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Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

This scheme offers a recognised first step into an independent research career for outstanding scientists and engineers 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 issues.

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

This scheme offers you the opportunity to:

  • focus on your own research, freeing you from administrative and teaching duties
  • hold your fellowship on a part-time basis to suit personal circumstances
  • claim back time spent deferring the fellowship and/or working part-time at the end of the fellowship

This fellowship is highly flexible to accommodate for part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments. There is also provision for maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave.

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. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society.

Am I eligible to apply?

You must be able to demonstrate that you currently have, or will have by the start of the fellowship, a need for flexible support due to personal circumstances for the duration of the fellowship. This can include parental responsibilities, caring responsibilities, clinically diagnosed health issues or other personal circumstances that create a need for a flexible working pattern.

Please read the scheme notes for further information and contact the grants team if you would like clarification on whether you meet this eligibility requirement.

You can apply for this scheme if you:

  • are ready to take the next steps to develop your independent research career; you must take the leading role in the project
  • are in the early stages of your research career having up to six years of research experience since your PhD by the closing date of the round. This does not include any career breaks or part-time working - refer to the scheme notes for further details
  • do not hold a permanent post in a university or not-for-profit organisation

For further information about how to apply, read the FAQs (PDF).

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

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

The scheme provides funding for five years, covering:

  • Research Fellow's salary
  • Research expenses
  • Research assistance:
    • 80% of full economic cost of a postdoctoral research assistant, including salary costs, indirect and directly allocated costs, and estate costs
    • Contribution to a four-year PhD studentship
    • Equipment costs
    • Support for public engagement and professional development activities for the Research Fellow and any staff or students supported by the grant

Read the scheme notes for full value of award information.

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows have the opportunity to access a range of training programmes covering topics including leadership, science communication and public engagement. Furthermore, opportunities arise throughout the year for Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows to participate in activities coordinated by the science policy, public engagement, schools outreach and industry engagement teams at the Society.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Society’s grant management system Flexi-Grant®. 

Your application will go through the process detailed on the Making a grant application page overseen by the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Selection Panel. Your need for flexibility will only be viewed by the Society’s Grants team to check your eligibility for the scheme.

Panel members and independent reviewers will assess an application solely on the basis of scientific merit. 

Interviews will be held in early June at the Royal Society - you are advised to keep this period free. You will be notified of the result of the application process in late July.

We are committed to supporting applicants with disabilities. If you require a reasonable adjustment during the application process, please contact the team to let us know.

Below, you can read case studies from our Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows. You can also read an in-depth report on the career pathways of our alumni on the Career Pathway Tracker page.

For more information regarding the scheme, please contact the Grants team on or call us on +44 20 7451 2666.

Meet our Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows

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