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Science Fellowships

A number of Fellowship schemes are available across the sciences, as detailed below. If you would like to discuss any further, please get in touch on Note that the University of Reading runs internal selection processes for the schemes run by STFC, NERC, Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering; further details of this process, once launched, will be available below.


National Fellowships in Fluid Dynamics (NFFDy)

The EPSRC has announced a new fellowship call that is an excellent opportunity to attract and retain talented postdoctoral researchers in fluid dynamics. The National Fellowships in Fluid Dynamics (NFFDy) scheme offers up to three years funding and is aimed at those who have recently started formulating their own research ideas and have acquired the skills and expertise to deliver a research proposal successfully.

  • Research can be in any science, technology, engineering, and mathematics area related to fluid dynamics
  • Applicants must either have a PhD (or expect to have submitted your thesis by December 2022) but not hold a permanent academic post, nor have held a substantial research grant
  • The scheme will connect the NFFDy fellows with the UK fluids community as they write their proposals so that the fellows will be supported by the community. The NFFDy Hub has been funded by EPSRC and set up for this
  • Applications are two stage. Expressions of interest (EoI) must be submitted to via an online form by 3 May 2022, and if invited, full applications submitted by 28 July 2022.

More details here: We wish to assign a mentor and Research Development Manager to all prospective applicants, to support them with developing their research idea and submitting a competitive EoI.  Prospective applicants are therefore asked to email the following to Jon Bull, Research Development Manager, ( Friday 8 April:

  1. Applicant’s name
  2. Current institution and research group
  3. Date PhD was awarded (or when thesis will be submitted)
  4. Brief outline of your research idea and proposed project (up to 250 words)
  5. Name of a UoR academic(s) that may be a suitable mentor (if known)

If you have any queries, please contact Jon Bull via the email address above.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Fellowships are on offer via the following routes:

EPSRC postdoctoral fellowship (Recommended if you have not previously held a significant grant (usually defined as those which included PDRA time, capital equipment or were in excess of £100,000 FEC)).

EPSRC synthetic biology postdoctoral fellowship

EPSRC open fellowship

Applications for Open Fellowships can be across any topic in the EPSRC portfolio. Post‐doctoral opportunities will vary across themes.

Projects can focus on discovery science, innovation, instrumentation/technique development or software engineering, or a combination of these. The Open Fellowships have an optional Plus component, for when the applicant plans to spend 20‐50% of their time on the fellowship to create positive culture change in the research community beyond their proposed scientific project and research group e.g. fellowships with a significant industry collaboration, knowledge exchange or impact element (examples provided in document annex).

Applications can be submitted at any time and are processed on a rolling basis at a prioritisation panel after peer review. Submission should be timed to have the best chance of being assessed at a forthcoming prioritisation panel (please refer to the fellowships Fellowships Guidance for full details).

Duration: You can apply for up to three years of support for post‐doctoral awards, and up to five years of support for open awards.

Maximum funding: None


Royal Society - University Research Fellowship (URF)

The Royal Society publishes an annual call for applications to the URF scheme. These fellowships are for outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. These long term fellowships (typically five years in duration) provide the opportunity and freedom to build an independent research career in the UK or Republic of Ireland and pursue cutting-edge scientific research. Applicants can undertake research in any area of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

More information is available on the Royal Society URF call webpage:

The call is currently closed, but is likely to open for applications in spring/summer 2022. The submission deadline for proposals is typically in early September each year. The University of Reading operates an expression of interest review process, the details of which will be posted here in due course. This process is likely to open in Spring 2022. However, the University of Reading also welcomes enquiries year-round from prospective internal or external candidates. Please get in touch using the following email address:


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

NIHR has various Fellowship schemes which have been designed to support individuals at various points of their career to become leading researchers. The NIHR also partner with several charities to offer jointly funded Partnership Fellowships at both Doctoral and Advanced levels. 

Development and Skills Enhancement Award is a post-doctoral level award aimed at supporting NIHR Academy Members to gain specific skills and experience to underpin the next phase of their research career. There are 3 calls a year (usually January, May and September).

Duration: 1 year Maximum funding: Fellow's salary and contribution to training and development costs   Next expected deadline: 30th November 2022


Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

This scheme is for experienced academic researchers who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching, administration and pastoral care duties. It is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Research must be within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. Note that the Royal Society does not cover clinical medicine (such as patient orientated research and clinical trials), social sciences or humanities, other than when working in partnership with organisations.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • have a PhD or equivalent
  • hold a permanent post at a UK university or not-for-profit institution
  • be at a stage in your career when you would particularly benefit from a period of full-time research

The award lasts between one term and one academic year. The applicant’s employing institution will be reimbursed for the full salary cost of a teaching replacement (up to the equivalent of the minimum point on the lectureship scale as paid by the host university). Research expenses up to a maximum of £2,500 are available to cover the costs of consumables, equipment, travel and communicating science.

More information available here:

Application deadline: 17th November 2021


Leverhulme Trust - Research Fellowships

For experienced researchers in any discipline, to complete a piece of research. Research Fellowships are open to experienced researchers, particularly those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research.

The scheme will pay teaching replacement costs, to enable a researcher to dedicate a period of time to research.

Duration: Awards are tenable for between 3 and 24 months.  Maximum funding: £60,000

Application deadline 11th November 2021

More information available here:


Royal Academy of Engineering Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships

The Royal Academy of Engineering administers a similar scheme, that is also funded by the Leverhulme Trust. More information available here:

Application deadline: 16th November 2021


Daphne Jackson Trust

The Daphne Jackson Fellowship scheme supports researchers who are returning to work after a career break of 2 or more years, taken for a family, caring or health reason. The scheme is open to researchers from all fields of research; previously the scheme was only open to STEM subjects but the remit expanded in July 2020 to also include arts and humanities. Fellowships are flexible and part-time, usually completed over two years at 0.5 FTE, and consist of a challenging research project and at least 100 hours' retraining per year. Funding is provided through a number of funders, so the exact duration may vary; please check the funders' websites for details.

Duration: 2 or 3 years. Maximum funding: variable depending on the funder.


Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA) Postdoctoral Fellowships (European Commission)

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships aim to enhance the creative and innovative potential of researchers holding a PhD and who wish to acquire new skills through advanced training, international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral mobility. The scheme is open to excellent researchers of any nationality.  MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships also encourage researchers to work on research and innovation projects in the non-academic sector and is open to researchers wishing to reintegrate in Europe, to those who are displaced by conflict, as well as to researchers with high potential who are seeking to restart their careers in research.

Through the implementation of an original and personalised research project, MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships aim to foster excellence through training and mobility and to equip researchers with new skills and competences in order to identify solutions to current and future challenges. Postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to reach out to society at large to make the results of their research visible to citizens.

Duration: European Postdoctoral Fellowships 12-24 months, Global Postdoctoral Fellowships 12-24 months + 12 month return phase

*An additional period of up to six months can be requested for a placement, at the end of the project, in an organisation from the non-academic sector.

Maximum funding: n/a - budget calculated based on unit costs, multiplied by the requested person months

Application deadline (annual scheme): 14 September 2022

Interested candidates should contact Ioanna Theophanous ( & Colin Bulpitt (

Internal screening process via RDLs applies for this scheme.

Cut-off date for accepting new applications: 17 August 2022

Internal deadline (for finalised application): 31 August 2022