«Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Report of the Board of Management and Summarised Financial Statements For the year ended 31 December 2015 ...»
Industrial Fellowships These are intended to encourage profitable innovation and creativity in British industry. Projects in any science or engineering discipline will be considered. A variable number of awards is available each year depending on the financial value of individual awards granted. An ERA Foundation Fellowship for the electro-technology sector is awarded as part of the scheme. Fellowships are awarded to selected exceptional graduates with the potential to make an outstanding contribution to industry, for a programme of research, supported by their employing / sponsoring company, leading to a patent, product or process improvement in conjunction with a higher academic award. Awards are for up to three years, subject to annual review, and include a contribution towards living costs, a travel allowance, an honorarium for the host university and in appropriate cases a contribution towards university fees.
Industrial Design Studentships These are intended to stimulate industrial design capability among the country’s most able science and engineering graduates. Up to eight awards are offered each year for outstanding engineers or scientists who wish to develop their capabilities in industrial design by taking a recognised masters course and who aspire to become leading designers in British industry. The award is for up to two years and includes a stipend, materials allowance, travel allowance and contribution towards tuition fees.
Fellowships in Design and the Built Environment Awarded in alternate years, these Fellowships each provide a stipend for up to two years to enable those at a more advanced stage in their career to explore important current issues, selected by the Commission.
Schemes administered by other organisations:
Enterprise Fellowships Awarded through the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), these fellowships are open to outstanding UK-resident engineering graduates seeking entrepreneurial success. A package of tailored mentoring, training and grant funding will enable recipients to pursue commercialisation of their technological ideas. Up to three fellowships a year are available. Full details are available on the RAEng website.
Great Exhibition Scholarships Awarded through The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), these scholarships are open to UK residents joining an IET accredited undergraduate degree who achieve 3 A grades or above at ‘A’ level or equivalent. Additional criteria may apply from year to year – full details are available on the IET website. Up to ten scholarships a year are available. Scholars receive an annual stipend.
Although the educational programmes described above represent the lion’s share of its grant giving, the Commission also responds to all those requests for funding that commend themselves through the Special Awards procedure. Here the aim is to assist worthy individuals, organisations or projects whose aims in the broadest sense align to the Commission’s, and all applications are carefully scrutinised at an appropriate level according to the amount of support requested. Grants range from a few hundred pounds to over a hundred thousand pounds. While Commissioners retain considerable flexibility in principle, in practice a majority of special awards are made either to institutions on the Commission’s legacy estate or for educational outreach work by like-minded organisations seeking to draw the attention of the young to the opportunities presented by science, engineering and design.
Achievements in 2015
The core activity – and primary achievement – of the Commission is identifying early career science and engineering graduates of exceptional promise and supporting their work with its prestigious fellowships and studentships. Full details of the awards made during the year are given on pages 9 to 12.
Some evidence of the success of the various programmes can be gleaned from the achievements of those Fellows who completed their awards during the year and the positions they go on to secure.
A representative sample of case studies is provided on pages 13 to 20 and some of their reflections
on the importance of an 1851 Fellowship to them are presented below:
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 5 year 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. The main fruits of this work will start coming out in the next few months, and will probably continue coming out for several more years.
Dr Alex Bartel, Research Fellow 2012 The 1851 Fellowship has been the bedrock of everything I have achieved in the past three years, and I am extremely grateful for having received the incredible opportunity to shape my early postdoctoral career on my own scientific goals, under the auspices of such a prestigious program.
Dr Anna Lisa Varri, Research Fellow 2012
During my first degree I realised that pure engineering was not the entry point that I wanted for my career. Fortunately, my university took design seriously and I elected to take a design course to see if it was of interest. This is where I first came to find what pleasures and pains open briefs can be! In the final class, where eleven independent groups presented their products, I was overwhelmed with the different approach, complexity and result that each team had achieved. This was my epiphany moment - that in design there is never a single correct solution. During my Masters in design I further discovered that you didn’t need to be able to draw fantastically well or design the best physical products; design has many facets and during my course I found the one which I enjoyed and was good at: the less well advertised branch of experience design, which utilises the systematic approach of engineering to focus on improving the user experience. When I started, I was worried about spending another two years in further education, but looking back I’m in no doubt it was worth it, as it has given me the opportunity to start my career in the way which I want, when I want and how I want. I cannot thank the Royal Commission enough for enabling me to find what I am best at and for providing the funding that made it an incredible experience rather than a constant worry.
Ms Carla Curtis-Tansley, Industrial Design Student 2013 These sentiments are very much echoed by former award holders – to take one example almost at
I’ve been very grateful for the 1851 fellowship as it gave me an early step up to independent researcher 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 Suzanne Sheehy, Research Fellow 2010 Further evidence comes from the honours and awards bestowed on older alumni - some highlights are given on pages 22 to 23. A couple of more extended descriptions of the long term impact our
Fellowships can have are given below:
I was an Overseas Scholar with a 1983 award. This award allowed me to study with Siamon Gordon FRS at The Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in Oxford, where the intellectual influences of Lord Florey and Sir Edward Abrahams remained very strong. I have spent my career thus far at the interface of biology and chemistry and have, for the past fourteen years, been Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 2002, my laboratory discovered a novel mechanism of immunomodulation in the lipid signaling of the receptors for sphingosine 1-phosphate. In 2008, Professor Ed Roberts and I synthesized and patented an organic molecule, now called ozanimod, starting from a screening lead from the public National Institutes of Health Comprehensive Screening Center that I directed. I co-founded a biotechnology company Receptos in 2009 to develop this compound which now has demonstrated safety and efficacy in multiple sclerosis and severe ulcerative colitis, for which it is completing advanced Phase 3 clinical trials. Following a successful IPO in 2013, Receptos was acquired by Celgene in September 2015 for $7.3 billion. Without the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 award, this therapeutic impact for patients with serious and disabling autoimmune diseases would never have been possible.
Professor Hugh Rosen, Overseas Scholar 1983 My 1851 award in 1986 quite literally changed my life. It gave me the opportunity - at a time when I wasn’t sure whether to pursue a career in pharmacy (my undergrad degree) or drug discovery research (my Masters degree) - to study for a DPhil in protein crystallography and drug design at The University of Oxford. My life direction was set after that. I took on a postdoc position at Rockefeller University and then established my own lab at the University of Queensland, over 20 years ago. I have been awarded many research fellowships including the prestigious Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship, and have been appointed to many leadership roles in crystallography nationally and internationally. None of this would have happened without the support of an 1851 scholarship at a critical time in my career.
Professor Jennifer Martin, Overseas Scholar 1986 As well as its core fellowships and studentships, the Commission also runs a very successful special awards programme, supporting individuals and institutions with similar aims to the Commission. As in previous years, many of the awards reflect the Commission’s continuing commitment to raising the awareness of the young to the opportunities presented by science and engineering. They include grants to support: an Achievement in Primary STEM Prize as part of the National Science Learning Centre’s Project ENTHUSE, which provides subject specific professional development for primary school teachers and technicians; TeenTech’s City of Tomorrow initiative, which invites pupils in Years 5 and 6 to design buildings of the future; the Salters’ Chemistry Festival for Year 9 students;
Smallpeice Trust’s Avionics and Aircraft Design course which hopes to inspire Year 12 students to become future engineers; and an initiative to develop state school students’ science communication skills through Young Scientists Journal. Other Special Awards have focused on continuing to develop South Kensington as the premier destination for those interested in science, engineering and design, including grants to support the Science Museum’s new interactive galleries and a science themed art installation on Exhibition Road.
The main focus of the Commission’s work will continue to be its fellowship programmes, with increasing attention paid to ensuring these are marketed as widely and effectively as possible to attract the brightest and best candidates. More general profile raising by the Commission should also help and it is hoped that the partnership with the BBC World Service mentioned in the Chairman’s Report will play a major role here.
Commissioners will also continue to explore opportunities to extend the Commission’s influence at school and undergraduate level through partnerships with other organisations, whether in the form of further joint fellowships like those with the Royal Academy of Engineering and Institution of Engineering Technology, or Special Awards and Prizes as with the National Science Learning Centre.
Commissioners recognise the importance of encouraging and supporting the best candidates at every stage.
Building on the success the Commission has had in re-establishing contact with many of its alumni, Commissioners are keen to further develop the alumni association and involve alumni more closely in the work of the Commission. As a start, Commissioners intend to hold a major alumni event during 2016 to bring alumni together to discuss ways in which they might get involved.
Awards Granted in 2015
Research Fellows Dr Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro Subject: Hierarchical assembly of one-dimensional bio(opto)electronic nanomaterials Durham University Drawing upon the principles of protein folding, supramolecular self-assembly, and one-dimensional aromatic stacking, this project aims to produce fibrous bio(opto)electronic nanomaterials that will be useful in developing organic electronic/energy devices. Uniquely, these nanofibres will form selectively in response to their environment, raising their potential for biosensing and therapeutic applications Dr Richard Bowman Subject: Quantum optics and telecommunications with dynamic optical circuits University of Cambridge This project aims to create faster, lower power components for use in dynamic optical circuits on waveguide “chips” capable of routing and processing information as light. These circuits will enable a faster and more efficient internet, probe the limits of light’s quantum nature and unravel its propagation through complex environments such as miniature endoscopes and biological tissue.
Subject: Investigating seismicity and deformation within shallow subducting slabs Dr Timothy Craig University of Leeds This project will use the occurrence of recent earthquakes within, rather than between, tectonic plates as they first start to descend into the Earth’s interior to constrain the physics controlling the shape and deformation of these plates, and inform about the future earthquake potential of such regions.
Dr Robert Edkins Subject: Photosensitizer-lanthanide dyads for cancer diagnosis and photodynamic therapy University of Oxford This project focuses on the synthesis and spectroscopy of dual-mode diagnostic and photodynamic therapeutic agents constructed from subphthalocyanine-lanthanide dyads. Enzymatic cleavage of a linker will be used to convert the subphthalocyanine from a lanthanide energy donor to a singlet oxygen sensitizer and fluorophore in the expectation of rapid detection and localized treatment of cancerous tissue.
Dr Pierre-Louis Giscard Subject: A theory of walks for computer vision University of York Algorithms for the automatic recognition of patterns in networks rely on empirical strategies whose rigorous underpinnings are poorly known. This project proposes to establish a mathematical theory of walks on networks for optimal pattern recognition using recently discovered algebraic structures arising from a walk-analog of the prime factorization of integers.