Recognising inspiration

Science is the key to creating a more prosperous society for us all; fuelling growth and innovation, and providing solutions to some of the biggest problems we face. Now is the time for some of the inspirational people behind this work to shine.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

EPSRC is at the heart of UK innovation: generating the fundamental knowledge that fuels economic and social prosperity, and investing in the skilled people who drive research forward. We support the very best researchers throughout their careers by fostering their ambition, innovation and adventure. To celebrate the incredible innovation that has taken place over recent decades and, in particular, the researchers that have led that innovation, EPSRC is launching the RISE awards - Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers. In the UK, our scientists and engineers are carrying out world-leading research every single day. These awards will honour some of the best, both as established leaders in their field and as future leaders in emerging fields.

RISE timeline

November 2013

Universities, industrial partners, professional bodies and learned institutes will be invited to submit up to three nominations for scientists and engineers who deserve recognition for their work.

February 2014

An independent judging panel will select the top-10 from the nominees. Ten people who can be held up as beacons of inspirational science and engineering; who can demonstrate that greatness can be achieved through hard work, dedication and innovation.

March 2014

These top-10 people will then each nominate someone they see as a future world-class talent. Someone who they think has the skills to undertake and lead internationally excellent research. Someone who might invent a device that will change the way we live and work, save thousands of lives or millions of pounds or advance our understanding of the universe. We will follow our inspirational scientists and engineers throughout 2014, pairing them with individuals less familiar with the world of research so that they can learn about the work that they do, and in turn, champion this research and the impact it might have.

June 2014

We will share the insights from these personal exchanges, and bring together established leaders with future leaders and champions in an event that will recognise excellence in engineering and physical sciences.

Who would you nominate?

  • Who are the visionary and influential leaders within the engineering and physical sciences community?
  • Who is setting the research agendas that provide solutions to some of the biggest problems we face?
  • Who do you look up to or point to as a role model for others?
  • Who is renowned in both their research area and beyond?
  • Who inspires you?

#inspirescieng - Join the discussion and tell us what you think it takes to be an inspirational leader!

"It’s important to grab kids and show them they have career choices beyond entertainment and sports. Science should compete in this world of popularity because the things that are invented by scientists and engineers change the world."


Global Music Artist, Entrepreneur and STEAM Education Advocate. will.i.am was a guest speaker at the 2013 Royal Academy of Engineering Global Grand Challenges Summit.

"Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society. It is their talent and imagination as well as their knowledge and skills that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors from manufacturing to financial services. This will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race."

David Willetts MP

Universities and Science Minister