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Brian Mercer Feasibility Award

This scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.

Oil and gas industry

The scheme enables you to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of commercialising an aspect of your scientific research, possibly in conjunction with a third party.

This award and the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation (which is intended for concepts at a more advanced stage) are designed to promote innovation and fill the funding gap between scientific research and the exploitation of an idea through venture capital investment.

The Brian Mercer Awards were established by the Society in 2001 as the result of a generous bequest received from Dr Brian Mercer OBE FRS (1927-1998). Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.

Am I eligible to apply?

The scheme covers the topic areas of the built environment, energy and clean technology and nanoscience/nanotechnology, electrotechnology and biomedical sciences (but excluding clinical medicine).

You can apply for this scheme if you:

  • have a PhD or are of equivalent standing in your profession
  • hold a substantive post in either a university or not-for-profit research organisation in the UK
  • expect to be in post for at least the duration of the project

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

The scheme provides an award of up to £30,000 (including VAT where applicable).

Awards are not expected to exceed 12 months in duration.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s electronic grant application system (e-GAP).

Applications are checked by the selection panel chair for eligibility and then reviewed by the members of the panel with the most appropriate scientific expertise. The application is then reviewed by two independent referees suggested by the panel.

The selection panel then considers the applications before reaching a decision. This process takes around 8-10 weeks.