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The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 annually awards Industrial Fellowships worth up to £100,000 to the UK’s most talented young researchers. Set up by Prince Albert to organise the Great Exhibition of 1851 and extended in perpetuity to invest the profits in UK innovation, the Commission has been supporting promising research ever since.

Industrial Fellowships are awarded to graduates with the potential to make an outstanding contribution to industry, for research supported by a company, leading to a patent, product or process improvement and a postgraduate award. The Fellowships encourage profitable innovation and creativity in the British industry - to the mutual benefit of the Fellow and his or her sponsoring company.

Pursue a PhD whilst working

Fellows receive significant funding towards their fees and salary, enabling employers to offer exciting personal development opportunities for their brightest employees

Gain new IP whilst minimising R&D costs

Applicants can pursue a PhD whilst working, allowing companies to conduct innovative research that furthers their business objectives, and accelerates the creation of IP.

Collaborative relationships

Fellows and their sponsoring companies will work closely with the PhD institution, developing a mutually beneficial relationship, undertaking research that delivers tangible impact to industry.


  • 50% of the Fellow’s salary, including the employer’s share of national insurance and superannuation paid, up to a limit of £25,000 p.a.
  • University fees paid up to normal levels for UK students.
  • Travel allowance of £3,500 p.a.
  • Honorarium of £10,000 paid to the University research department on completion to support the department’s research programme.


  • The applicant must have a good first degree in engineering, science or medicine, and normally be within five years of degree graduation.
  • Applicants must be employed by, or have an offer of employment from a company in the UK.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a link between their employing company and appropriate staff at a UK University.
  • Applicants must have identified a research and/or development topic potentially leading to a patent, product or process in conjunction with a higher academic award, usually a PhD or EngD.

Deadline for applications is 11 February 2021. Interviews will be held in March 2021 with Fellowships commencing in October 2021.

Please click here for more details on how to apply.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

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