RAICo Fellows

Opportunity: RAICo Fellows

Deadline: 30th April 2024

The Robotics and AI Collaboration (RAICo) is offering Innovation Awards to women and early career researchers across the UK in the field of nuclear robotics. Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to £20,000 and a bespoke package of mentoring, coaching and business support.


RAICo is a collaboration between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Sellafield Ltd and The University of Manchester that aims to lead the development and exploitation of robotics technology to address challenges in nuclear decommissioning. RAICo is based in the RAICo1 facility, located in Whitehaven, Cumbria.



We intend to appoint up to 5 RAICo Fellows who will have innovative technologies that offer the potential to address on site challenges at Sellafield, Culham (UKAEA), or elsewhere across the NDA estate. Each Fellow will be appointed until 31 March 2025 and awarded a grant of up to £20,000, which can be used to support travel and consumables, and will be required to spend at least one month in this period at the RAICo1 facility in Cumbria.

Award Winners

We will select award winners who:

  • Have developed technology that has the potential to be of benefit in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities at sites including Sellafield, Culham, Dounreay and Magnox facilities.
  • Have the potential to be future leaders in engineering innovation.
  • Will benefit from the package of support that will be provided.



To be eligible for an award you must:

  • Be employed, for the duration of the award, by a UK university or other UK research focused organisation, or be a UK resident, who has the right to work in the UK for the duration of the award.
  • Either identify as a woman with a PhD in science and engineering, or be within 5 years of completing a PhD in robotics or a related field.
  • Be able to commit to spend at least one month, before the 31st March 2025, at the RAICo1 facility in Cumbria. It is feasible that this month could be split over more than one visit.
  • Be prepared to visit RAICo1, or a relevant nuclear site, regularly during the 12-month period (typically one visit each month).



RAICo Fellows will receive:

  • Up to £20,000 that can be used to support travel and subsistence costs to visit RAICo1 and other UK nuclear facilities, attend training courses, pay for consumables that are required to develop robotic solutions as part of the proposed project and support the costs of an individual’s time.
  • Support with establishing relationships with engineers and scientists at relevant nuclear sites in the UK.
  • Business and entrepreneur training.


How to apply

Application forms must be submitted before 30th April 2024 to reel@manchester.ac.uk:

Application Form

Guidance notes for applicants

 Details of a range of decommissioning challenges that are currently faced at UK nuclear sites can be found at https://www.gamechangers.technology. Not all the described challenges are related to robotics, but many are.