Ashok Kumar fellowship

The Ashok Kumar Fellowship provides funding for one successful candidate each year to spend three months working at the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

The post-holder will be expected to produce a short briefing paper, contribute to a longer report, assist a select committee in a current inquiry, and/or carry out related activities on an area of public policy related to science and engineering. The topic of the work will be selected by POST or the relevant parliamentary team.

The Fellowship is jointly funded by IChemE and the Materials Processing Institute.

Who was Ashok Kumar?

Ashok Kumar was the only serving chemical engineer in UK Parliament at the time of his sudden death in March 2010. An IChemE Fellow, Kumar had been the Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland since 1997, his second spell in parliament following a brief stint in 1991. Prior to his career in politics, Kumar spent 14 years working as a research scientist for British Steel at the Teesside Technology Centre in Grangetown. From that background he took with him a strong conviction of the importance of industrial research and development to the UK’s economy.


The Fellowship is open to engineers who have recently completed an undergraduate Masters degree in a discipline related to chemical or process engineering, or have equivalent industry experience. Candidates may have studied chemical engineering, process engineering, materials science, applied chemistry or a related discipline. Any postgraduates (ie PhD, EngD) who are still studying will need permission from their supervisors to suspend their studies for three-months. 

 Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.

IChemE and its partners in this Fellowship are committed to increasing diversity and to maintaining an inclusive workplace culture. Applications are welcomed and encouraged from underrepresented groups. The Fellow may be based on the Parliamentary estate in London, may be working remotely from home exclusively, or a combination of the two. POST will discuss the hours and location of the Fellowship with the successful candidate.

The start date of the Fellowship is to be agreed between the applicant and POST. Typically, the successful candidate will be expected to start their fellowship between January and October each year. 


Successful applicants will be awarded a £6,500 stipend to cover their three months at POST. To ensure the accessibility of the scheme, additional funding may be available for expenses (for example childcare costs) that would otherwise prevent the preferred candidate from taking up the fellowship. More details can be found in the application pack.

Further information and how to apply

The Ashok Kumar Fellowship is open from 14 July to 5 September 2021. For further guidance, an application pack, and frequently asked questions (FAQs), visit the POST website. Applicants are encouraged to read all the information in the pack before applying.

For any question that has not been covered in the application pack or the FAQs, please contact us. For questions about the Fellowship, please contact Lydia Harriss, Senior Physical Sciences Adviser at POST.

Example fellowship briefing papers