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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


Blue Sky Award 2023


CAPE invites engineering postdoctoral researchers, either individually or in a small team, to submit Blue Sky research ideas for a 12-month project on any engineering-related topic.

The award gives the opportunity for early career researchers to undertake a pilot study in a new research area. Proposals should aim to demonstrate the potential to the CAPE Partners of a new technology, or the potential of an existing technology in a radically different application area. Proposals in research areas now currently covered by the CAPE Partnership or addressing a global issue recognised by the United Nations are particularly encouraged.


There will be up to two awards of maximum £15,000 to support staffing (including associated nondirect costs), consumables, facilities costs, travel or equipment required to undertake postdoc research project.

Winners will receive £300 in amazon vouchers on completion of their project and final presentation.


The winners will present their project results to the CAPE Steering Committee during the CAPE Event in October 2024.


Each proposal will be evaluated by the CAPE Technology Focus Groups (TFGs) and CAPE SC, which include representatives from each CAPE Partner company. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of academic quality, feasibility, adventurousness and long-term relevance to the Partners’ business areas. The final decision will be made by the CAPE Steering Committee, and the winner(s) will be announced in September 2023, ready for a project start in October 2023.


The proposal should be submitted by completing the application form  and emailing it to

Note that Applicants may only hold one Acorn Fund Award at a time

All Postdocs must have the signed approval of their supervisor before submitting a proposal.


Ms Denisa Demko, CAPE Coordinator, CAPE Office, 9 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0FA
Tel: +44 (0)1223 748343

The extended closing date for submission is August 31 2023.