Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 gives fellowships and grants for top level science and industrial research, as well as industrial design. Some 25 awards are made each year which, together with a number of special grants, approach £2m in value.

Originally set up to stage the Great Exhibition, the Royal Commission was kept in being to invest the Exhibition’s substantial profit. It first acquired the site in South Kensington on which the three great museums, the Royal Albert Hall, Imperial College and other Colleges now stand, and it continues to own and manage the freehold of most of this estate. When the development of the estate was largely complete, in 1891, the Commission then set up the education and research awards programme which runs to this day.