Welcoming the UUKi Rutherford Fellows: over 100 fellowships to strengthen UK universities’ global strategic partnerships

12 October 2018

Last night 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 event celebrated the Rutherford Fellows’ role in enhancing the strategic partnerships between their home higher education institution and their host institution in the UK. Joining the Rutherford Fellows at the reception were representatives from the award-holding institutions, the government, and the diplomatic community.

The UUKi Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants programme is funded from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Rutherford Fund. The programme was designed to enhance the international impact of UK research and support UK universities’ global reach by funding fellowships for international ECRs within the framework of strategic partnerships.

24 UK universities have been awarded grants to enable them to offer short-term fellowships to a total of 122 ECRs – hailing from over 60 partner institutions in 18 countries – to spend up to a year with research teams in the UK. 

The Rutherford Fellows’ research has a range of foci. For example:
  • the Argentinian ECRs based at Lancaster University are carrying out research into food security;
  • at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine fellows from Japan are focusing on infectious diseases;
  • at Northumbria University researchers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories are examining the relationship between volunteering and citizenship. 

Vivienne Stern, UUKi Director, said:

“The UUKi Rutherford Fellowships are enabling Fellows to expand their international research networks at a critical stage in their career, and seed - or in many cases strengthen - institutional links between UK institutions and their strategic partners around the world. The impact and benefits of these fellowships, at an individual and institutional level, will no doubt be felt beyond the lifetime of the programme, for many years to come.”

Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, commented: 

“Science has no borders and the Rutherford Fund sends a clear message to researchers that the UK welcomes international talent. We must continue to attract the best brains from around the world as we hold our position as an innovation superpower.”

With many thanks to the University of Warwick for generously allowing us to host the reception at the Warwick Business School at the Shard.

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