First recipients of APEX awards announced

27 October 2017

Six researchers have been awarded funding in the first ever APEX awards, recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of research.

Professor Kate Robson Brown from the University of Bristol secured funding to better understand how bones respond to stress during growth and development. In collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Centre, the findings will be employed in a pilot study involving the design of an engineering structure that could be both manufactured and deployed in space.

Professor Robert Field from the University of Oxford will study the politics, policies and public reaction to reusing wastewater as water for human consumption.  Dr Marilina Cesario from Queen’s University Belfast has been awarded funding to explore mankind’s understanding of the cosmos in the Middle Ages, and whether it provides further clues on the whereabouts of ‘Planet Nine’.

Professor Rama Cont from Imperial College London has received an award to investigate mathematical models of the financial sector for new insights into the monitoring and regulation of systemic risk. University of Sussex’s Dave Goulson has also received an APEX award to look into the impacts of pesticide use on pollinators and people in urban areas.

Professor Stuart Murray from University of Leeds will be investigating the relationship between disability and the design and use of prosthetics, with the aim of exploring questions of embodiment and developing inclusive methods of design and production.

The APEX award scheme offers up to £100,000 to established independent researchers wanting to pursue interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research that benefits wider society. The grants, which promote collaboration science, engineering, social sciences and humanities, are jointly awarded by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

The objectives of this 2-year scheme are to:

  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes 
  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science and engineering and the social sciences and humanities
  • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines
  • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding

The next round of APEX awards are due to open on 1 November 2017. For general enquiries about the awards contact