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The Hawking Fellowship

The Hawking Fellowship was founded by the Union and Hawking's family in 2017 to honour the legacy of Professor Stephen Hawking and celebrate his close relationship with the students of Cambridge.

Photo Credits: Nordin Catic

The Professor Stephen Hawking Fellowship is awarded to an individual or group who has made a significant impact on science, technology and its communication, with an emphasis on impacts affecting the younger generations. It is particularly notable in that it is awarded by the students of Cambridge, rather than the University itself. 

The fellowship is presented at an event in our chamber during Michaelmas term, during which the fellow gives an address and to which we also welcome the scientific advisory panel and members of the Hawking family.


  • 2017 - Professor Stephen Hawking

    Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who, at the time of his death, was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.

  • 2018 - Sir Jony Ive

    Jony Ive is a British industrial and product designer, as well as a businessman. Ive was the chief design officer of Apple Inc. from 1997 until 2019, and serves as Chancellor of the Royal College of Art.
  • 2019 - Bill Gates KBE

    Bill Gates is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is best known for co-founding software giant Microsoft, along with his late childhood friend Paul Allen.
  • 2020 - Dr. Jane Goodall DBE

    Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist. She is considered the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, after 60 years studying the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.
  • 2021 - Dr Katalin Kariko

    Dr Katalin Kariko is a Hungarian-American biochemist who specialises in RNA-mediated mechanisms. Her research has been the development of in vitro-transcribed mRNA for protein therapies.
  • 2022 - Professor Brian Cox

    Professor Brian Cox is an English physicist and former musician who is a professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester and The Royal Society Professor for Public Engagement in Science.

    Photo Credits: Tobia Nava

  • 2023 - The OpenAI Team

    The OpenAI team have revolutionised the way the world sees Artificial Intelligence with the release of ChatGPT. The Fellowship Lecture was delivered by Sam Altman, a co-founder of OpenAI.

The Cambridge Union Society is immensely grateful to the Phoenix Partnership for their continued support of The Professor Stephen Hawking Fellowship.

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