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New fellowships for exceptional students launched in memory of Professor Stephen Hawking

New fellowships for exceptional students launched in memory of Professor Stephen Hawking

Science Minister Sam Gyimah today (Monday 11 June) announced that new fellowships are to be created in mathematics and physics in tribute to Stephen Hawking, the world-leading British scientist whose work changed our understanding of the Universe.

The fellowships, which will build on the government’s modern Industrial Strategy and its record investment in science, research and innovation, will be awarded to exceptional candidates completing their doctoral studies in the fields of maths, physics and the computer sciences. Financial support will be offered to allow them to continue their work in any UK institution for up to three years.

UK Research and Innovation will award up to ten “Stephen Hawking” fellowships a year for the next five years.

Professor Stephen Hawking was instrumental in providing greater insights into how the universe was created and is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant minds in science. His work included ground-breaking analysis of the laws that govern the universe, including his revelation that black holes produce radiation.

Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:

“Few have contributed as much to humanity’s understanding of the universe as Professor Hawking. His ground-breaking work inspired people of all ages and nations to think about the cosmos and their place in it, and to appreciate the beauty and elegance of mathematics and physics.

“I am delighted to announce that, following discussions with the Hawking family, we are creating the Hawking Fellowships in his memory. The Fellowships will allow exceptional graduate students in maths, physics and computer science in institutions across the UK to take their work even further. I can think of no more fitting tribute to this great man than to support the next generation to push the boundaries of knowledge of the laws that govern our universe.”

Stephen’s children Robert, Lucy and Tim Hawking said:

“Our father knew the value that fellowships could provide to advancing research. As a scientist who made extraordinary discoveries throughout his career but particularly in his early years, he was very interested in the development of new talent and devoted much of his career to his teaching roles. We are thrilled that these fellowships will be named after him and see this as a great tribute to his life in science.”

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

"Professor Hawking's life and work provided inspiration far beyond the world of scientific research.  His discoveries opened a new window on our Universe and through his books and personality he opened a unique window on science to millions. It is an honour to be launching fellowships in his memory and fitting that they will support a new generation of exceptional talent."

The fellowships will build on the work outlined in the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, building on our strengths in science, research and innovation to build a Britain fit for the future and using this vital knowledge to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Notes to editors

  • Further details of the fellowship and how to apply will be publicised later this year.