"When I applied for the fellowship, I had recently been the head of my Department and Dean of Research for the College. I wanted to reinvent myself as a researcher and the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship encouraged risky ideas from passionate researchers who needed time to try something different. I had an idea which was risky, big and not fully formed with technical objectives in computer science and stepping away from my recent work in systems biology.
"My fellowship gave me confidence and time to think about new research directions that have since borne fruit. The scheme was the quickest way for me to succeed, it allowed me to put down the things I already knew how to do and give me the freedom to find the right way to handle this big idea, which ended up being the genesis of digital twinning.
"The fellowship was life changing and made a big difference to my career. It acted as an enabling factor to the next steps of my career as it, and the research I undertook, gave me recognition from the Royal Society and more widely. I was offered the position of Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland five months into my fellowship. As a result of this position and others since, it is now my job as a University leader to help funding bodies set up the right schemes and help others obtain the right fellowships develop their careers, as the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship helped develop mine. I still do research, albeit with less time, building on the ideas and work I did during the fellowship."