The Faraday Institution is pleased to welcome its first 10 Faraday Institution Scholars at five universities across the UK this autumn.
The Faraday Institution Scholars Programme (FISP) seeks to incentivise academically strong students from groups historically under-represented in science careers (ethnic minorities, women, and the socio-economically disadvantaged) to pursue STEM degrees. The Faraday Institution does so as a means to diversify the talent pool through promoting participation and equal opportunity. The goals of this programme include developing knowledge, skills, and aspirations of undergraduate scholars to prepare them for potential careers in the battery technology or energy storage fields.
The scholars programme is named after Michael Faraday in tribute to his application-inspired spirit. Faraday rose from the working class, in a time when science was reserved for the elite, to become one the greatest scientists of the 19th century. Brilliant and self-made, he devoted his life to discovery through experimentation.
The programme offers eligible students financial support, mentorship, career coaching, a paid summer internship in an energy storage laboratory in their university or with an appropriate industry partner, and access to senior battery researchers. The annual bursary of £4,500 (for up to four years) can be used to cover educational and/or housing costs. The scheme is being administered by five of the seven Faraday Institution founding universities: Imperial College London, University College London, Newcastle University, University of Southampton and University of Warwick. Scholars are selected through an interview and aptitude testing process as determined by their university.
Next-generation energy storage technologies will be developed from the next generation of scientists and engineers. To this end, the Faraday Institution is seeking to build a dynamic and diverse pool of talent across different levels—undergraduate, PhD researchers, and early career scientists—to create a steady stream of trained battery scientists and engineers. The quest to electrify the UK will need to draw on every resource available, and the Faraday Institution, together with its partner universities, recognise that it is vital to draw on the skills of people with different experiences, ideas and perspectives to make sure the UK is best placed to respond with the most innovative solutions to current and emerging problems.
The Faraday Institution Scholars Programme is just one of the initiatives the organisation is running to incentivise talented undergraduates to pursue careers in energy storage fields.
Over the summers of 2018 and 2019 the Faraday Institution has funded 50 undergraduate internships in partner universities. These 8-week, competitive internships give undergraduates access to leading scientists and unique facilities and hands-on research experience. A select group of interns present their research via a poster session at a Faraday Institution research project review meeting. Several graduates of the 2018 internship programme have since gone on to pursue PhDs in energy storage related disciplines.
Additionally, in February 2018, 50 undergraduate students on STEM degree programmes attended a careers event held at the Royal Academy of Engineering organised in partnership by the Faraday Institution and SEO London, a charity that prepares talented students from ethnic minority or low socio-economic backgrounds for career success. The day aimed at inspiring and attracting people from backgrounds historically under-represented in STEM to the field. The first event focussed on London and a second event was held in Birmingham in October 2019, which was attended by 38 students. Students were able to network with battery researchers from a range of industrial partners including JLR, Siemens, Horiba Mira, Rolls Royce, Williams Advanced Engineering, UKBIC and Ricardo, exposing them to a variety of potential battery related careers.
For further details of the Faraday Institution’s training and attraction programmes please click here.