Access to the Enterprise Hub meeting facilities
  • Membership of the Enterprise Hub

If you are a postdoctoral researcher at a UK-based university with an innovation or technology you wish to develop through a spin-out, or you have graduated within the last five years and are seeking to run a startup in the UK, then this scheme will be of interest to you. The same application and assessment process applies to both types of applicants.

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.