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Interdisciplinary APEX Awards: 2021 recipients announced and 2022 round now open

Eight researchers and their collaborators have been awarded funding in the 2021 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 offers up to £100,000 to researchers wanting to pursue interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research that benefits wider society. The scheme also includes an opportunity to apply for an additional £10,000 to support researchers in delivering public engagement activities related to their funded research.

The successful applicants are:

Dr Brian Ball
New College of the Humanities
PolyGraphs: Combating Networks of Ignorance in the Misinformation Age

Dr Ricardo Bermudez-Otero
University of Manchester
A voter-model approach to the distribution and dynamics of typological features of language

Dr Michael Berthaume
London South Bank University
Evolutionary noise in biomechanical data: what does it look like?

Professor Jill Burke
University of Edinburgh
Renaissance Goo: Historic Personal Care Recipes and Soft Matter Science

Professor Hazel Cox
University of Sussex
Development of tensor-structured methods for bound and quasi-bound states of few particle quantum systems

Dr Robyn Grant
Manchester Metropolitan University
MMMMammalWhiskers: Morphology, Mechanics and Movement of Mammalian Whiskers

Professor Igor Meglinski
Aston University
Orbital Angular Momentum of Light for Exosomes Quantification and Intracellular Communication

Professor Haitao Ye
University of Leicester
Surface functionalised diamond for antifungal application in Space

The 2022 APEX Award opened for applications on 1 September and will close 28 October 2021. For further information please contact [email protected]

Notes to editors

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

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 UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. We mobilise these disciplines to understand the world and shape a brighter future. We invest in researchers and projects across the UK and overseas, engage the public with fresh thinking and debates, and bring together scholars, government, business and civil society to influence policy for the benefit of everyone.

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 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.

Media enquiries

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

For the British Academy
Sean Canty, Press Officer, [email protected], 020 7969 5273

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

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