Royal Society announces University Research Fellowships for 2017

27 June 2017

The Royal Society has announced the appointment of 43 new University Research Fellows (URFs) for 2017. The researchers will take up their new posts at institutions across the UK and Ireland at the start of October.

The University Research Fellowship scheme aims to provide outstanding early career scientists, who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. The scheme is extremely competitive and URFs are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships, and many have gone on to enjoy significant national or international recognition for their work. 

The announcement includes the appointment of another three Royal Society Tata University Research Fellows thanks to generous support from Tata companies. It also includes appointment of three Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellows. These fellowships are funded by Science Foundation Ireland and available for outstanding researchers in the Republic of Ireland.

The newly appointed research fellows will be working on a wide range of research areas including detecting the particles that make up dark matter and how they interact by using data from the Large Hadron Collider; improving our understanding of the diversity and function of the marine ecosystem, developing methods to enable robots to map and track 3D environments for physical interaction and tool use and understanding the degradation mechanisms of fuel cells and batteries.  

The list of appointments is as follows:

Dr Jon Agirre
Methods for building meaningful atomic models of carbohydrates
University of York

Dr Manda Banerji
Observing the Effects of Quasar Feedback on Massive Galaxy Formation
University of Cambridge

Dr Greta Bocedi
Eco-evolutionary dynamics of dispersal and mating system in a changing world
University of Aberdeen

Dr Alexandros Bousios
The arms-race interactions between transposable elements and their plant hosts
University of Sussex

Dr Pawel Burkhardt
Reconstructing the evolutionary origin of synapses and neurons
Marine Biological Association of the UK

Dr Chiara Ciccarelli
Spin torques in antiferromagnets: towards ultra-fast computing
University of Cambridge

Dr Sara Dale
Suping-up 2D Materials: New Electronic States using Ionic Liquid Field Effects
University of Bath

Dr Cristina David
On Advancing Inductive Program Synthesis
University of Cambridge

Dr Ben Davison
Categorified BPS states and applications
University of Oxford

Dr Marius de Leeuw
Symmetries in Solvable Models
Trinity College Dublin

Dr Peter Düben
Uncertainty in Earth System Modelling
European Weather Centre ECMWF

Dr Maurice Fallon
Dense Visual Perception for Robot Physical Interaction and Tool Use
University of Oxford

Dr Lorenzo Foscolo
Collapsing and special holonomy
Heriot-Watt University

Dr James Frost
A Novel Path to Discovering Dark Matter at the LHC: Looking Through the Higgs Portal 
University of Oxford

Dr Ellen Garland
Sexy singing: cultural evolution and sexual selection in a complex song display
University of St Andrews

Dr Haralampos Geranios
Problems in Modular Representation Theory of General Linear Groups
University of York

Dr Thomas Gorochowski
Quantifying the inner workings and evolution of synthetic genetic circuits
University of Bristol

Dr Jelle Hartong
Non-Lorentzian Geometry in Holography
University of Edinburgh

Dr Ulrich Hintermair
Novel Base Metal Catalysts for Sustainable Chemistry and Energy
University of Bath

Dr Adam Ingram
Probing strong field gravity by mapping accreting black holes
University of Oxford

Dr Rowan Leary
Understanding Single-Atom Catalysts by Electron Microscopy
University of Cambridge

Dr Alastair Lennox
Electrochemical Ionic Hydrogenations: A New Paradigm in Reduction Chemistry
University of Bristol

Dr Philip Mannion
Climate's role in shaping Paleogene tetrapod macroevolution
Imperial College London

Dr Hans-Wilhelm Nuetzmann
How do adjacent genes become co-expressed: Regulation of metabolic gene clusters
University of Bath

Dr Adriana Paluszny Rodriguez
Isogeometric fracture growth in heterogeneous media
Imperial College London

Dr Alexander Pigot
A macroscopic perspective on the form and function of ecological assemblages
University College London

Dr Adam Pound
First Accurate Model of Gravitational Waves from Extreme-Mass-Ratio Inspirals
University of Southampton

Dr Hannah Price
Topological Physics in Quantum Optics and Photonics
University of Birmingham

Dr Alex Robertson
Characterisation of Degradation Mechanisms in Battery and Fuel Cell Materials
University of Oxford

Dr Andela Saric
Physics of protein organisation beyond the cell's edge
University College London

Dr Ralph Schoenrich
Unravelling the Structure and History of the Milky Way and other Galaxies
University of Oxford

Dr Mark Senn
Probing the Dynamic Properties of Functional Materials through Symmetry Analysis
University of Warwick

Dr Suzie Sheehy
Experimental approach to next-generation high-intensity hadron accelerators
University of Oxford

Dr Nicholas Sheridan
Homological mirror symmetry and symplectic topology
University of Cambridge

Dr Adam Sweetman
Three-dimensional mapping of a single hydrogen bond (3D-MOSH-BOND)
University of Nottingham

Dr David Turton
Black Holes in String Theory and Holography
University of Southampton

Dr Peter Wadley
Controlling and utilizing antiferromagnets
University of Nottingham

Dr Niels Warburton        
Accurate waveforms for extreme- and intermediate-mass-ratio inspirals   
University College Dublin

Dr Ben Ward
Quantifying the Impacts of Trophic Diversity in Marine Ecosystems
University of Southampton

Dr David Wilson
Excited charm resonances from Quantum Chromodynamics
Trinity College Dublin

Dr Helvi Witek
Black-hole dynamics beyond General Relativity
King's College London

Dr Corwin Wright
Gravity Waves As Drivers of the Global Atmospheric Circulation
University of Bath

Of the 43 URFs, three are being generously supported by Tata companies, three through the Global Challenge Research Fund and three are Royal Society-Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellows. 12 out of the 43 new appointments (28%) were made to female researchers. In total there are 21 universities across the UK and Ireland hosting these University Research Fellowships. 

The next round (2018) of the University Research Fellowships will open for applications on 17 July 2017 and will close on 4 September 2017. In line with the Society’s aim of supporting excellence and the next generation of research leaders, from this round applicants of any nationality will be able to apply to hold a University Research Fellowship at a UK institution.