About Us


Increasing the means of industrial education and extending the influence of science and art upon productive industry.



The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 awards some 35 postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships a year, for advanced study and research in science, engineering, design and the built environment.

Special Awards


A very limited number of Special Awards are made to worthy causes and individuals whose aims are consistent with the Commission’s Charter ‘to increase the means of industrial education’ in Britain. These may range from substantial support for other bodies in pursuing specific projects, to travel and study awards to individuals.

& Archive


The Archive of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 dates from 1849 when the Society of Arts and its president Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, conceived the idea of holding a Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

Prince Albert



The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 has been awarding fellowships and scholarships since 1891. Previous holders of these prestigious awards include 13 Nobel Laureates and many more have gone on to become eminent in their field. Today the 1851 Alumni Network contains nearly 900 active members. Through events and online the Commission encourages cooperation and a crosspollination of ideas amongst its alumni and between alumni and current award holders.

Ernest Rutherford
1851 Award held 1895 – 1898
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1908

Ernest Rutherford