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Fellowships

The University of Reading takes pride in a strong track record of career building and career development for researchers, of which an important strand is hosting Research Fellowships. These provide opportunities to build research independence. Some schemes promote international mobility, some provide training or support the transition to a new research field, whilst others can support returning to work after a career break. There are schemes to support candidates at a range of different career stages.

The University of Reading supports applicants to a range of externally funded Research Fellowships.

Some Fellowship schemes require institutional support or are limited in the number of applications that an institution can submit. For these schemes, the University holds a process for all applicants to identify the strongest candidates to support. Details of the current internal processes can be seen below. Details of discipline-specific Fellowship schemes can be found in the Sciences, and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences sections.

If you are interested in applying to hold a Fellowship at the University of Reading, please do get in touch via fellowships@reading.ac.uk.

A list of the fellowships schemes eligible for the University of Reading's new incentive for successful applicants can be found here.

 

Fellowships in the Environmental and Physical Sciences

The University of Reading operates an internal review process, based on Expressions of Interest (EoI), to support candidates who are interested to apply to any of the following four fellowship schemes:

Interested applicants are asked to email fellowships@reading.ac.uk as soon as possible so that we can register your interest and direct you to the Research Development Manager who will be supporting you through the fellowships application process, and who will provide you access to resources which can support your application.

Eligible candidates will then be asked to complete the pro forma document, and send this to their allocated Research Development Manager contact no later than 25 July 2022.

 

UKRI – Future Leaders Fellowship: Round 7

This scheme is for early career researchers and innovators who are either:

  • looking to establish or transition to independence
  • developing their own original and ambitious plans within a commercial setting

UKRI is offering funding to support ambitious research or innovation programmes across its disciplinary remit. Candidates must be based at, and have the support of, an eligible academic or non-academic institution. There is no minimum or maximum award value. Your project can last for up to four years, with the option to apply to renew for a further three years.

An internal demand management for this call will soon be released, please check back for further details.

Outline application closing date: 18 October 2022

Full application closing date: 06 December 2022

Further information is available here: https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/future-leaders-fellowships-round-7/

 

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: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/leverhulme-trust-senior-research/

Application deadline: 16 November 2022

 

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

NIHR has four 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. 

NIHR Doctoral and Advanced Fellowships Round 8

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/nihr-doctoral-and-advanced-fellowships-round-8-april-2022/30305

Closes: 13:00 on 21 July 2022

The NIHR is launching the 8th round of Doctoral and Advanced Fellowships as part of the NIHR Fellowship Programme. The Advanced Fellowship is for those at a post-doctoral level and can be utilised at several specific points of a researcher’s career development. Whilst the NIHR Doctoral Fellowship is a three year full-time award that supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research.

Development and Skills Enhancement Award (DSE) round 10

https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/development-and-skills-enhancement-award-round-10/30577

Closes: 13:00 on 29 July 2022

The Development and Skills Enhancement Award (DSE) 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. Applicants need to demonstrate what new skills and experience they hope to gain through the award, and how it will benefit their future career in health and care research. The award runs three times a year, opening in January, May and September and will support a mixture of researcher-led applications and applications from areas of strategic importance. The current themes are:

  • health data science
  • clinical trials
  • entrepreneurship and working with industry

 

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 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.

 

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 Colin Bulpitt (c.d.bulpitt@reading.ac.uk)

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

 

BBSRC Discovery Fellowships

This fellowship scheme allows applicants to carry out independent research within a host laboratory and gain leadership skills.

Applicants must show they have the potential to become a future research leader.

The full economic cost of projects can be up to £500,000 and last for three years. BBSRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

 

Projects must be within BBSRC’s remit and should fit at least one of their strategic priority areas:

 

Eligibility:

You should be able to demonstrate appropriate and relevant research or innovation experience. This could be through:

  • recent completion of a PhD or other higher qualification
  • relevant employment within a research or innovation environment.

You must also be able to evidence reasonable scientific and technical skills and competencies.

Applicants currently studying for a PhD are eligible if they are expecting to have passed their PhD viva before 30 November 2023.

Holders of postdoctoral training fellowships such as the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions can apply. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkins Fellows who meet the research experience eligibility requirement may also apply.

 

You should not hold, or have held:

  • an academic position at lecturer level (or the equivalent in an institution other than a university)
  • an equivalent competitive fellowship that allows you to establish an independent research group, and therefore independent researcher status.

Funding can be used to support:

  • personal salary
  • travel and subsistence
  • training activities
  • research consumables.

BBSRC expect host organisations to contribute significant financial support, in-kind support, or both, if an award is made.

Examples of additional support could be:

  • items of equipment
  • access to additional staff members or students
  • a direct financial contribution.

BBSRC expect at a minimum that hosts will provide access to facilities, training courses and support for career development.

2022 call now closed. 2023 dates will be posted when published but is likely to have a closing date in early May. More information is available here:

https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/bbsrc-discovery-fellowships-2022/.  Any queries should be directed to fellowships@reading.ac.uk

 

GET IN TOUCH

If you are interested in applying to a Fellowship scheme not listed above, please email fellowships@reading.ac.uk with details of: the scheme you wish to apply to, a 2 page CV and a brief (1 page) summary of your proposed research. Please do also get in touch if you have any queries on the information listed on this page.