The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Rutherford Fellows Event was held on Thursday 4 October 2018 at the British Library, London with 32 Rutherford Fellows in attendance. The event was held in order to celebrate the impact of the Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship programme. It also gave Fellows, Commissioners, supervisors, HE contacts and CSC staff the chance to share and evaluate research experiences and network with each other, and our delegates relished the chance to build important contacts for the future.

The Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship exemplifies world-class research innovation that will and has a wider impact beyond the academic community, as the scheme attracts global talent and supports the UK’s research base.

The first activity saw each of our Rutherford Fellows divided into groups to give an individual 3-minute presentation on their research. The presentations were diverse, with many expressing their passion about why they chose their research.

Addressing key global challenges

The second activity, ‘Thematic group work on global challenges’, involved each group being provided with a thematic question on a key global challenge. The activity helped Fellows discover where their research crosses over with other Fellows based on their table and encouraged them to build professional partnerships.

Each group discussed solutions and wrote down a list of the different problems or issues (whether global or local) which involved a combination of the work or research areas of multiple Fellows at the table. They then thought about a central theme which linked their research areas together, and helped them create a poster which summed up their arguments and solutions. Each group then presented their posters to the room.


The event finished with a drinks reception at the British Library which offered everyone in attendance the opportunity to network. CSC Commissioners Sandy Balfour and Brian Faragher assisted with the day’s activities and so it was a lovely chance for them to meet and learn more about the Rutherford Fellows and their research. Sandy Balfour presented the 2018 Taylor & Francis Best Journal Article Prize to the winner, Chigozie Utazi (2010 Commonwealth Scholar from Nigeria), and gave a wonderfully entertaining speech on how to write the ‘perfect’ article, which included a list of common mistakes and misconceptions.

The evening continued with conversations and discussions about the innovative research our Rutherford Fellows are currently conducting. The event captured only a snapshot of the impact of the Commonwealth Rutherford Fellowship Programme. As our Rutherford Fellows demonstrated, their contribution to international development is something that goes far beyond their academic research.

To see more pictures of this event, please visit the CSC Flickr page.