September 20, 2019, by jicke

New round of Future Leaders Fellowships announced

The University of Nottingham will benefit from a portion of a £78 million cash boost as part of UK Research and Innovation’s Future Leaders Fellowships.

The investment will propel the next generation of researchers as they lead cutting-edge projects; from developing rapid diagnostic methods to identify antibiotic resistance in infections, to increasing the value of archaeology to society, to miniaturising the latest microscopy technologies.

Kay Brander has been awarded a fellowship to work with the University of Nottingham to develop his thermodynamics research.

Kay explains: “Heat engines are the motors of our society. They set cars in motion and drive the generators that deliver electricity to our computers and smartphones. None of these applications would be possible without one fundamental theory that governs the performance of James Watt’s steam engine and today’s car engines alike: thermodynamics.

I’m delighted to be receiving this fellowship which I hope will lay down the theoretical foundations for a new generation of thermal machines that utilise the collective behaviour of quantum objects at extremely low temperatures. Such devices might one day provide the power for our quantum computers and could thus become the steam engines of the next technological revolution. This vision emerged from my work at Aalto University, where I held a 3-year post-doctoral research post funded by the Academy of Finland. During this time, I developed my connection with the University of Nottingham, which has now become a strong partner further supporting my personal agenda through a Nottingham Research Fellowship.”

Recruiting talent

Future Leaders Fellowships are helping universities and businesses in the UK recruit, train and retain the world’s best researchers and innovators, regardless of their background. They can apply for up to £1.2 million over four years, with the ability to extend to up to seven years.

Applications for round four of the Futures Leaders Fellowships are now open and UKRI is particularly encouraging applications hosted by, or collaborating with, businesses.

Also announcing the award of £20m to Research England’s University Enterprise Zones, Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said “Research and innovation is vital to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of major scientific breakthroughs. In order to realise the full potential of these discoveries, big ideas need to be taken out of the lab and turned into real products and services, so they can actually change people’s lives.

“Our £98 million investment will help both SMEs and researchers to take their innovations from lab to market and keep the UK economy thriving into the future.

“We’re totally committed to keeping the UK at the forefront of scientific innovation and discoveries, ensuring we remain a global science superpower. Our investment is part of a wider commitment to invest at least 2.4% of GDP in R&D – our biggest investment in R&D in UK history.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation’s Chief Executive, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on subjects as diverse as climate change, dementia and quantum computing.

“UKRI is committed to creating modern research and innovation careers and our Future Leaders Fellowships aim to support and retain the most talented people, including those with flexible career paths.”

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