About the Vice-Chancellor's Innovation Fellowships

Aston University proudly introduces the 'Vice-Chancellors Innovation Fellowships', an initiative designed to catalyse the commercialisation of breakthrough research ideas. Recognising the immense potential of our research, this programme is geared towards translating pioneering ideas into impactful market-ready solutions.

Starting September 2023, the Innovation Fellowship offers individual researchers the opportunity to dedicate themselves fully to projects with significant commercial potential. Fellows will benefit from a half-year buy-out, allowing them to completely focus on transforming their research ideas into viable products or solutions.

By granting you the time and resources to hone your research towards commercial outcomes, this fellowship reflects our commitment to a culture where research doesn’t just stay in journals but influences industries and markets globally.

Applications for the Round 2 of the Vice-Chancellors Innovation Fellowships are now open. We invite researchers from all faculties and disciplines to showcase their groundbreaking ideas with clear market potential, underscoring their dedication to making a tangible difference to society.

Our selection process begins with a review of the application form linked below. This initial phase helps us identify projects with the highest promise and the vision behind them. Following this, successful applicants will engage in an interview with an internal panel in late April 2024.

The unveiling of the Vice-Chancellors Innovation Fellowships reaffirms Aston University's commitment not just to research excellence, but to pioneering research that drives societal advancements. We eagerly await your application.

Guidance for applicants: Vice-Chancellor's Innovation Fellowships

Aston University is committed to ensuring the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Fellowships create as much benefit for the individual researchers, as well as for the broader University community. We've developed a few key guidelines to aid prospective applicants in submitting a strong application.

1. Discussion with line manager

Before applying, it is essential to have in-depth discussions with your line manager about your intention to apply for the fellowship. This conversation will ensure the feasibility of your proposed fellowship, especially regarding the teaching buy-out for the fellowship period. Make sure your proposed timing aligns with departmental needs and teaching responsibilities. It's crucial that your participation in the fellowship doesn't negatively impact your department's operations or student learning experiences.

2. Application form completion

You will be required to fill in an application form, which helps us understand the scope of your proposed project, as well as your suitability for the fellowship. The form will cover several important aspects:

  • Fellowship activities: Outline what you plan to accomplish during your fellowship, detailing the specific tasks or initiatives you'll undertake. Be as clear and specific as possible in outlining your strategies and approaches.
  • Short-term and long-term impacts: Highlight the immediate impact your project could have, as well as its potential to affect long-term change. Discuss how your project could contribute to your field of study, Aston University and beyond. Describe a plausible commercialisation strategy for your business idea focusing on the potential benefits and the market need.
  • Future ambitions: Detail the long-term goals or ambitions of your project. How does this fellowship support your overall career trajectory or align with the University’s strategic goals? Help us understand the bigger picture of your work.
  • Personal suitability: Finally, include a personal statement discussing why you are particularly suited for this fellowship. Reflect on your past achievements, your potential for driving impactful innovation and how this fellowship aligns with your personal and professional growth.

Application deadline: Friday 15 March 2024. Application form can be found here.

This fellowship is a two stage application that will see an initial sift of applications before an invite to an interview panel at the start of April 2024.

3. Timelines
  • Applications open - January 2024
  • Applications close - 15 March 2024
  • Initial application form sift - w/c 18 March 2024
  • Applicants invited to interview stage - w/c 25 March 2024
  • Interviews - weeks 2 and 3 of April 2024

We encourage you to be comprehensive, thoughtful and reflective in your application. This fellowship represents a unique opportunity to drive forward a high-impact project and we look forward to understanding your vision.

Please email any queries to Martina Pasini.