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Interdisciplinary APEX Awards: 2020 recipients announced and 2021 round now open

Eight researchers and their collaborators have been awarded funding in the 2020 round of the APEX awards. The grants, which promote collaboration across science, engineering, social sciences and humanities, are jointly awarded by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, with the generous support of the Leverhulme Trust.

The APEX award scheme offers up to £100,000 to researchers wanting to pursue interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research that benefits wider society.

This year’s cohort also includes the first recipients of additional funding, worth £10,000, to support researchers to deliver public engagement activities related to their APEX award.

The eight successful applicants are:

Dr Philip Cox
University of York
Functional morphology and the biomechanics of feeding in squirrels
Awarded additional funding towards public engagement activities

Dr Simon Gill
University of Leicester
What controls magma pathways through the Earth’s crust

Professor Christine Hine
University of Surrey
Emergent everyday ethics in infrastructures for smart care
Awarded additional funding towards public engagement activities

Dr Jennifer Hiscock
University of Kent
The role of qualitative research approaches in enhancing interdisciplinary teams’ reflexivity and creativity in the gendered environment of supramolecular chemistry
Awarded additional funding towards public engagement activities

Dr Marco Iglesias
University of Nottingham
Thermophysical imaging for the characterisation of buildings’ walls thermal performance

Dr Lisa Mol
University of the West of England, Bristol
Remote scientific support for sustainable conservation of heritage damaged by explosives
Awarded additional funding towards public engagement activities

Dr Douglas Stewart
University of Leeds
Probing biogeochemistry of alkaline waste impacted systems

Dr Jamie Ward
Goldsmiths, University of London
Exploring social interaction using theatre and wearable sensing
Awarded additional funding towards public engagement activities

The 2021 APEX award round is now open for applications, and the additional funding for public engagement will also be available to the successful 2021 applicants. Further details about the APEX award scheme are available here and via a webinar for prospective applicants on 7 September 2020 at 11am. For further information please contact [email protected].


Media enquiries:

For more information about the British Academy
Sean Canty
Press Officer
020 7969 5273
[email protected]

For more information about the Royal Academy of Engineering
Pippa Cox
Communications Manager
[email protected]
020 7766 0745

For more information about the Royal Society
Bryony Ravate
Assistant Press Officer
[email protected]
0207 451 2508

Notes to editors

The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, it is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing approximately £80m a year. For more information about the Trust, please visit and follow the Trust on Twitter @LeverhulmeTrust

The British Academy is the voice of the humanities and social sciences. The Academy is an independent fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers; a funding body for research, nationally and internationally; and a forum for debate and engagement. For more information, please visit Follow the British Academy on Twitter @BritishAcademy

Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public. Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Follow the Royal Society on Twitter (@royalsociety) or on Facebook (

The objectives of the APEX awards are to

  • promote collaboration across disciplines, with an emphasis on the boundary between science, engineering, and the social sciences and humanities
  • support outstanding interdisciplinary research which is unlikely to be supported through conventional funding programmes
  • support researchers with an outstanding track record, in developing their research in a new direction through collaboration with partners from other disciplines
  • enable outstanding researchers to focus on advancing their innovative research through seed funding

Public engagement for new APEX award holders

The Leverhulme Trust and the Academies are keen to encourage and facilitate public engagement activities within the APEX award programme. Successful APEX award holders in each round will be able to apply for a Public Engagement Grant to undertake public engagement projects based on their APEX award research. These awards will also help to increase the knowledge, skills and confidence of researchers undertaking public engagement projects. Successful recipients will also benefit from expert review and advice on their proposed public engagement plans.

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