Oxford man is one of UK’s most promising scientists backed by £100 million government investment

Dr Tobias Hermann

More than 100 of the UK’s up-and-coming science and research leaders will benefit from a £109 million cash boost to convert their innovative ideas to transformational products and services, the government has announced.

Among the next generation of UK science leaders being backed today is Dr Tobias Hermann of the University of Oxford. Dr Hermann aims to ensure that future spacecraft are able to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere safely despite being exposed to extreme heat, which is currently a barrier to future space travel.

Tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change and terminal disease, each scientist and researcher will receive a share of £109 million to develop their ‘blue sky’ solutions to global issues such as food supply, cancer diagnosis and dementia treatment.

The investment will enable the UK’s most promising scientists and researchers from across the UK to fund vital equipment and researcher wages, helping to drive forward their studies and projects at speed.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “By backing these inspirational Future Leaders Fellows, we will ensure that their brilliant ideas can be transferred straight from the lab into vital everyday products and services that will help to change all our lives for the better.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with freedom and support to drive forward transformative new ideas and the opportunity to learn from peers right across the country.

“These fellows  illustrate how the UK continues to support and attract talented researchers and innovators across every discipline to our universities and businesses, with the potential to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy.”

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, which is run by UK Research and Innovation, will recognise up to 550 individuals with a total investment of £900 million committed over 3 years.

The scheme helps universities and businesses in the UK recruit, develop and retain the world’s best researchers and innovators, regardless of their background. They can apply for up to £1.5 million to support the research and innovation leaders of the future, keeping the UK at the cutting edge of innovation. Each fellowship will last 4 to 7 years. Awardees will each receive between £400,000 and £1.5 million over an initial 4 years.