Full membership of PEI Academic Board announced

The PEI is delighted to announce the members of the Academic Board, a high-level body created to oversee the administration of the HE Ameenah Gurib-Fakim PhD Scholarship Programme and the PEI’s other scholarship initiatives. We have secured the participation of distinguished academics and higher education experts who will advise on the administration and delivery of the Programme. They will also share their expertise on the five key areas of sustainable development that the initiative provides funding in: energy, water, agribusiness, blue sky science, and health.

The full membership, as well as their areas of expertise, is as follows:


  • Professor Sir Christopher Edwards FRSE, PEI trustee, who will advise on medical sciences


  • Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub OM, PEI trustee and world-leading heart surgeon, who will advise on medical sciences
  • Professor Paul Younger FREng FRSE, Rankine Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow, and Trustee of PEI, who will advise on energy
  • Professor Sir John Beddington FRS, Government Chief Scientific Adviser 2008-2013 and Professor of Natural Resources Management, Oxford Martin School, who will advise on agribusiness, water, and energy
  • Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, Chief Executive Higher Education Funding Council England, who will advise on higher education
  • Professor Lynn Frewer, Professor of Food and Society, University of Newcastle, who will advise on agribusiness
  • Rob Hope, Associate Professor, Smith School Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford, and Director of REACH – Improving Water Security for the Poor programme (DFID 2015-2022), who will advise on water
  • Professor David Ingram, Emeritus Professor of Health Informatics UCL, and Founder and Director of the UCL Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education (CHIME), who will advise on medical sciences, blue sky science, and higher education

Launched in 2016, the “Her Excellency Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim PhD Scholarship Programme” awards PhD research grants in five key areas critical to the sustainable development of Mauritius and the African continent: energy; water and sanitation; agri-business; health; blue skies research. The grants cover the cost of research and academic fees, a student living stipend, travel and accommodation, as well as opportunities to benefit from industrial placements and disseminate work through the Planet Earth Institute’s live and online events. The Programme is funded by a network of businesses and international institutions, as well as directly by Dr. Álvaro Sobrinho, the well-known philanthropist and PEI trustee.

Sir Christopher Edwards said, “I am delighted to announce the membership of the PEI Academic Board. We have been very fortunate in attracting some outstanding people to help us take forward the mission of PEI in enabling the scientific independence of Africa. In particular we are focusing on five main areas – energy, water, agri-business, blue sky science and medical science. The Academic Board has key individuals in each of these areas, and the PEI is very grateful to them for agreeing to be part of this very important project”.

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