Twelve Regius professorships are to be created at UK universities to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, the government has said.
Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said that the awards would recognise “academic excellence” and the “real-world impact” of research.
Ahead of the Queen’s 90th birthday, in April next year, universities will be invited to compete for the titles. No new funding is attached.
The awards will bring the number of Regius professorships in the UK to 68.
Announced in the government’s Productivity Plan in July, the new Regius professorships will “celebrate the increasingly important role of academic research in driving growth and improving productivity over the past 90 years”, according to the government.
Traditionally, the professorships were created when a university chair was founded or endowed by a royal patron, and were long associated with just seven universities across the UK and Ireland: the universities of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, St Andrews and Trinity College Dublin.
Twelve new professorships were created in 2013 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, widening the number of institutions to hold such positions to 19.
Institutions receiving Regius professorships on that occasion included four in London: Imperial College London, the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London, and King’s College London. Professorships were also created at the universities of Dundee, Manchester, Essex and Reading.
Mr Johnson said: “The UK’s exceptional research and innovation capability is crucial to powering our economy and improving millions of lives. These new Regius professorships will recognise the academic excellence and real world impact of university research across the country.
“Competition will be tough given how many world-beating universities we have across the country, but I strongly encourage institutions to take this rare opportunity to bid for the prestige of a Regius professorship.”
Universities have until 14 December to submit an application.