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  • Dr Jenn Jones, Nuclear Robotics Programme Manager at the University of Manchester, pictured at Whitehaven’s RAICo1 facility
     

     WOMEN and those early in their academia career who are passionate about robotics and artificial intelligence are encouraged to apply for a RAICo Fellowship.

    RAICo is a collaboration between the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd and the University of Manchester.

    The collaboration is accelerating the deployment of robotics and AI in nuclear decommissioning and fusion engineering.

    The RAICo Fellowship programme is specifically designed to provide women and early career researchers with invaluable experience in working with the nuclear sector and understanding the pathways to commercialise their research.

    Dr Jenn Jones, Nuclear Robotics Programme Manager at the University of Manchester, said: “The RAICo Fellows programme presents an exciting opportunity to widen the diversity of our RAI community. Applications are encouraged from women and early career researchers to bring new technologies, ideas and voices to the collaborative programme.

    “Applications are welcome from everyone who is within five years of completing their PhD and working as a member of academic staff or as a postdoctoral research associate at a UK research institution. But we’ve found in academia that a number of women have a career break and return to work after five years. We’d like to see these women apply for the Fellowship scheme even if they are beyond this five-year period.”

    By joining as RAICo Fellows, participants will contribute to expanding research expertise within RAICo, forge connections with academic partners, and translate cutting-edge research into practical solutions for nuclear decommissioning challenges.

    Eligibility for the programme requires applicants to be members of academic staff or postdoctoral research associates at a UK research institution, specialising in robotics and AI.

    Candidates should identify as women and/or be within five years of completing their PhD in these fields. Successful applicants can apply for up to £20,000 funding for costs and must also be willing to regularly visit the RAICo facility in Whitehaven, Cumbria, or relevant nuclear sites throughout the duration of the fellowship. The award is available until the end of March 2025.

    Dr Kirsty Hewitson, Director of RAICo, said: “RAICo is delighted to support the RAICo Fellowship scheme focused on women and early career researchers. We recognise the importance of diversity and hope that these awards foster further collaboration and inclusion across the field of robotics.”

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