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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


Deadline for outline proposals extended to 5 December 2022

The CAPE Grand Challenge Award is a competition for the best project outlines aligned with strategic research themes proposed by the CAPE partners. The winning submissions will be developed into full CAPE project proposals in collaboration with one (or more) CAPE Partners; this could lead to a seed project (i.e. ‘proof-of-concept’) or a larger project as appropriate. The competition is open to researchers and academics in the University of Cambridge.

Objective of Call

The objectives for the competition are:

  1. Formulate new CAPE projects that are well aligned with CAPE Partner’s strategic interests and drawn from a wide cross section of the University
  2. Increase engagement with CAPE from the Partners
  3. Expand scope of CAPE projects into new areas of interest to the Partners
  4. Increase interdisciplinary participation in CAPE projects.

Research Topics

Your proposal should address one of the following areas selected by CAPE Partner BIACD:

1.    MEMS and related structures
BIACD are interested in a number of aspects of MEMS-based structures and other micromachined silicon structures. Areas of interest include 

  1. Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer (CMUT)
  2. Silicon-based MEMS Vibration Sensor Technology
  3. Silicon-Based Microfluidic Heat Sink
  4. Getter technology for MEMS vacuum packaging
  5. High Precision Silicon-based MEMS Oscillator Technology
  6. High Quality Factor Silicon Based Capacitive Resonant Structure
  7. Mechanism study on the effect of impedance of the output characteristics of silicon-based MEMS capacitive sensors

2.    The Optimization Analysis of Components and Micro-structure of Magnetic Materials with High Magnetic Permeability and Low Noise
High performance magnetic shielding materials are required for spin exchange relaxation-free (SERF) atomic magnetometers used for cardiac and cerebral magnetic measurements. We are looking to fund research into the design of materials with initial permeability of not less than 5×104 and conductivity not higher than 0.1Ω-1∙m-1 to lay the foundation for testing and calibration of a high-performance SERF atomic magnetometer.


£1,000 bonus will be awarded to the submitter of a Grand Challenge proposal that is developed into a project with a CAPE Partner. 


The competition is open to researchers and academics in the University of Cambridge. Each submission must include one applicant (i.e. the submitter or a co-investigator) who is eligible for PI status within the University. CAPE is committed to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity. We actively encourage applications from all under-represented groups.

More details

For more details of the call and to download your application form, please visit CAPE Grand Challenge: Photonics and Electronics 2022