Applications for this scheme are now closed.

The Academy’s Chair in Emerging Technologies scheme aims to identify global research visionaries and provide them with long term support to lead on developing emerging technology areas with high potential to deliver economic and social benefit to the UK.

2017 awards

News: Academy funds global research visionaries to advance emerging technologies

Due to the prestige and duration of these awards they are announced intermittently, with two awards made in 2009 and 2012. As part of a wider investment in research talent from the National Productivity Investment Fund, the government provided funding for up to ten Chairs to be appointed in the 2017/18 round of applications. By covering employment costs for the Chair, the award enables sustained focus on advancing the technology to application in a strategic manner over a period of up to 10 years.

The Academy is not prescriptive in defining the focus of Chairs, except that they require a powerful case to be made for the value of an extended long-term vision through to application, and hence for funding that provides sustained support for a world-leading researcher, ensuring continuity of their focus across other grants and contracts and removing any expectation of duties that do not support the technology programme.

Emerging technology fields that have been highlighted as having particular potential include:

  • Engineering biology
  • Machine learning
  • Neurotechnology
  • Quantum technologies
  • Regenerative medicine/engineering
  • Robotics

However, it is often the nature of an emerging technology that its potential is not widely appreciated until championed by a visionary individual. Thus this call is deliberately broad and open, and we encourage applications that make a case for emerging novel and/or disruptive innovation in well-established areas or overlooked fields. Similarly, we are not prescriptive about the Technology Readiness Level or similar assessment of innovation readiness expected of applications. We expect a ten-year vision that will make a significant difference to how the emerging technology is implemented and the economic and social benefit to the UK.

Applications are welcome from across a broad remit of engineering and technology, including areas currently considered basic science, but now requiring engineering ways of thinking to drive them towards application, and in more-established technology areas where the applicant has identified a high-impact novel approach.

  • The Academy is committed to diversity, and welcomes applications from women and other groups who are currently underrepresented across engineering
  • The Academy welcomes applications from high-calibre researchers currently based outside the UK, in line with the Government’s Rutherford Fund to attract global talent to the UK 

For any queries, please email the programme manager, Neeshé Khan.