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Internal News - 21 August 2006

'Significant increase' in number of research fellowships awarded to University

The University has been awarded nine new Research Council UK Academic Fellowships, a significant increase on the five awarded in the last round. The prestigious five-year fellowships, which will commence in 2006 and 2007, have been awarded across six departments.

“This is a very positive result for the University,” said Dr Richard Griffith, Research Support Officer in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. “The high number of fellowships suggests that the University is punching above its weight in terms of the amount of funding awarded.”

The Research Council UK (RCUK) fellowships were launched in 2002 as part of the Government campaign to ‘invest in innovation’ and universities across the UK compete for a limited amount of fellowships. Funding is allocated to themes which reflect priority areas within science, engineering and technology and successful applicants receive salary support over a five year tenure.

"RCUK will provide a total of £1,125,000 over the tenure and the University will then convert the fellowships into permanent posts," explained Dr Griffith.

“The fellowships can be a first step on the academic ladder for a researcher. They provide a secure path in academia and lead to a permanent post.”

Fellowships have been awarded to: Mathematical Science, Biology & Biochemistry, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Chemistry, Social & Policy Sciences and a joint fellowship to Mechanical Engineering and Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

Mechanical Engineering,

Dr Stephen Dorus, Department of Biology & Biochemistry is one of the current RCUK Fellows at the University. He began research work in male infertility in September 2005.

Dr Dorus said: “The fellowship has been extremely important to me. Most importantly, it has guaranteed financial support for an extended period of time allowing me to focus on my research.

“As such, it has allowed me to focus on developing as a scientist which I believe is one of the main objectives of these fellowships.”

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is a strategic partnership set up to champion research supported by the seven UK Research Councils and the Arts & Humanities Research Board. Through RCUK the Research Councils are working together to create a common framework for research, training and knowledge transfer. For more information see http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/

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