A new multi-million pound initiative to fund research collaborations and improve links between UK and overseas researchers is launched by the Science Minister Ian Pearson today.

The Newton International Fellowships aim to attract the most promising post-doctoral researchers working overseas in the fields of humanities, engineering, natural and social sciences – providing them with funding to work with UK research groups and to establish long term international collaborations.

Ian Pearson, Minister for Science and Innovation, will officially launch the Newton International Fellowships this evening in Whitehall.

The Fellowships, and the linked alumni association, are an initiative of the UK’s leading research academies – the British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society – and Research Councils UK (RCUK). They will be awarded to the most promising early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and will support them for two years at a UK research institution.

The funding will be distributed in the form of 50 research fellowships, awarded annually, each with support of up to £100,000 for a two year placement.

It is hoped is that the collaborations and links formed during the course of the fellowship will continue to benefit Newton Fellows throughout their careers. To facilitate this, former Fellows will be eligible for follow-on funding of up to £6,000 per year, for up to ten years to help develop lasting international networks.

Former Newton Fellows will also become members of the UK International Fellowship Association managed by RCUK, which aims to build a network of overseas researchers, help them maintain contact with the UK and provide networking opportunities to encourage new collaborations.

Applications for Newton International Fellowships are invited from mid June 2008 for Fellowships starting in 2009.

Notes for editors

  1. The launch event will take place at 17:30 on 4 June at 61 Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET
  2. For more information on the Newton International Fellowship Scheme go to  www.newtonfellowships.org
  3. The Fellowships will cover all subject areas that fall within the remit of the three partners, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society – that is, the full range of the humanities, social sciences, engineering and the natural sciences
  4. The Scheme is open to post-doctoral (and equivalent) early-career researchers working outside the UK who do not hold UK citizenship. Successful candidates will receive an annual subsistence of £24,000, up to £8,000 for research expenses, and a one-off payment of £2,000 for relocation.
  5. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the partnership of the seven UK Research Councils  www.rcuk.ac.uk
  6. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Clare Kingston
Royal Society press office, London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 2508
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