Matt Howard, Head of Education and Engagement:
One of the aims of the Faraday Battery Challenge is to create and secure high value UK jobs in research, development, and manufacture of batteries throughout the supply chain. To make this possible, the Faraday Institution is committed to build a pipeline of talent at a number of levels – from undergraduate, graduate, through postgraduate PhD awards and courses, to continuing professional development (CPD) for research associates and staff. We intend to create a steady stream of trained battery scientists and engineers as one of our legacies.
To this end several training and development opportunities have been developed and are starting to be rolled out.
In September 2018, 17 undergraduates completed 8-week internships across the UK. The initiative gave them the opportunity to access leading scientists and unique facilities and participate in hands-on research activities on Faraday projects in 12 different universities. They will have the chance to share their findings at a poster session at the 8-month Fast Start programme review in November. I would like to extend my thanks to all those groups that hosted these students this year.
We plan to fund a similar internship programme each summer. The intern opportunities available in 2019 will be publicised around January next year.
Our first cohort of PhD students funded directly by the Faraday Institution will begin their studies in the coming weeks. Affiliated PhD students across the Faraday Institution partner set are invited and encouraged to participate in the training programmes we have been developing – particularly Battery Safety and Battery Manufacturing 1 and 2. We’ll share our list of available courses in a subsequent newsletter.
For PDRAs and other early career researchers, we established the Faraday Institution Early Career Fellowship Travel Grant to promote collaboration between world-class users and developers of large-scale research facilities and to provide a forum to draw together researchers from a range of disciplines. This is designed to enable mobility of researchers between UK and international institutions, offering grants of up to £2,000 for travel and subsistence. Congratulations to the people who made successful applications in the round that just closed. We plan to invite applications for a second round of grants next year.
The great national and global challenge of electrifying the economy will need to draw on every resource available. To help in this endeavour the organisation’s investment in training and technical education will address inequalities of opportunity in the STEM subject workforce that endure on the basis of race, gender and class. Attraction programmes to diversify the pipeline of talent into STEM careers will launch this autumn. The Michael Faraday Scholars Programme undergraduate bursary will be open to accept applications in the autumn of 2018 to cover academic costs starting in the autumn of 2019.