Funding news from Government: The Rutherford Fund

Research and Innovation Development Office

Category: Research news

1 November 2017

In July of this year, Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson announced a new source of money designed to encourage mobility of researchers to the UK: the Ernest Rutherford Fund.

The Rutherford Fund was designed as a £100 million investment, accessed by universities intending to bring early- or senior-career researchers to the UK. These researchers can be from across the globe, with both established, developed nations, and others highlighted in the announcement, eg the BRIC nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Mexico. Excitingly, Jo Johnson has since announced a further £18 million for this Fund, recognising the importance of researcher mobility in modern academia.

The Fund should go some way to easing the fears of our research community around Brexit, namely how they could attract a European researcher to their group. It will be crucial, however, to understand what sort of other requirements (eg visas) will be applied to Rutherford Fellows in order to access their new posts. It's also not yet clear how universities will be able to apply to host Rutherford Fellowships, or which funding body will administer the Fund. This Fund is, however, an intriguing aspect of the Governement's drive to support research and innovation, and we look forward to seeing how it will fit in our current landscape of UKRI, GCRF and ISCF.

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