Future 50: Leicester seeks next generation of world-changing researchers

Renate Larssen, left, and Charity Mbaka.

The University of Leicester is calling for the next generation of world-changing researchers to join its Future 50, for entry in autumn 2023.

Building on the success of its £9m investment in 100 new researchers in November 2021, the University is now inviting applications for a further 50 funded doctoral opportunities, representing an additional £5.5m investment.

Projects are available across all three of Leicester’s Colleges, and its five recently launched interdisciplinary Research Institutes: Digital Culture; Environmental Futures; Precision Health; Space; and Structural and Chemical Biology.

The Future 50 scholarships are central to a new strategy, Citizens of Change: Our Second Century, which seeks to reinforce and expand ambitious innovation, research and enterprise in Leicester over the next decade.

Example doctoral projects include:

  • Anticipatory medicines at end-of-life in UK care homes: developing best practice
  • Hydrogen-based novel propulsion technologies and design framework for future sustainable aviation
  • Conversion therapy in an international human rights framework
  • Examining factors contributing to postgraduate researcher wellbeing and resilience

Charity Mbaka recently embarked on her PhD researcher post in the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, after securing a Future 100 Scholarship.

She said: “The scholarship has enabled me to fulfil my long-held dream of pursuing a PhD in a world-class institution. My research aims to address sustainable integrated solutions for net zero pathways.

“As my PhD progresses, I am looking forward to developing through dynamic multidisciplinary research, training and professional development.”

Fellow Future 100-funded PhD student, Renate Larssen from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, is in the early stages of researching human-animal relations in the Scandinavian Iron Age.

She said: “Doing my postgraduate research at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History has been an amazing opportunity for me to learn from, and be supervised by, some of the best researchers in the field.

“This is a world-class institution with access to great zooarchaeological research facilities and cutting-edge theoretical scholarship. In addition, the Doctoral College offers great support for PhD students, as well as a training programme focusing on transferable skills for future career opportunities.”

Applications are open to home and international students, with the intention of creating a diversity of talent within a cohort which reflects the communities their research seeks to serve. International applicants will need to be able to fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of study.  

Professor Richard Thomas, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise and Dean of the Doctoral College at the University of Leicester, said: “Nurturing the next generation of early career researchers is a key component of the University of Leicester’s research strategy. We recognise and value the huge contribution that postgraduate researchers make to our world-leading research environment, which is why we have built on our investment last year to bring new talent to Leicester.

“In addition to drawing expertise of experienced supervisors across the University, all postgraduate researchers are offered extensive support and training through our institutional Doctoral College. Support ranges from subject-specific skills training, to networking and other transferable skills.”

Doctoral projects funded by this initiative will commence in the 2023/24 academic year. Further information about the projects can be found on the website. Applications close on Friday 20 January 2023.