Who was Ashok Kumar?
Dr Ashok Kumar was the only serving chemical engineer in UK Parliament at the time of his sudden death in March 2010. Dr Kumar had been serving as the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland since 1997, his second spell in parliament, following a short period in 1991. Prior to his career in politics, Dr Kumar spent 14 years working as a research scientist for British Steel at the Teesside Technology Centre in Middlesbrough, now the Materials Processing Institute. From that background he took with him a strong conviction of the importance of industrial research and development to the UK’s economy. He was also a Chartered Chemical Engineer and IChemE Fellow.
BBC Online - Ashok Kumar: Teesside's gentle, tenacious and respected pioneer
About the scheme
The Materials Processing Institute, in partnership with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) are offering a three-month fellowship to engineers who have completed a degree at undergraduate Masters level or above, in a discipline related to chemical or process engineering, or have equivalent industry experience.
This Fellowship is an exciting opportunity to gain real-world experience of how research evidence is communicated to decision makers. Most fellows assist POST in providing briefing material for parliamentarians on emerging science topics. Work may include:
- Producing a POSTnote or POSTbrief (briefing documents to help inform the work of MPs and Peers), or contributing to a longer briefing report
- Assisting a select committee with an inquiry
- Supporting one of the parliamentary libraries to produce bespoke briefings for parliamentarians
- Organising a seminar to inform or disseminate research
Fellows are encouraged to interact closely with people and activities in the two Houses of Parliament, including Select Committees, MPs and Peers, All-Party Parliamentary Groups and a very wide range of other parliamentary activities.
The fellowship can be carried out full-time for three months or part-time over a longer period. The Fellow may be based on the Parliamentary Estate in London, may be working remotely from home exclusively, or a combination of the two.
The start date of the Fellowship will be between January 2023 and February 2023. The exact start date is to be agreed between the successful applicant and POST.
Who is eligible to apply?
The fellowship scheme is open to engineers who have completed a degree at undergraduate Masters level or above, in a discipline related to chemical or process engineering, materials science, applied chemistry or a related discipline, or have equivalent industry experience. This could include conducting a research project on a related topic. Applications will also be accepted from PhD and EngD students conducting research in a related field. Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.
How to apply
Full guidance and an application form are available on the POST website
Visit POST Website
The application pack contains more details about the nature of the work, application process, and assessment criteria. Applications are welcomed and encouraged from underrepresented groups.
Applications for the 2022/23 Fellowship are now closed. Details regarding the application process for 2023/24 will be announced in due course.
The Ashok Kumar Fellowship Scheme is funded by the Materials Processing Institute and IChemE.
Successful applicants will be awarded a £6,500 stipend to cover their three months at POST. To ensure accessibility and diversity of the scheme, additional funding may be available for expenses that would otherwise prevent the preferred candidate from taking up the fellowship. More details can be found in the application pack.
Frequently asked questions
Additional information about the scheme is also available on the POST frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.
Visit POST FAQ page
Previous Ashok Kumar Fellowship briefing papers
The links below take you to POSTnote briefing papers completed by fellows who have participated in the scheme.