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Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

This scheme offers a recognised first step into an independent research career for outstanding scientists at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances, such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health-related reasons.

Human cortical neurons in a dish. Credit: Dr Sarah Newey, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow from the University of Oxford.

This competitive scheme offers you the opportunity to:

  • focus on independent research, freeing time from administrative and teaching duties.
  • hold appointments on a part-time basis or convert from full-time to part-time and back again to help combine work and other commitments, such as caring responsibilities or health-related reasons.
  • claim back time spent deferring the fellowship and/or working part-time.
  • claim limited funds for family support where these can be justified on scientific grounds, eg the cost of child care during a conference or collaborative visit abroad (these funds are limited and can be applied for during the Fellowship).

Am I eligible to apply?

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

You must be able to demonstrate a current need for flexible support due to personal circumstances at the time of application. This can include current parenting or caring responsibilities (such as raising children or looking after ageing or seriously ill family members), clinically diagnosed health issues or other personal circumstances that create a need for a flexible working pattern. Please contact the grants team if you would like clarification on whether you meet this eligibility requirement.

Applicants must take a leading role in the project.

You can apply for this scheme if you:

  • are at an early stage of your research career (have completed your PhD but have no more than six years of research experience post PhD by the closing date of the round) and are ready to take the next steps to develop your independent research career.
  • do not hold a permanent post in a university or not-for-profit organisation.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

How flexible is the fellowship?

The Royal Society’s fellowships are highly flexible and part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments can be accommodated. There is also provision for maternity, paternity, adoptive, shared parental or extended sick leave.

The Royal Society recognises there are diverse research career paths, as well as the challenges of managing a research career alongside other personal commitments. When reviewing applicants’ eligibility and research experience, the Society will consider time spent outside the research environment. Additionally, where applicants have taken formal periods of maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), or extended sick leave, the Society will take into account the actual period of leave taken (eg 12 months) and will also allow an additional 6 months for each period of leave (ie 12 months plus 6 months = 18 months) when assessing eligibility.

More information can be found in the Society’s policy on maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

The scheme provides funding for five years. It covers:

  • 80% of the basic salary costs up to £40,030.34 in the first year, estates costs and indirect costs. Under the full economic costing model, 80% of these costs will be met by the Society. 
  • Research expenses up to £13,000 for the first year and up to £11,000 annually thereafter.

The basic salary requested should be at a level commensurate with the applicant’s skills, responsibilities, expertise and experience, up to a maximum of £40,030.34 per annum. An annual spine point increase of 3% may be applied to the salary. For more information about indexation and inflationary increases, please refer to the scheme notes.

Successful Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows and University Research Fellows who are about to start their first year are eligible to apply for a research grant of up to £150,000. Further information about the research grants will be provided after the fellowship award has been accepted. A significant proportion of first year Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows and University Research Fellows will receive this additional start up grant.  

Before applying, please read the scheme notes for more detailed information.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Society’s grant management system Flexi-Grant®. Applications will initially be reviewed and then shortlisted by members of the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Selection Panel. Applicants will be notified if they have reached the shortlisting stage.

The shortlisted proposals will be reviewed by three independent referees suggested by the panel members and successful applicants will be shortlisted for an interview. Applicants will be notified of the result of this stage.

Interviews will take place in the middle of June. Please note that interviews for the fellowships will be held at the Royal Society in London. Applicants are asked to keep the middle of June free. Only applicants that pass the other stages of assessment will be invited.

Applicants will be notified of the result in July 2018.

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