Hundreds of early career researchers to descend on Parliament

The Physiological Society is proud to support the largest national event of its kind, in which 210 early career scientists, engineers and mathematicians will arrive in Parliament on Monday 17 March to compete for the coveted Westminster Medal while exhibiting their groundbreaking research to politicians during SET for Britain 2014. 

From the mathematics of swarming locusts and the physics of forming stars to a gene therapy being designed for treatment of a blistering skin disease, these early career researchers have been shortlisted to showcase the best of the UK.

As Andrew Miller MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and the event’s parliamentary host, says, “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs and Peers an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. 

“These early career engineers, mathematician and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

Philip Wright, CEO of The Physiological Society says, “The UK has an excellent biomedical research base that is underpinned by our strength in physiology. SET for Britain provides a unique opportunity for our representatives in parliament to see the fruits of the UK’s research spend first hand, and the enthusiasm and drive of these up-coming scientists.”

All of the exhibitors are entered into competition with researchers from their discipline – be it biology, chemistry, engineering, maths or physics – for a bronze (£1,000), silver (£2,000) and gold (£3,000) prize and certificate.

At the end of the exhibition, the gold winner from each discipline will explain their research to a panel of judges to convince them that their research, and their ability to convey it, leaves them deserving the over-arching Westminster Medal.

The finale’s judging panel will comprise of Andrew Miller MP, the BBC Science Correspondent Pallab Ghosh and Professor Michael Elves BSc (Hons), LL.B(Hons), PhD, D.Sc, D.Sc(Hon), FRC Path, FIBiol, FRSA, FZS.

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee run the event in collaboration with the Council for Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Society of Biology and the Society of Chemical Industry, with financial support from BP, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Essar, INEOS, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Germains Seed Technology, Boeing, the Bank of England and the Institute of Biomedical Science.





For further information about the event, images, or interview opportunities, please contact Joe Winters: 020 7470 4815, 07946 321473,


SET for Britain

SET for Britain is a poster competition in the House of Commons - involving approximately 210 early stage or early career researchers - judged by professional and academic experts.  All presenters are entered into either the engineering, the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences (chemistry), the physical sciences (physics) session, or the mathematics session, depending on the researcher’s specialism. 

Each session will result in the reward of Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.  Bronze winners will receive a £1,000 prize; Silver, £2,000; and Gold, £3,000.  There will also be an overall winner from the four sessions who will receive the Westminster Wharton Medal.

SET for Britain was established by Dr Eric Wharton in 1997.  Following his untimely death in 2007, the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, with support from The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Physiological Society and the Society of Chemical Industry, is working to further his legacy. 

The event is made possible this year by the prize sponsors, who are BP, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Essar, INEOS, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Germains Seed Technology, Boeing, the Bank of England and the Institute of Biomedical Science.

The competition is open to early stage or early career researchers, which includes university research students, postgraduates, research assistants, postdocs, research fellows, newly-appointed lecturers, part-time and mature students, returners, those people embarking on a second career, and their equivalent in national, public sector and industrial laboratories, and appropriate final year undergraduate and MSc students, all of whom are engaged in scientific, engineering, technological or medical research.