Queen's Anniversary Prize 2017: Recognition of world-class excellence and achievement

The Health Services Research Unit and Health Economics Research Unit pioneered combination of economic and clinical research to assess medical treatments leading to;

  • Robotic surgery for prostate cancer
  •  7% reduction in Antibiotic treatment in dental practice
  • Ban on smoking in public places
    • Reducing childhood asthma, pregnancy complications and heart problems.
    • Changed clinical practice, policy, legislation and academic studies ...and more

Nobel Laureates:

Among the many pioneers who have been associated with the University of Aberdeen are five Nobel Laureates. Researchers from Aberdeen have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the field of Chemistry, Medicine and Physics. Lord Boyd Orr, Director of the Rowett Institute, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

World Firsts

First Colour Photograph Developed 1861: James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

  • Discovery Electromagnetism – the foundation for technologies of today including television and mobile phones
  • Measurement of colour from primary colours and identification of ‘colour blindness’    
  • Colour photography developed

1st Chair in Archaeology in Scotland 1903, Hector Beoce - First Principle ​

  • Recorded discovery of numerous pottery vessels throughout Aberdeenshire in ‘History and Chronicles of Scotland’
  • 1860 the first archaeological museum established on Old Aberdeen campus.-  early 1900s several discoveries on Shetland

1st Research and Development of Insulin, Professor J J R McLeod with Frederick Banting 

  • Insulin as a treatment for Diabetes

1st Research to Develop Partition Chromatography, Richard L M Synge

  • Invention of partition chromatography

1st Research to Develop World’s First MRI Scanner, Professor John Mallard

  • Invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Lead a team to build the first whole body scanner with a patient from Fraserburgh
  • The development of the world’s first Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging

1st Research to Develop Radioactivity and Isotopes, Professor Frederick Soddy

Noteable Academic Influencers and Entrepreneurs

  • Bishop William Elphinstone: Founder of the University of Aberdeen, 1494-5. In 1483 Bishop Elphinstone established Kings College to train Doctors, Teachers, Clergy and Theology, Learning in arts, and Canon and civil law. Over 500 years later The university continues teaching and researching in these subject areas.
  • Professor Patrick Copland: Public Education Pioneer 1800s Professor Patrick Copland Introduced extra mural classes, pre-dating Mechanics Institute and London Royal Institution lectures which he was credited as having influenced in 1800
  • Sir Dugald Baird Professor of Midwifery: Major Contributions to Health Policy, Reproductive Health, Perinatal and Maternal Mortality.  Professor Sir Dugald Baird was knighted in 1959 for major contributions to healthy policy, reproductive health, perinatal and maternal mortality
  • Professor Bill Harris (Genetics): Translation of Science to Industry, Co-founder one of the first antibody engineering companies Scotgen Ltd 1970s

Find out more about the history and heritage of the university

Elphinstone Scholarship

History of the Scholarship 

Who was Bishop William Elphinstone?   

  • 1494-5 William Elphinstone founded University of Aberdeen with support from James IV of Scotland and Papal permission
  • He sought new learning and sponsored introduction of printing to Scotland at the University
  • He wanted those living far from established universities to receive an education
  • He gifted a chest to James IV and Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry V11 and he sought lasting peace between Scotland and England
  • He donated pre-Reformation Ecclesiastical textiles to the University
  • 1483 he became Bishop of Aberdeen established Kings College in the North of Scotland to train:
    • Doctors
    • Teachers
    • Clergy and Theology
    • Learning in arts
    • Canon and civil law
    • Kings College opened with 36 staff and students
    • 500 years later - Old Aberdeen and the university continue teaching and researching in these subject areas
    • Bishop William Elphinstone is buried in the Chapel 1541

Who has received an Elphinstone Scholarship? 

•    High achieving PhD students of any nationality to study for PhD over many of the historical disciplines still present today in the university

Find out about current PhD opportunities