The UK government said today it will honour Stephen Hawking by awarding 10 research fellowships to exceptional PhD students excelling in the fields of maths, physics and computer sciences, terming it a “fitting tribute” to the legendary theoretical physicist who died on March 14. UK Research and Innovation will award up to 10 ‘Stephen Hawking fellowships’ a year for the next five years.
The fellowships will be awarded to PhD students excelling in the fields of maths, physics and computer sciences, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.
“I am delighted to announce that, following discussions with the Hawking family, we are creating the Hawking Fellowships in his memory. The Fellowships will allow exceptional graduate students in maths, physics and computer science in institutions across the UK to take their work even further.
“I can think of no more fitting tribute to this great man than to support the next generation to push the boundaries of knowledge of the laws that govern our universe,” said Science Minister Sam Gyimah.
The financial support will be offered to allow them to continue their work in any UK institution for up to three years, the government said. Hawking’s ashes will be interred at Westminster Abbey between the graves of world-renowned English physicist Isaac Newton and famed biologist Charles Darwin on June 15.
“Our father knew the value that fellowships could provide to advancing research,” Hawking’s children Robert, Lucy and Tim were quoted as saying by the Cambridge News. “As a scientist who made extraordinary discoveries throughout his career but particularly in his early years, he was very interested in the development of new talent and devoted much of his career to his teaching roles. We are thrilled that these fellowships will be named after him and see this as a great tribute to his life in science,” they said.
Hawking died at his Cambridge home on March 14 at the age of 76.