The UK National Commission for UNESCO is responsible for administering the Newton Prize on behalf of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The Newton Prize recognises excellent research and innovation in support of economic development and social welfare in Newton Fund partner countries. Applications for the 2018 Prize, from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, have now closed and the challenging job of assessing them to identify the winning projects is underway.
We have welcomed a new member of staff, Sarah Shaw, as our Newton Prize Project Director. Before this, Sarah was the Communications Director for WISE, the leading campaign for gender balance in science, technology and engineering in the UK. Sarah takes over this role from Dr Liz Bell, who led the project from its launch in January 2017.
Liz was responsible for the design and delivery of the project, building consensus among a diverse group of leading UK stakeholders; ensuring that all the processes, including IT, were operational in time for applications opening in April 2017; recruiting expert reviewers; and supporting the Prize Committee chaired by Royal Society President Sir Venki Ramakrishnan. The 2017 round was targeted at South East Asian countries, and delivered outstanding winners from India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Liz’s review of the 2017 experience provided an excellent basis to further develop the Prize for 2018 and for future rounds.