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Applications open for Ashok Kumar Fellowship in UK Parliament

Applications open for Ashok Kumar Fellowship in UK Parliament

Applications open for Ashok Kumar Fellowship in UK Parliament

Chemical engineering final year students and postgraduates are being invited to apply for a fellowship that bridges chemical engineering and parliament in memory of former chemical engineer and Teesside MP Ashok Kumar.

Jointly funded by the Materials Processing Institute and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the Ashok Kumar Fellowship provides a three-month placement at the UK Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST), with a focus on producing a parliamentary briefing POSTnote for MPs and Peers on an emerging science, engineering or social science topic that is relevant and timely for the UK Parliament.

After the placement, the successful candidate will also work with IChemE’s Learned Society Committee to share their learnings and knowledge on policy with IChemE members.

The Fellowship is open to engineers who are in the final year, or have completed within the past year, an undergraduate Master’s degree in a discipline related to chemical engineering, process engineering, materials science, applied chemistry, or who 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 with permission from their supervisors to suspend their studies for three months.

Applications to the Ashok Kumar Fellowship are open from 12 May to 25 June 2023. The three-month placement will take place at a suitable time agreed by the successful candidate and POST, and is expected to be between November 2023 and May 2024.

The Fellowship was established in 2010 in memory of IChemE Fellow Ashok Kumar. At the time of his sudden death that year he was the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East and the only Chartered Chemical Engineer in the UK House of Commons.

Alexandra Meldrum, IChemE Vice President Learned Society, said:

“I would like to encourage chemical engineers with an interest in understanding how our profession can make a positive contribution to shaping UK policy to seriously consider applying for the Ashok Kumar Fellowship.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get first-hand experience working within UK parliament and share your learnings from this fellowship experience with other IChemE members.”

Jon Bolton, Executive Chairman of the Materials Processing Institute, said:

“Just as Ashok Kumar was a pioneering engineer in politics, so through this fellowship we are fostering a greater understanding between scientific experts and political decision makers. All of the major societal challenges of this century, from climate change, to artificial intelligence, to pandemic response, require a deft combination of science, engineering and public policy. Ashok Kumar Fellows have the opportunity to make their contribution to this important aspect of public service.”

Lydia Harriss, Senior Physical Sciences Adviser at POST, said:

“The Fellows that join us at POST, through the Ashok Kumar Fellowship and other schemes, make a crucial contribution to our work programme. Applying their scientific knowledge, research, writing and analysis skills, they produce impartial, accurate and accessible briefings on some of today’s most pressing public policy issues. Fellows gain experience of writing for a policy audience and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, while developing a unique insight into the UK Parliament.”

For more information on the eligibility criteria, the application pack and to read the briefing notes of previous Fellows, visit


Ashok Kumar Fellowship

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)



For more information please contact:

Andrew Cargill, Marketing Manager, Materials Processing Institute

t: +44 (0) 1642 382047


Charlotte Wessels, Learned Society Officer, IChemE

t: +44 (0) 1788 53412


Lucy Cook, Communications Manager, IChemE

t: +44 (0) 1788 534454

e :

Lydia Harriss, Senior Physical Sciences Adviser, POST

t: +44 (0) 207 219 8380


12 May 2023