Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants


​In 2018/19, the Universities UK International (UUKi) Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants programme provided funding for eligible UK higher education institutions to offer short-term fellowships that will build on and enhance their global strategic partnerships.​

The fellowships were funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Rutherford Fund, with the aim of attracting global talent and strengthening the UK's research base.  

In 2018, UUKi hosted a welcome reception at the Shard for the international early career researchers (ECRs) currently completing Rutherford Fellowships at the 24 UK institutions in receipt of a UUKi Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant. 


The Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants call closed in January 2018. Eligible institutions were asked to set out how they would use a block grant of up to £150,000 to deliver a dynamic programme of research fellowships for early career researchers (ECRs). By funding individual ECR mobility within the framework of strategic partnerships, the aim was to catalyse longer term and interdisciplinary collaboration and achieve the following outcomes:

  • Enhanced research links between UK institutions and key strategic partners in a broad range of countries
  • The development of new and improvement of existing research networks and links between future research leaders and the UK research community
  • New opportunities for collaboration and joint working, and greater impact for existing collaborations 
  • Enhanced reputation of the UK and UK institutions in a broad range of countries.

The following 24 institutions were awarded grants:​

​InstitutionAcademic leadNumber of fellowsPartner countriesResearch area
Aberystwyth University
Professor Christopher Thomas
South Africa, Australia, Namibia
Environmental science
Brunel University LondonProfessor Maria Kolokotroni7
AustraliaResource efficient future cities, environment and health
Cardiff UniversityProfessor Nora de Leeuw8Australia, BrazilBiomedicine, earth sciences
Cranfield UniversityProfessor Tom Stephenson5
South Africa, BrazilSanitation, circular economy
Durham UniversityDr Paul McGonigal
4India, Malaysia, MexicoOrganic energy materials
​Edinburgh Napier University
​Dr Nick Wheelhouse
​Sustainable farming
Imperial College LondonProfessor Simon Schultz
Lancaster UniversityProfessor Mariana C. Rufino
ArgentinaFood security
​Newcastle University​Professor Derek Mann4​Malaysia, Australia​​Medical sciences
Northumbria UniversityProfessor Matt Baillie Smith
Occupied Palestinian Territories
Volunteering and citizenship in Palestine
​Swansea UniversityDr Charles Dunnill​​2
​Kenya, São Tomé and Príncipe​Hydrogen energy
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineProfessor John Edmunds
JapanInfectious diseases
The University of BirminghamProfessor Robin Mason9
The University of Manchester
Dr Neil Dixon6
Brazil, Argentina, ColombiaBioeconomy, sustainability and inclusiveness in Latin America
The University of OxfordProfessor Ian Walmsley
Canada, AustraliaQuantum physics
The University of WarwickProfessor Peter Scott
Brazil, China, France, Belgium
University of AberdeenDr Angel Cuesta4
Australia, MexicoEnergy storage and conversion from renewables
University of BathDr Janet L. Scott
Brazil, Mexico, South AfricaSustainable chemical technologies and statistical applied mathematics
​University of Bristol
Professor Caroline Relton​5
Brazil​Digital health and data science​
University of Dundee
Professor Claire Halpin
Cereal and barley research
​University of Hull
​Professor Dan Parsons
​Offshore wind energy
​University of Leicester​Professor Lisa Smith3​​Bangladesh, Colombia, Kenya​Efficient cities
University of South Wales
Professor Alan Guwy1​
Water treatment and resource recovery
​University of Sussex
Professor Sriram Subramanian​6​Japan​Informatics