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Royal Society supports science’s visionaries with Theo Murphy Blue Skies Award scheme

14 June 2016

The Royal Society’s Theo Murphy Blue Skies Award, a grant scheme that invests in ‘blue skies’ scientific discovery, opens for applications today (14 June 2016). The fund will distribute awards between £50,000 and £150,000 to provide exceptional independent researchers in UK institutions with the opportunity to pursue innovative, bold and transformational research.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt, who used his 2009 Theo Murphy funding to concentrate full time for two years on his research work in the field of invisibility cloaks, says, “When I received my Award in 2009 it gave me the most precious thing of all: Time. Time for research, time to focus, time to get to the bottom of things. The result was a book on the science of invisibility and ideas that are still defining my research today. I do encourage all scientists with a bold idea to go for it and apply.” 

Professor Alex Halliday FRS, Vice-President of the Royal Society and also a previous recipient of the Theo Murphy Blue Skies Awards adds, “World changing science and innovative technologies are created by imagination and seeing things in a different way. The aim of the Theo Murphy Blue Skies Awards is to fund those ideas that are novel and creative that may not easily attract traditional mainstream funding. We’d like to encourage researchers in all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering and mathematics, to apply.”

The Theo Murphy Blue Skies Awards scheme, which relaunches today after it first opened in 2009, aims to support:

  • Innovative research that will lead to preliminary or proof of concept data for unproven or novel and transformative ideas
  • Fundamental research in new and emerging areas or that have the potential to open up new areas of research 
  • Original and bold research that may lack a sufficient evidence base in the literature and so unlikely to fare well in the normal peer review process and be supported by traditional grants schemes

Find further details about the Awards, including information on how to apply and the assessment criteria. Applications close on 1 August 2016.