BP launches Kathleen Lonsdale fellowships at the University of Manchester

Article by Amanda Doyle

The University of Manchester
Lisa Joss and Ahu Gümrah Dumanli-Parry

BP-FUNDED fellowships have been awarded to two scientists at the UK’s University of Manchester. The aim of the new fellowship is to support early-career researchers by offering them flexible development opportunities.

The BP-ICAM Kathleen Lonsdale Research Fellowship is funded through the US$100m BP International Centre for Advanced Materials (ICAM) and is named after Dame Kathleen Lonsdale. Dame Kathleen was a 20th century scientist who used X-ray diffraction to prove that the benzene ring is flat, and was one of the first two women to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1945.

The fellowship has been awarded to Lisa Joss, a chemical engineer currently working at Imperial College London, and Ahu Gümrah Dumanli-Parry, a materials chemist also currently working at Imperial. “I am delighted to be one of the first recipients of a BP-ICAM Kathleen Lonsdale Fellowship,” said Joss. “My research will focus on the characterisation and simultaneous design of optimal materials and processes for a wide range of low-carbon applications, from gas separations to carbon capture and storage.”

The new fellowship aims to address some of the ongoing diversity and inclusion issues with academic careers in STEM fields in the UK. A 2016 survey by Nature found that 38% of early-career researchers worked more than 60 hours a week, and 9% worked more than 80 hours a week. Long hours and uncertain work patterns can be difficult for researchers with personal or family commitments, so the new fellowship offers a more flexible approach.

The five-year fellowship provides salaries and research expenses, as well as additional funds to contribute to a healthy work-life balance. This includes the possibility of flexible working, such as part-time work, sabbaticals, and secondments. It includes the possibility of funds for child care or caregiving when attending conferences, and a possibility of claiming funds for special support in managing disability or health issues.

The two researchers will start their fellowships at the beginning of 2019.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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