School of the Physical Sciences
With its outstanding track record in research and teaching, the School of the Physical Sciences is home to some of the world’s most important work in astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences, geography, materials science, physics, and pure and applied mathematics. The connections being forged between these subjects, and with the life sciences and technology, are enabling scientists at Cambridge to illuminate the unknown and forge new paths in discovery. Here are some examples of how your support can make a difference to the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow.
Cambridge has produced 86 Nobel Prize-winners to date, among the most recent being Venki Ramakrishnan (Chemistry, 2009). Graduate studentships are vital in order so that Cambridge can continue to nurture talent across the physical sciences. Support is required for fieldwork programmes for Earth Sciences undergraduates, so that some of the brightest students on the planet can explore its history and protect its future. The Millennium Maths Project is enabling the undergraduates of tomorrow to transcend the limitations of under-resourced schools today, and realise their potential. Funding is required for this acclaimed national Programme.
Next Generation Fellowships across the School will provide today’s rising academic stars with the resources they need to drive forward research of singular significance. New posts in Human Geography and Polar Environmental Change will deepen understanding of the environment and our impact on it. Endowing historic posts such as the Woodwardian Professorship of Geology will ensure that professorships with a distinguished past and present, will have an equally distinguished future. There are many other opportunities across all Departments to support similar posts for some of the best scientists in the world today.
Opportunities exist to support a range of visionary initiatives that have tremendous energy, talent and momentum behind them. These include programmes at the frontier of life sciences interface (Medicinal Chemistry, Computational Biology and the Physics of Medicine); the Centre for Nano-Assembly and Nano-Devices; initiatives in environmental science; and the outstanding international research programmes of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences.
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences reveals more than 4,000 million years of the history of the Earth and the life it has supported. Its collections include more than 1.5 million fossil, rock and mineral specimens, including those collected by Charles Darwin during his voyage aboard the Beagle. Funding is sought for an acquisition fund that would enable spectacular specimens to be added to the Museum’s collection, lighting up the Sedgwick and attracting a new generation of visitors.
The Scott Polar Research Institute is home to unrivalled expertise in the study of the Arctic and Antarctic. Its scholars carry out pioneering research on contemporary environmental issues, and work with governments and NGOs to formulate policy. It houses the world’s foremost polar library and the UK’s only dedicated polar museum. Endowment of the posts of Librarian, Archivist and Curator will underpin their pivotal roles in informing the work of the Institute’s scholars, and educating a worldwide audience about global environmental issues of the utmost importance.
The Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy plays a world-leading role in improving the performance of existing materials, and creating new generations of materials with extraordinary properties. Current research focuses on some of society’s key challenges, including the creation of the energy-efficient materials and technologies on which our sustainable global future will depend, and improving the design and engineering of medical materials. Funding is sought for a state-of-the-art facility on the Cambridge Science and Technology Campus, to house and accelerate these rapidly expanding, pioneering research programmes; and to support a distinguished Cottrell Professorship in Materials Science.
The potential of nano-machines - tiny artificial structures that can be used across an exciting spectrum of applications - is almost limitless, with applications from advances in healthcare (for example, as implants), to identifying toxins for land remediation, to environmental monitoring by networks of sensors. Building on Cambridge’s world-leading expertise in nanoscience, the University seeks funding for the Centre for Nano-Assembly and Nano-Devices to conduct research into the design, assembly and use of nano-machines that harness the vast power of the infinitesimal.
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