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.

Our Estate

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.

Aerial estate


  • HRH The Princess Royal


  • The Rt. Hon. Professor Lord Kakkar KG KBE PC FMedSci Chairman
  • Professor Jim Al-Khalili CBE FRS HonFIOP HonFIET
  • Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS
  • Jim Eyre Esq OBE
  • Professor Sir Andrew Hopper CBE FRS FREng FIET
  • Professor Lord Mair CBE HonDSc FREng FICE FRS
  • Sandra Robertson
  • Professor Dame Carol Robinson DBE FRS FRSC FMedSci
  • Professor Eleanor Stride OBE FREng
  • Professor Chris Wise RDI FREng FICE MIStructE HonFRIBA FRSA
  • The Rt. Hon. The Lord Burnett of Maldon KC PC

Commissioners Ex Officio

  • The Lord President of the Council
  • The First Lord of the Treasury
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Industrial Strategy
  • The Secretary of State for the Environment
    Food and Rural Affairs
  • The President of the Institution
    of Civil Engineers
  • The President of the Geological Society


  • Secretary, John Lavery MVO MBA
  • Finance Director, Amahl Smith Esq MA ACA
  • Archivist and Alumni Relations, Angela Kenny RMARA
  • Fellowship Programme Manager, Helen Harris
  • Office Manager/ Executive Assistant / Event Manager Kat O'Dea