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Academics recognised as “rising stars”



Image credit: University of Exeter
Image credit: University of Exeter

Astrophysicist Dr. Stefan Kraus and Modern Languages film historian Prof. Sally Faulkner have recently been awarded highly prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prizes for their respective work on star and planet formation and Spanish cinema. The £70,000 prize is usually awarded to researchers under the age of 36 whose work has already made an impact internationally and whose future research plans are highly promising.

Dr. Kraus, a Science and Technology Facilities Council Fellow, commented: “The prize will allow me to initiate new projects that will help answer some of the fundamental questions about the planet formation process. I am very excited that this work and my research field is recognised with a Philip Leverhulme Prize”.

Professor Faulkner was the winner of the only prize awarded for Hispanic Studies in 2013. Her latest book, A History of Spanish Film:Cinema and Society 1910-2010, is the first exploration of the relationship between Spanish film and social mobility.

Professor Faulkner said: “I’m delighted that my research has been recognised in this way. The two years of research leave that the prize will give me will allow me to further my work in a number of areas, including a collaborative project on middlebrow cinema, which re-assesses categories of ‘art’ and ‘popular’ cultures in world cinema; silent film, including the place of Spanish silent cinema in transnational circuits of exchange; and Spanish culture of the contested long transition to democracy”.

Philip Leverhulme Prize winners can choose to receive the £70,000 over a period of two or three years. Nominations are accepted for work across 18 broad disciplines, with prizes in 6 offered each year. This year, the selected disciplines are: astronomy and astrophysics; economics; engineering; geography; modern languages and literature; and performing and visual arts.

Alex Louch, VP Academic Affairs, said: “These awards are further vindication of the world-class quality of the research undertaken by our outstanding academics and I congratulate Dr Kraus and Prof. Faulkner on their continuing success”.

A third year student also commented: “Exeter is known for its modern, up to date teaching, so it’s great to see that some of our academics are being rewarded as such”.

Clara Plackett, Deputy Editor

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