Brian Mercer Feasibility Award
This scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their research.
Frank Brian Mercer OBE FRS (1927-1998) was a chemist and businessman who was elected as a Fellow of the Society in 1984.
The scheme provides initial support of up to £30,000 to test the feasibility of a project, enabling applicants to investigate the technical and economic feasibility of commercialising an aspect of their 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 the late Dr Brian Mercer. Dr Mercer was an enthusiastic inventor and entrepreneur and these awards aim to encourage these qualities in the next generation of scientists.
The scheme covers the Natural sciences (including agriculture, mathematics, technology, and engineering science, but excluding clinical medicine).
The applicant must:
- have a PhD or be of equivalent standing in their 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
Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes (PDF).
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.
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 six weeks.