Royal Society announces 37 University Research Fellowships for 2021

Royal Society vice-president Dame Linda Partridge described flexible funding schemes, like the fellowship, as “essential” to early career researchers

The Royal Society has announced nearly 40 University Research Fellowship (URF) candidates for 2021 who will start their new posts at institutions in the UK and Ireland from October.

The 37 new research fellows are attached to research projects spanning the physical, mathematical, chemical and biological sciences.

Royal Society vice-president Dame Linda Partridge said “it is essential that long-term, flexible funding schemes like this are in place to continue to support the careers of researchers pursuing novel and ground-breaking research”.

The research community was particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which made fellowship funding all the more vital, she said. The fellowships expanded recently to include the field of biomedical sciences – a move Dame Linda, who is also the Royal Society biology secretary, described as “gratifying”, as it was a discipline “that was vital in the response to the pandemic”.


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The complete list of 2021 appointments is as follows:

  • Dr Martin Balcerowicz, University of Dundee
    Control of temperature-dependent plant development through RNA thermoswitches
  • Dr Aakash Basu, Durham University
    Deciphering the mechanical code of genome and epigenome
  • Dr Jani Reddy Bolla, University of Oxford
    Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of protein import into chloroplasts
  • Dr Amy Bonsor, University of Cambridge
    Planet Formation, White Dwarfs and the Composition of Rocky Planets
  • Dr Richard Booth, Imperial College London
    Testing the physics of planet formation
  • Dr Finn Box, University of Manchester
    Flexible Fluidics
  • Dr Lukas Brantner, University of Oxford
    Tackling p-adic problems with partition Lie algebras
  • Dr Mauro Brotons-Gisbert, Heriot-Watt University
    Semiconductors with a Twist: Engineering Programmable Quantum Materials
  • Dr Michelle Browne, Trinity College Dublin
    New Catalysts for the Oxygen Evolution Reaction
  • Dr Ludmila Carone, University of St Andrews
    RexoT: Rocky EXOplanets in Time – Linking exoplanet atmospheres to the interior to follow the water
  • Dr Jeongmin Choi, University of Cambridge
    Phosphate signaling in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • Dr Roger Close, University of Oxford
    Unravelling the spatial fabric of Phanerozoic biodiversity
  • Dr Stephen Cox, University of Cambridge
    Elucidating structure and dynamics of complex interfaces in solution
  • Dr Sian Culley, King’s College London
    Biology-driven image analysis for light microscopy
  • Dr Bart de Nijs, University of Cambridge
    Extreme Plasmonics for Optically Controlled cHemistry (EPOCH)
  • Dr Harry Desmond, University of Oxford
    Fundamental Physics from Galaxies
  • Dr Jack Devlin, Imperial College London
    A Penning trap axion search
  • Dr Frederic Dreyer, University of Oxford
    Accelerating discoveries at the Large Hadron Collider through robust machine learning
  • Dr Dorian Gangloff, University of Cambridge
    Quantum Interface Engineering with Solid-State Spins and Photons
  • Dr Michael Gibbons, Trinity College Dublin
    Loop heat pipe for waste heat recovery in data centres
  • Dr Conrad Goodwin, University of Manchester
    Transuranium Redox and Covalency
  • Dr Lionel London, King’s College London
    Unraveling the structure of gravitational radiation: Fundamental Physics, Signal Modeling, and Beyond GR
  • Dr Tom McAllister, Newcastle University
    Massively high-throughput technologies for probing chemical glycobiology
  • Dr Ailsa Mclean, University of Oxford
    Symbionts as hidden players in ecological communities
  • Dr Cyrielle Opitom, University of Edinburgh
    Cometary ices as probes of the formation conditions of planet building blocks
  • Dr Christiana Pantelidou, University College Dublin (UCD)
    Gravitational turbulence in the era of gravitational waves
  • Dr Katherine Pattle, University College London (UCL)
    The Role of Magnetic Fields in ISM Evolution and Star Formation
  • Dr Sarah Penington, University of Bath
    Branching systems with spatial interactions
  • Dr Laura Maria Peralta Pereira, King’s College London
    Hyper-Aperture Ultrasound
  • Dr Ján Pich, University of Oxford
    Proof complexity and circuit complexity: a unified approach
  • Dr Luke Pickering, Royal Holloway College
    Neutrinos through a PRISM
  • Dr Emilio Pisanty, King’s College London
    New Frontiers of Strong-Field Physics: Vortices, Catastrophes, and Quantum Electrodynamics
  • Dr Jan Sbierski, University of Edinburgh
    The strong cosmic censorship conjecture and weak null singularities
  • Dr Joshua Snape,University of Manchester
    Deciphering the early geological evolution of the Moon
  • Dr Andreas Stergiou, King’s College London
    Advancing the Conformal Bootstrap Program in Three and Four Dimensions
  • Dr Alice Thorneywork, University of Cambridge
    The noise is the signal: exploring physico-chemical fluctuations with multiscale experimental models
  • Dr Stefan Vuckovic, University of Bristol
    Transforming applicability of density functional theory simulations

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