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Interdisciplinary APEX Awards: 2019 recipients announced and 2020 rounds now open

01 October 2019

The APEX Awards, delivered jointly by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 awards and the subsequent funding for the next round in 2020—generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

The APEX awards support interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research that benefit wider society, providing up to £100,000 for established independent researchers to collaborate with partners from different disciplines across the sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

From the next round, awardees will also have the opportunity to apply for an additional £10,000 towards public engagement activities, enhancing their ability to involve the public in their work.

The list of 2019 successful proposals and primary applicants are:

Professor Dan Brockington

Evidence-based Development Policy in an era of enhanced Remote-Sensing and the SDGs 

University of Sheffield

Dr Stephanie Bunn 

Forces in Translation: dialogues between craft, anthropology and mathematics 

University of St Andrews 

Professor Tamas Szekely

The impact of adult sex ratio on societies

University of Bath

Dr Neil Kad 

Squeezing the most out of DNA; developing nanoconfinement tools to study DNA repair 

University of Kent 

Dr Margarita Staykova 

Material Imagination: Developing prototypes of living materials using participatory design

Durham University

With the five 2019 recipients announced, we are proud to announce that the 2020 round is now open for applications. In this round, there is funding available for seven new awards.

The objectives of the APEX Awards are to:

  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with a particular emphasis on the boundary between science, engineering, and the social sciences and humanities
  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes
  • 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

Since launching in 2017, the APEX Awards have funded 19 interdisciplinary research projects across the UK. Researchers supported through this award are able to address complex challenges by investigating problems through different perspectives.

Previous awardee, Dr David Glowacki, said of receiving an APEX Award: “Inter-disciplinary research is one of those things everybody talks about, but which is always a challenge. The origins of the difficulty may be found in the word “discipline” itself! The APEX scheme seems seriously committed to funding creative ideas that link different fields of enquiry, and I hope it serves as a model moving forward.”

Further details and scheme notes are available here. For further information please contact APEX@royalsociety.org.

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