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Newton Prize

The Newton Prize recognises excellent research and innovation in support of economic development and social welfare in Newton Fund partner countries.  

The Newton Prize is an annual £1 million fund and aims to incentivise researchers and innovators to participate in the Newton Fund as partners with the UK, and to work on the most important challenges facing Newton countries. The concept for the Newton Prize has been developed to demonstrate how UK partnerships with Newton countries are solving global challenges.

2018 Newton Prize

The 2018 Newton Prize call for applications has now closed.

The 2018 Newton Prize eligible countries are: Brazil, Chile*, Colombia and Mexico. The prize is only open to existing or past recipients of Newton funding, with projects in these countries.

The Newton Prize will be awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes the economic development and social welfare of Newton partner countries, DAC List Countries or addresses global challenges; aligning with the Newton Fund’s overall objectives.

Five Newton funded projects will be awarded the Newton Prize. Each prize will be worth up to £200,000 to advance Newton funded work. Prizes will be awarded for eligible projects that demonstrate a benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life.  

Prizes are awarded by an independent selection committee chaired by Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. Sir Venki is one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, a Nobel Prize winning biologist and president of The Royal Society. He will be joined by a diverse selection of committee members covering the Newton Fund’s main thematic areas, and including development and regional specialists.

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, Newton Prize committee chair, said: “One of the aims of the Newton Prize is to highlight the lasting partnerships developed between UK researchers and their colleagues in Newton Fund partner countries to solve global challenges.

“Latin America has a wealth of excellent researchers working in collaboration with the UK to tackle issues as diverse as post conflict studies, biodiversity, health and earth observation through the Newton Fund partnerships in the region. As Chair of the Newton Prize Committee, I look forward to finding out more about these collaborative endeavours.”

If you are the award holder of a Newton funded grant for Brazil, Chile*, Colombia or Mexico please pay careful attention to the 2018 Newton Prize Guidance Notes and Terms and Conditions for more information on completing your application, the application process, timeline for applicants, eligibility and the prize selection criteria. 

All supporting documents, including the finance template needed as part of your application, can be downloaded from this page. Please include all necessary additional documents as outlined in the prize checklist in the guidance notes and terms and conditions.

*The prize to be awarded to Chile has an additional restriction in that the research or innovation activities given as part of the prize application must also apply to the wider developing world as well as to Chile. This is because Chile is no longer a DAC list eligible country. See guidance notes and Q&A for more information.



The Newton Prize Team:

The UK National Commission (UKNC) for UNESCO in London has been appointed to administer the Newton Prize application process. The Newton Prize administering team are Dr Liz Bell, Newton Prize Programme Director and Ms Kia da Silva Cunha, Newton prize Project Officer. The team can be contacted at:

Previous winners:

More information about the work of each of the shortlisted applications from the 2017 Newton Prize, as well as the various teams involved in each project, can be found on the 2017 project page. Case studies compiled on each of the shortlisted applications (and winners for each country) can be accessed in the Newton Prize 2017 booklet here. Read our blog to find out what some previous winners are doing with their science, research and innovation projects since they won the prize. 



Photo credits: Pexels and Juan Ernesto Jaeger