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Chancellor's Court at the University of Birmingham campus.

Rowland Seymour, Maria Chiara Arno, and Annelies Mortier have each been awarded Future Leaders Fellowships from UKRI to support and develop their upcoming research.

The Future Leadership Fellowship (FLF) programme is designed to support talented researchers in universities, businesses and other research and innovation environments with their long-term projects. It allows early career researchers to develop and tackle ambitious, challenging, and important research.

Dr Rowland Seymour, an Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics, is an experienced academic with a focus on computational statistics and Bayesian nonparametrics. He has developed models for a wide range of applications including human rights abuses and outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Computational statistics can revolutionise research into modern slavery. My aim is to provide better estimates for the prevalence of modern slavery and work with policymakers at local, national, and international levels to use the latest statistical research.

Dr Rowland Seymour, University of Birmingham

Dr Seymour has received his Future Leaders Fellowship to start a four-year project developing statistical methods to tackle modern slavery. Dr Seymour commented: “Computational statistics can revolutionise research into modern slavery. My aim is to provide better estimates for the prevalence of modern slavery and work with policymakers at local, national, and international levels to use the latest statistical research. This fellowship will ultimately save and improve the lives of existing and potential victims.”

Dr Maria Chiara Arno is an Assistant Professor in Polymeric Biomaterials, within the School of Chemistry and the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences. She has a strong background in polymer chemistry and nanoparticle design, with a specific interest in exploiting material-cell interactions to influence cell behaviour.

This Future Leaders Fellowship will enable me and my team to develop new organic nanomaterials for tuning the adhesive strength to the desired tissue, benefitting clinicians and patients.

Dr Maria Chiara Arno, University of Birmingham

She has received her Future Leaders Fellowship to work on the development of new organic nanoparticles as tissue adhesives. Dr Arno said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded a Future Leaders Fellowship. Current methods for closing surgical wounds involve the use of sutures and staples, which often result in secondary tissue damage and microbial infection. This Future Leaders Fellowship will enable me and my team to develop new organic nanomaterials for tuning the adhesive strength to the desired tissue, benefitting clinicians and patients.”

Dr Annelies Mortier is an Assistant Professor in Astronomy within the School of Physics and Astronomy. She is an observational astronomer, and her research focuses on the detection and characterisation of planets orbiting other stars, how this is affected by stellar variability, and the link between planetary and stellar parameters, and in particular chemical composition.

This Future Leader Fellowship will unlock our ability to understand the stellar magnetic variability on the level required and open the road to true Earth twin detections.

Dr Annelies Mortier, University of Birmingham

She has received her Future Leaders Fellowship for her work on stellar understanding to enable the detection of a true Earth twin. Dr Mortier commented: “Finding a planet just like our own but orbiting another solar-type star is technologically within our reach. However, detailed knowledge of stellar variability is hindering this detection. This Future Leader Fellowship will unlock our ability to understand the stellar magnetic variability on the level required and open the road to true Earth twin detections.”

The Future Leadership Fellowships will begin between January and June 2024.