Royal Society announces Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships for 2021

09 September 2021

Five outstanding researchers have been awarded prestigious Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships to commence at institutions across the UK in October.

The Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship scheme offers a recognized first step into an independent research career for outstanding post-doctoral scientists who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting and caring responsibilities or health-related reasons. It is designed to help successful early career candidates progress to the next chosen career stage such as permanent academic positions across the UK.  

The newly appointed Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows will be working on a diverse range of research projects spanning the mathematical, physical, chemical and biological sciences. 

The complete list of 2021 appointments is as follows: 

Dr Jennifer Carter (University of Leicester) – SMILE! A new perspective on the magnetopause

Dr Carter will examine how the magnetopause – the boundary between the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind – moves and changes shape through magnetic reconnection. The SMILE spacecraft will revolutionise our view of the magnetopause. This will help us understand more about the near-Earth environment – an increasingly important region due to our growing dependence on space-based technology.

Dr Eleonora Di Valentino (University of Sheffield) – Cosmic Cracks

Dr Di Valentino’s work aims to challenge the Lambda cold dark matter (LCDM) model, which describes the evolution of the Universe, by investigating the tensions between cosmological probes like the distribution of galaxies, exploding stars and the relic background radiation of the Big Bang. 

Dr Marcela Hernandez Garcia (University of East Anglia) – Contribution of trace gases to microbial colonisation of volcanic soils

Dr Hernandez Garcia’s research will provide key insights into the process of soil formation by investigating the role of bacteria involved in trace gas metabolism in volcanic soils. This will have implications for soil preservation as well as broadening our understanding of soil microbes as consumers of atmospheric trace gases such as carbon monoxide. 

Dr Sophie Meekings (University of York) – Talking humans in a social world: communicative modulation of fluent and dysfluent speech production

Dr Meekings’ research focuses on understanding how the brain helps or hinders talking, in people who stutter, and in neurotypical talkers. This work will help us understand how speech production works in the real world, for people who are fluent and people who are not.

Dr Irem Sepil (University of Oxford) – Investigating the evolutionary drivers and underlying mechanisms of paternal effects

Dr Sepil will explore how the condition and environment of fathers can affect their ejaculate and, as a result, the quality of their offspring. This will involve combining large-scale fitness experiments with cutting-edge transcriptomic and proteomic methods to tackle all aspects of paternal effects.


The 2022 round of the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships scheme opened on 8 September 2021 and will close on 10 November 2021. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Fellowship scheme page.