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Royal Commission offers Industrial Fellowships worth up to £80,000

Royal Commission breakfast seminar

Begbroke Science Park once again invited The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 to launch the 2014 Industrial Fellowships Scheme in Oxfordshire.  The scheme sponsors outstanding graduates to work within a company alongside an academic sponsor in order to gain a PhD or other higher educational qualification. Royal Commission Secretary, Nigel Williams, encouraged applicants of the scheme to start applying in time for the January 23rd 2014 deadline.

The event, which took place on October 23rd 2013, explained how the fellowships encourage profitable innovation and creativity in British Industry whilst forging closer collaboration between science and industry for the benefit of the student, the sponsoring company and the university.

The student, who is employed by the company, benefits from access to an academic supervisor and a network of Royal Commission Fellows, sponsors and alumni. The partnership also encourages closer links between the sponsor company and the associated university.

Worth up to £80,000 over three years, Industrial Fellowships provide 50% of the students’ salary (up to £21,000 a year), all university fees, a yearly travel allowance of up to £3,500, and £10,000 to the associated university department. Of the 8 awards offered each year at least one is awarded to a student working within the electro-technology sector.

Current fellowship student Brianna Stubbs described her experience of working with Oxford University’s Physiology Department and biochemical research company TdeltaS Ltd to develop a new sports drink. Brianna, a GB rower, said she enjoys the “ability to combine science with a knowledge of industry that otherwise I wouldn’t have gained” adding “it’s exciting as it is targeted science with a clear direction of where it is going”.  Brianna applied for the fellowship after her supervisor, Professor Kieran Clarke, attended last year’s seminar.

Attendees from local SMEs noted that the fellowships appealed to them as a way of delivering “well targeted research”, and “exploring partnerships between universities and companies” whilst the broad application base also made the scheme appealing.

The question and answer session revealed a keen interest amongst attendees as specific questions were raised regarding the details of the application process, the logistics of the scheme and the commitment required of the company involved.

Online applications are currently being accepted with the deadline for submissions being January 23rd 2014. Candidates should have a recent first degree of a 2.1 or above, a feasible project idea, a sponsor company and links to a university in place.

The Royal Commission, which dates back to 1851, came into being when Prince Albert appointed a Commission for promoting arts,  manufacturing and industry by means of a great collection of Arts and Industry of all Nations, to be formed in London at The Crystal Palace. In order to distribute the profit made from the exhibition, Prince Albert set up the fellowships to help graduates working in industry conduct a programme of research in conjunction with a university that leads to a patent, product or process and a higher educational qualification.

For further information on the Industrial Fellowship scheme please see their website here.

If you missed the seminar please find the slides here.

Next event: Research Councils UK, Gateway to Research, 14th November 2013. To book your space please email events@begbroke.ox.ac.uk.

Ben Roeves