News: Fellows are making a major difference across UK society

Published: 10 Dec 2020

News: Fellows are making a major difference across UK society

Today we share the findings from our annual survey of Fellows, which highlights the impact they make in leading change across all areas of UK society.

“It inspired me to work on a global scale with other like-minded scientists to hopefully create innovative products. I’m proud of being a Churchill Fellow and I’m sure it gives more gravitas to my scientific credentials which facilitates making introductions much easier.” - Ian Whelan (CF 2015)

The survey asked Fellows what difference they have made as a result of their Fellowship. The overall picture is of Fellows actively enhancing their communities and professional sectors, drawing on global networks for at least 10 years after their initial grant, raising millions of pounds in further funding, and ultimately affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the UK.

The collective impact of these 146 respondents, drawn from multiple years, can be estimated as below. Every year we award up to 150 new Fellows, who could be expected to achieve this scale of impact.

Fellows’ impact can also be seen in their ability to influence policy-making at local and national level across the four nations. 47% of respondents have used their global findings to inform policy-makers and influencers, while 24% have benefited the development of UK-wide official policy. 24% also report that they had obtained an influential position on an industry regulator, umbrella body or commission. For example, Yvonne Osafo (CF 2016) says: “I have been able to contribute to writing training standards that will govern the training of infant-parent psychotherapists within the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).” 

Other highlights from this year's survey include: 

  • 98% of Fellows report a stronger and broader knowledge base.
  • 93% say they now have a larger professional network.
  • 86% say they are now globally connected.
  • 73% feel they have the capacity to lead change.
  • 58% define themselves as leaders in their sectors.

Remarkably, Fellows’ personal satisfaction with the programme is high. 100% of respondents would recommend a Fellowship to others, 91% say it was a life-changing experience, and 86% believe its personal impact will continue throughout their life and career.

“On a personal level I have had opportunities that I would not have dreamed of previously, it has been an exciting adventure and I have learned to embrace new possibilities and make new contacts.” - Garry Botterill (CF 2015)

Each year we survey Fellows who are one, three, five and 10 years out from their travels. This assesses their impact and our part in it, and helps us to continuously review and develop the Fellowship grant programme.

‘Travel to learn, return to inspire’ is the instruction we give each year to those who are awarded a Churchill Fellowship. The results of this year’s survey show that Fellows are doing just that - and are making a major difference across UK society.