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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


NERC, STFC, Royal Society and RAEng - Autumn 2021 deadlines

The application process for NERC, STFC, Royal Society, and RAEng fellowships in 2021 can be found in the document here


Medical Research Council (MRC)

Career Development Award (CDA) Open to post-doctoral researchers who are not clinically active, to support the transition to independent investigator. Eligibility is dependent on skills and experience at the time of application and there are no rules based on number of years of post-doctoral experience.

Applications are invited across all areas of the MRC's scientific remit. Applications may range from basic studies with relevance to mechanisms of disease to translational and developmental clinical research.

Duration:5 years. Maximum funding: None  Application deadline: 15th September 2021


Senior Non-Clinical Fellowships Supports proven independent researchers with a track record of excellence in their scientific field to develop into research leaders. To be eligible to apply, applicants must already to leading their own research group as an independent investigator

Applications are welcome across all areas of the MRC's scientific remit. Applications may range from basic studies with relevance to mechanisms of disease to translational and developmental clinical research.

Duration:5 years. Maximum funding: None Application deadline: 15th September 2021


Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CSF) Sep 2021 Supports talented medically and other clinically qualified professionals who have gained a higher research degree to lead their own research plans and establish their own research team to make the transition to independent investigator.

Applications may range from basic studies with relevance to mechanisms of disease to translational and developmental clinical research; however, it is expected that applicants' clinical work helps to inform and strengthen their research work.

Duration:4/5 years. Maximum funding: None Application deadline:  1st September 2021


Clinical research training fellowship: Sep 2021  Apply for funding for a research project across any area of MRC's remit to improve human health. You can apply for:

  • predoctoral fellowships (limits on salary, £20K limit p.a. other costs)
  • postdoctoral fellowships (limits on salary, no limit on expenses)

Applicant's are expected to be undertaking their speciality training. Available funding will cover salary and related expenses.

Duration: 2-4 years (typically 3 years)  Application deadline:1st September 2021


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.


Doctoral Fellowship supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research. This may also be taken up on a part-time basis. There are 2 calls a year (usually April and October)

Duration: 3 years Maximum funding: None  Next deadline: 15th July 2021


Advanced Fellowship is an award for those at a post-doctoral level and can be utilised at several specific points of a researcher's career development such as post PhD, establishing independence as a researcher, transferring into applied research or re-establishing a career following a career break. It can be taken up on a full or part time basis. There are 2 calls a year (usually April and October)

Duration: 2 to 5 years Maximum funding: None  Next deadline: 1st July 2021


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: July 2021 (tbc)


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):12 October 2021, 14 September 2022

Interested candidates should contact Ioanna Theophanous (



Royal Society (RS)

The Royal Society Newton International Fellowships is open to applicants who have a PhD, or will have a PhD when the funding starts, up to 7 years of post-doctoral experience.  Applicants must be working outside of the UK and not hold UK citizenship.  They must also have a clearly defined and mutually beneficial research proposal agreed with the UK host academic.

Duration: 2 years 

Maximum funding:£24,000 per annum subsistence plus £8,000 per annum research expenses with a sole payment of £3,500 relocation expenses

Application Deadline: 16 June 2021


The British Academy (BA)

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021-22 is open to applicants who are a researcher from the humanities and social sciences and will be based at an eligible university or research organisation. Suitable institutions include any UK university or recognised research organisation based in the UK. British citizens and any nationals from the EEA are eligible, regardless of where their doctorate was obtained. If you have completed your viva voce between November 2018 and April 2022 you will be eligible to apply to this round.

Duration: 3 years 

Maximum funding: the Academy funds 80% of salary costs, directly allocated and indirect costs under FEC. Research expenses are covered at 100% within the upper limit, which is set at £6000 over the three years.

Application Deadline: 14 October 2021



If you are interested in applying to a Fellowship scheme not listed above, please email 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.