Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship

Programme details and apply now


Funded through a £1 million donation from Michael Beverley, a Leeds alumnus and Yorkshire business leader, this pioneering initiative was inspired by the opportunity to develop the next generation of academic entrepreneurs and, in so doing, enhance the future of the University and help strengthen the regional economy.

Targeted at early and mid-career researchers at Leeds, the Michael Beverley Innovation Fellowship Programme provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of commercialisation, and business engagement, assisting them in their ability to create economic and societal value from their research.


Among the first cohort is Dr Mahetab Amer, a University Academic Fellow in Predictive Disease Models with the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Reflecting on her fellowship journey so far, Dr Amer said: “This programme fills the crucial gap in business knowledge and early-stage funding that I needed as an academic to start thinking about translating my research into innovative solutions for societal benefit. This helps bridge the gap I found between the world of academic research and the business landscape.”

Delivering impactful research

Each fellow receives up to £7,500 in funding to develop a concept, such as creating a new venture, service, applied research or external partnership. This will help raise their profile in the academic arena and put them on the trajectory for future research and innovation leadership roles within the University.

Fellows have the opportunity to share ideas with like-minded academics from other disciplines, who may be at a similar stage of their research journey or have experience they can draw upon.

The programme also creates the opportunity to:

  • build long-lasting, cross-disciplinary relationships with academic colleagues
  • expand external networks by engaging with industry experts; and
  • meet colleagues from across the University, who will be able to offer further support and guidance.

Knowledge enhancement

Fellows will be provided with the tools, techniques and methodologies to disrupt their traditional way of thinking, and will be supported in incorporating impact in the early development of their research proposals.

They’re also shown how to pitch their research to business experts, taking an idea from concept to reality.

Access to experts

Fellows have access to an inspiring network of trusted business experts, senior academics and Leeds alumni through our Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-based mentoring programme.

They get to hear from inspirational high-profile speakers from business and the wider University community, who can support their research journey.

Highlights from the first cohort included a keynote speech from Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, an award-winning space scientist, broadcaster and author, which focused on her innovation journey.

Ongoing support

During the programme, Fellows attend a quarterly networking group providing peer learning and support. They also have three dedicated mentors for 12 months, covering the duration of the programme and the early stages of implementing their agreed research plan.

Further support includes open-access online resources and complimentary Nexus Community Membership, including access to member events and use of the innovation hub’s business lounge.

Programme details and apply now


Similar opportunities:

ODPL, in collaboration with members of the University’s Impact Network, run Building Impact Momentum. This programme is primarily for those relatively new to thinking about impact beyond the academy and haven’t had much experience of trying to achieve it. It runs over a term and there are normally 3 programmes per academic year.

ODPL also offer an Impact Coaching service. This is entirely bespoke to the researcher / research team concerned. The coaching can last as long or as short as is needed with timing and regularity agreed between the researcher(s) and the coach