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Schemes for Engineers in Research and Development

Research Chairs

Research Chairs are full-time professorial appointments, in any engineering-related subject.

Cover of the Research Chairs brochure

The Chair holder (the Incumbent) is expected to develop and lead a prestigious research group, the members of which will be encouraged to publish the results of their research as widely as possible to gain international recognition both for themselves and for the group in which they are based.

Funding and duration of award

The Academy will fund one third of 80% of the Full Economic Costs or fEC (previously one full third of costs). Allowable costs include the gross salary, indirect cost and estates. The contribution of the industrial sponsor should be agreed between the university and the sponsor. The host university is expected to provide a well-found laboratory and administrative support for the incumbent. Funding is provided for five years.

Incumbents are encouraged to seek additional funds from Research Councils, industry and other sources as appropriate in order to fund their research. A measure of success may be whether the group is in a position to continue after the initial five-year period.


The Scheme offers a number of benefits to the university, industrial sponsor and incumbent. Please see example case studies at the bottom of this page.

For the university:

  • provides an additional source of research funding

  • helps to develop new links or strengthen existing links between university departments and industry

  • the incumbent should be counted as a full time member of staff for the purposes of the Research Assessment Exercise and is free to concentrate on research and attracting additional sources of funding to the department

  • the appointment attracts the highest quality of researcher to the department, raising its standing among other universities

  • a Mentor is appointed, who is a Fellow of The Academy with expertise of particular relevance to the programme of research and able to offer independent advice and guidance on engineering matters as required

For the industrial sponsor:

  • it strengthens links with academics working in a particular field with a view to benefiting from the results of the research at a later stage

  • it provides the opportunity for industry to benefit from direct and frequent access to the expertise of a top-class researcher

  • it enables industry to carry out generic research which cannot be carried out in-house due to a lack of facilities, expertise or resources

  • it provides the opportunity for a company to sponsor research at the leading edge of technology without the need for additional resources to manage the project, monitoring and assessment being carried out regularly by an Academy representative

  • it provides a route for the company to establish links at all levels in the university, either to initiate further research programmes or to facilitate the recruitment of graduates

For the incumbent:

  • a prestigious, high-profile appointment

  • the appointment is for a full-time research professor and frees the incumbent from the majority of teaching and administrative duties for a period of five years

  • it provides direct access to an Academy Fellow for guidance and support in developing both their research and their careers

Case Studies

Partnership with Arup (409KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with Bombardier (636KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with Microsoft (313KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with Network Rail (503KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with Rolls-Royce (746KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (520KB)Adobe PDF document icon image

Partnership with Cummins (434KB)Adobe PDF document icon image


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