What is the Chair in Emerging Technologies scheme?
The Academy’s Chair in Emerging Technologies (CiET) scheme aims to identify global research visionaries and provide them with long-term support to lead on developing emerging technology areas with high potential to deliver economic and social benefit to the UK.
Who can apply?
Applications are welcome from across a broad remit of engineering and technology, including areas currently considered basic science, but now requiring engineering ways of thinking to drive them towards application, and in areas where technologies are well-established but could be significantly improved by novel approaches. Applications must be centred on enabling and driving technological innovation. Therefore, proposals whose vision is primarily around scientific advance for its own sake are not appropriate to this scheme.
Chairs in Emerging Technologies are professorial appointments. Applicants who haven’t been awarded a professorial title but have demonstrated research achievements such that they would be strongly considered for professorial promotion at present, are eligible to apply. In supporting the submission, the university is understood to be affirming this. It is the Academy’s expectation that successful non-professorial awardees gain a Professorial title upon becoming a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technology.
Evidence of proof of concept should already be established and a clear pathway to future impact described. Beyond this, we are not prescriptive about the Technology Readiness Level or similar assessment of innovation readiness expected of applications. However, we do require a clear ten-year research vision underpinning the proposal that will make a significant difference to how the emerging technology is taken forward and the consequent economic and social benefit to the UK.
Please read the 2023/4 guidance notes for more information about eligibility.
What are the benefit's of the programme
In addition to the value of £2.5M over 10 years with an annual payment of £250,000pa, awardees will receive the following:
- Mentors, who are Fellows of the Academy, with expertise of relevance to the programme of research, to provide independent advice and guidance throughout the duration of the award.
- Networking and training opportunities with and through the Academy’s Fellowship and Events programme.
- Support for Global Talent visa for applicants based outside the UK.
Is the programme FEC?
Successful bids are funded at 80% of full economic costs (fEC) and the host institute must agree to fund the remaining balance of 20%. Funding can come from a variety of sources including:
- From the host institute
- Other grant funding
- Commercial investment
- In-kind contributions e.g., industry collaboration
What does the programme fund?
The funds, up to a maximum of £250,000 for each year of the award (4 March 2024 to 3 March 2034), can be used flexibly towards some, or all, of the following categories:
- Employment costs of the Chair, calculated at 80% of direct costs (gross salary and on-costs). Plus, up to 80% of associated indirect and estates cost, as calculated under the fEC methodology for that one FTE. Salary increments over the period of the project should be considered, but possible future pay awards should not be anticipated, and inflation should not be applied.
- Research staff, including administrative support staff calculated at 80% fEC (including direct employment costs, estates, and indirect costs).
- Technical support, calculated at 80% fEC including direct employment costs, estates, and indirect costs).
- Student costs at 100% direct costs (stipend plus tuition fees (including at international rate if appropriate) plus any experimental or bench costs. Please note that the Academy requires that all Postgraduate students supported by a CiET fund are uplifted annually in line with UKRI published rates. However, this will not lead to increases to the award value and the cost of these increases must be met from the value granted at point of award. Further written policy regarding the Academy’s expectations with respect to postgraduate students will be released in due course.
- Research expenses, including equipment, consumables, or similar calculated at 100% direct cost. Note that for any equipment worth over £10,000 funded from the grant, the Academy must give permission for any disposal or change of use to outside of programme work proposed.
- Other, including training or similar costs for the Chair supporting leadership, calculated at 100% direct cost (for example, mentoring training, media or public engagement and policy influencing are all considered eligible costs).
- The UK government will also be enforcing new policies on subsidy control before grants from this call are awarded. If these require changes to projects or costings for selected proposals (which is unlikely but possible if proposals have strong industrial links in subsidy sensitive areas), then we will agree those with the recipient before grant award.
What does the programme not fund?
Costs that are not eligible include:
- Patent costs and other IP costs, as universities already receive funding for these from Higher Education Innovation Funding.
- The costs of an apprentice levy on any of its grants.
- Activities that are primarily aimed at addressing the clearly articulated needs of a single industry partner over the next five years. This research would be more appropriate for our Research Chairs/Senior Research Fellows scheme.
What are the key dates to know?
Frequency of award cycle
The Chairs in Emerging Technologies calls are managed on an annual basis. As of publication (13 December 2022), future Chair in Emerging Technologies calls are yet to be confirmed.
Timeline of application process
- Stage 1: Initial Sift, candidates informed of outcome of first stage sift panel by mid-July 2023.
- Stage 2: Shortlisting, candidates informed of outcome of second stage shortlisting panel by mid-October 2023.
- Stage 3: Interviews early November 2023.
- Awards made by early December 2023.
Start date of award
All projects must commence on 4 March 2024, and end on 3 March 2034.
Duration of award
The duration of the award is up to 10 years – initial 5 years with the possibility of extension for a further 5 years following a full review of award holder’s achievements and outcomes, and the project’s potential for commercialisation and impact over the next 5 years. Applications that are incomplete or do not adhere to the guidelines will not be accepted.
How do I apply?
Can I submit more than one proposal/application in an application round?
Applicants may only submit one proposal per round.
Can I reapply?
In a change to previous guidance the Academy is allowing resubmissions. Previously unsuccessful applicants are permitted to resubmit any proposal that has previously been submitted to the Chair in Emerging Technologies (CiET) scheme. Resubmitted proposal must clearly articulate where modifications and improvements have been made considering the panel and reviewers feedback. It will not be sufficient to only address these points. Improvements should be considered across the whole application including, but not limited to:
- Aims and objectives such as a new concept, idea or change of focus.
- The scientific approach to meet these objectives.
- New or evolving techniques or methodologies.
- The team of investigators and researchers.
- Resources required, for example new facilities or opportunities.
- Support from the host institute, such as an increased commitment or new opportunities.
- New opportunities for collaboration or commercialisation.
Resubmissions are not guaranteed funding and will be in competition along with all other proposals in that application cohort.
What reporting requirements will be expected of me throughout the duration of the award?
Awardees are expected to submit an annual progress report as well as attend an annual review meeting. A full review will be carried out in the fifth year of the award to confirm funding to the full ten-year duration. The overall aims of the mid-term review are to assess research progress against original objectives and milestones, the commercialisation potential, and pathways to impact for the emerging technology.