Mumbai, June 8 (IANS) The Tata Group has donated $8.8 million (GBP 5.6 million) to the Royal Society, London, for its prestigious University Research Fellowships scheme to support exceptional young scientists, an official said here on Wednesday.
With the donation, the Royal Society will establish nine new Tata University Research Fellows in physical sciences and engineering over the next 10 years, with the first Royal Society Tata University Research Fellows due to be appointed in October 2016.
The fellowship provides outstanding early career to scientists who have the potential to become leaders in their chosen fields, with the opportunity to build independent research careers.
Through the highly competitive process, the scheme funds successful candidates for five years, with option to apply for a three-year extension.
The URF scientists are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships, and many have subsequently advanced to enjoy significant national or international recognition for their work.
The Tata Group’s funding will also establish an annual symposium, supporting networking opportunities for the Royal Society’s URF researchers and encouraging future collaborations that push back the boundaries of traditional research.
“We hope the Tata URF scheme will make a lasting impact on the physical sciences and engineering in Britain,” said Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, Royal Society President.
“I am confident that Royal Society Tata University Research Fellows will make an impactful difference by contributing solutions to some of the most pressing challenges the world faces,” Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus P. Mistry said.
Since its inception in 1983, there have been more than 1,150 Royal Society URFs, among whom is one Nobel laureate, one recipient of Fields Medal, 37 elected as Fellows of the Royal Society, and many others elected to fellowships of various other Britain’s learned academies. Some have received high honours from Queen Elizabeth II for their services to science.
Dating back to 1660, the Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of distinguished scientists from all over the world, with the fundamental purpose to recognise, promote and support excellence in science, and encourage the development and use of science to benefit humanity.