The first Newton International Fellowships have been awarded jointly by the UK’s national research academies – the British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. The Fellowships are part of a £13 million pound government initiative to ensure that the UK engages with the world’s most promising academics.

The Newton International Fellowships provide an opportunity for some of the most talented early career post-doctoral researchers working overseas to carry out world class research in UK institutions across all disciplines of humanities, engineering, natural and social sciences. Fellows will receive support in the region of £100,000 each for a two year placement in the UK.

The collaborations and links formed by Newton Fellows during the course of their Fellowship will continue to be supported by the availability of 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.

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said:

The quality and diversity of the first cohort of Newton International Fellows is very gratifying. If the UK is to maintain its edge as a source of world-leading research in science, engineering, the humanities and social sciences we will need to ensure that we are able to draw on the strengths of the best researchers from around the globe. That is what these fellowships are about. The Royal Society is particularly pleased with the strong science work being done by the new fellows.”

Successful applicants will be investigating topics ranging from breast cancer, the outer solar system and policing terrorist organisation offenses to coastal erosion and the development of medical devices for the hearing impaired. The researchers come from institutes in over twenty different countries including Israel, Australia and China.

Noting the wide spread of applicants Baroness O'Neill, President of the British Academy said:

We welcome these highly talented young researchers, who will contribute to work in their fields while they are in the UK, and build professional networks that link their future work to this country."

Commenting on the popularity of the scheme and in particular on successful applicants in the field of engineering, Lord Browne of Madingley, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, added:

“I am delighted by the excellent response to this scheme from overseas researchers. Engineering is a global endeavour – international collaboration is the key to both wealth creation and addressing global challenges. The Newton Fellows in engineering offer a real opportunity to build international capacity and develop solutions to some of our most intractable problems.”

Applications for the next round of Newton International Fellowships will open in 2010.

Notes for editors

  1. The Royal Society is an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences. Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles, as the UK academy of science, as a learned Society, and as a funding agency. It responds to individual demand with selection by merit, not by field. As we prepare for our 350th anniversary in 2010, we are working to achieve five strategic priorities, to:

    Invest in future scientific leaders and in innovation Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice Invigorate science and mathematics education Increase access to the best science internationally Inspire an interest in the joy, wonder and excitement of scientific discovery.
  2. The British Academy is the UK's national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in these disciplines throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value. More information about the Academy's work is available at www.britac.ac.uk.

    For media enquiries please contact Michael Reade, External Relations: 020 7969 5263.
  3. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – including 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.
  4. The full list of Fellowships awarded is available at  www.newtonfellowships.org
  5. Examples of successful applicants include:
  • Dr Araceli Grande-Garcia from Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC), Spain - The Origin and Role of Carcinoma Associated Fibroblasts in Breast Cancer – hosted by Dr Erik Sahia, Cancer Research UK.
  • Dr Mor Salomon-Botner from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel - Catering to Omnivore Nutrition as a Tool to Optimize Biological Pest Control – hosted by Professor Felix Wackers of the University of Lancaster.
  • Vicki Sentas from Monash University, Australia - Securing Nations: Policing Terrorist Organisation Offences in the United Kingdom and Australia - hosted by Professor Penny Green, King's College, University of London.
  • Dr Martina Viarengo, Harvard University, School size and student performance: an international Perspective, hosted by Professor Stephen Machin, FBA, UCL
  • Dr Deborah Villarroel-Lamb from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad – Modelling and prediction of long-term coastal morphology – hosted by Professor Richard Simons of University College London
  • Jing Chen from Peking University, Beijing – Improving the intelligibility of speech in noise and competing speech for the hearing impaired – hosted by Professor Brian Moore at the University of Cambridge

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering tel. 020 7766 0636