The Queen has honoured twelve of Britain’s leading universities by creating Regius Professorships as part of her 90th birthday celebrations.
They celebrate the highest and most outstanding levels of research in their fields.
John Penrose, the Minister for Constitution, visited the University of Manchester to make the announcement.
The title of Regius Professorship is a rare and prestigious award bestowed by the Sovereign to recognise exceptionally high quality research at an institution. Only 14 have been granted since the reign of Queen Victoria, including 12 to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.
As in 2012, recipients of new Regius Professorships have been selected by open competition, judged by an independent expert panel of business and academic experts. A Regius Professorship is a well-deserved reflection of the exceptionally high quality of teaching and research at an institution.
Of the 12 universities, five are receiving a Regius Professorship for the first time, including the first to be conferred on universities in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Each institution will assign the title to an existing Professor at the chosen department or will appoint a new professor to take the chair and hold the title.
The new posts of Regius Professor are:
· University of Manchester – Materials
· University of Cardiff – Chemistry
· Queen’s University Belfast – Electronics & Computer Engineering
· University of Glasgow – Precision Medicine
· Newcastle University – Ageing
· University of Liverpool – Chemistry
· Aston University – Pharmacy
· University of Warwick – Manufacturing (Engineering)
· Institute of Cancer Research (University of London) – Cancer Research
· Imperial College London – Infectious Disease
· University of Southampton – Ocean Sciences
· University of Oxford – Mathematics â€¨â€¨
John Penrose, Minister for Constitution, said: “It is a privilege and an honour to announce these new Regius Professorships to mark Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.” They show how world class theoretical research can be translated into everyday applications that drive British jobs and exports, and benefit society as a whole.”â€¨
Jo Johnson, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “The success of our economy is underpinned by the exceptional science and research taking place in our world-leading universities up and down the country, and I’m delighted these 12 institutions have been recognised for their achievements.”
In the past, Regius Professorships were created when a university chair was founded or endowed by a Royal patron. Previously, they were limited to a handful of the ancient universities of the United Kingdom and Ireland, namely Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Trinity College, Dublin.
The creation of Regius Professorships falls under the Royal Prerogative, and each appointment is approved by the Monarch on ministerial advice. For the Diamond Jubilee 12 Regius Professorship were created but prior to that only two others have been awarded in the last century, to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 2009. Before then, the most recent Regius Professorship was created by Queen Victoria.
In addition to awarding Manchester University, a Regius Professorship in Materials, over £250 million funding was confirmed for the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials which will be housed at the University.