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, the built environment and design. It also makes a small number of Special Awards to support projects consistent with its overall aims. Many of these are focused on raising the awareness of the young to the opportunities presented by science and engineering. The total annual disbursement is nearly £4m a year, funded from the Commission’s investment portfolio Report of the Board of Management 2020.
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 was established in 1850 to organise the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Exhibition made a surplus of £186,000 which the Commission, under the guidance of Prince Albert, used to purchase an estate in South Kensington. This estate has developed to become a centre of scientific, cultural and educational excellence which now houses the Natural History, Science and V&A museums; Imperial College London; the Royal Colleges of Art and Music; and the Royal Albert Hall.
The Commission continues to support all the ‘Albertopolis' institutions (ie those on its original estate) in their work in education, research, science and the arts and works closely with them to improve the experience of all those visiting, working, studying and living in South Kensington, one of the world’s most popular cultural and educational destinations.