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Newton International Fellowships

This scheme is for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK.

A female Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) with its albino calf.

The scheme provides the opportunity for the best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years.

The scheme covers the broad range of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. It also covers clinical and patient orientated research for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries.

The scheme is jointly run by the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. Currently there is one round per year which opens in January.

Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • have a PhD, or will have a PhD by the time the funding starts
  • have no more than 7 years of active full time postdoctoral experience at the time of application (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry)
  • be working outside the UK
  • not hold UK citizenship
  • be competent in oral and written English
  • have a clearly defined and mutually-beneficial research proposal agreed with a UK host scientist

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?

Newton Fellowships last for two years. Funding consists of £24,000 per annum for subsistence costs, and up to £8,000 per annum research expenses, as well as a one-off payment of up to £2,000 for relocation expenses.

Awards include a contribution to the overheads incurred, at a rate of 50% of the total award to the visiting researcher.

Applicants may also be eligible to receive up to £6,000 annually following the tenure of their Fellowship to support networking activities with UK-based researchers.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s grants management system (Flexi-Grant®). Applications are initially reviewed by two members of the Newton International Fellowships panel and then shortlisted. The applications are then reviewed again by the panel and the final decision is made.

Newton Fund partner countries

Additional Fellowships are supported through the Newton Fund, specifically for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries; this initiative aims to develop long-term sustainable growth and welfare of partner countries through building research and innovation capacity, and forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance commitment. Newton Fund countries include Brazil, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey.

This is in partnership with the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy.

Private funding for Chinese nationals

The Sino-British Fellowship Trust and the K.C. Wong Foundation provide the Royal Society with funding to support 3 scientists who make applications within physical, natural sciences and engineering to the Newton International Fellowship scheme. The selected individuals must be Chinese nationals and be based in China at the time of application.

It is not possible to apply directly for this private funding. Instead, eligible candidates are selected from all the shortlisted Newton International Fellowship applications.

These private fellowships are for a continuous duration of 2 years. The project has to be as outlined in the original application but is not branded as a Newton International Fellowship.

Royal Society Kohn International Fellowships - Israel

The Society is offering an additional fellowship, thanks to the generous support of the Kohn Foundation, as part of a five-year exchange programme run in partnership with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The award will be made in any field within the physical and natural sciences excluding clinical medicine.

It is not possible to apply directly for this private funding. Instead, successful candidates from Israel may be selected from the Newton International Fellowship applications. This private fellowship is for a continuous duration of 2 years. Fellows may also be eligible to receive up to £6,000 annually following the tenure of their Fellowship to support networking activities with UK-based researchers.

UK early career scientists interested in undertaking post-doctoral research in Israel in a field within the physical, chemical and life sciences (excluding clinical sciences) are invited to apply for the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities - Royal Society Kohn International Postdoctoral Fellowships.

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

Case studies

Dr Adriana Palacios Rosas

Dr Anand Prakash Maurya

Dr Elsa Zacco

Dr Laura Ross

Dr Victoria McCoy

Overseas opportunities

The following opportunities are currently available to UK scientists with our Newton Fund partners overseas:

Opportunities in South Africa
The DST-NRF Fellowships for early career researchers from the United Kingdom provide the opportunity for post-doctoral researchers to work at a South African research institution for a period of up to six months.

Opportunities in Turkey 
The International Researchers Fellowships Programme and Fellowships for Visiting Scientists and Scientists on Sabbatical Leave provide opportunities for researchers in the UK to develop collaborations or pursue academic research at Universities or Institutions in Turkey. 

Opportunities in China
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) offers the CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) to support highly-qualified international scientists and postgraduate students to work and study at CAS institutions and strengthen their scientific collaboration with CAS researchers.

Opportunities in Brazil
Brazilian State Funding Agencies, articulated by its National Council (CONFAP), are launching a call for proposals offering support to researchers based in UK Universities and Research Institutions, who are willing to work in research institutions in Brazil, in collaboration with local colleagues. Application deadline Wednesday 28 February 2018. Details of the call can be found here.

Opportunities in Mexico
The Mexican Academy of Sciences (MAS) and the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) invite candidates to submit applications for research exchange within the framework of the "Newton International Collaboration Programme" to undertake short-term visits in 2017 in the form of MAS Short-term Mobility Grants.

About the Newton Fund

Newton Fund

The Newton Fund is part of the UK’s official development assistance. Its aim is to develop science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of partner countries.

The Newton Fund was launched in 2014 and originally consisted of £75 million each year for 5 years. In the 2015 UK Spending Review it was agreed to extend and expand the Fund. The Newton Fund was extended from 2019 to 2021 and expanded by doubling the £75 million investment to £150 million by 2021, leading to a £735 million UK investment to 2021, with partner countries providing matched resources within the Fund.

The skills and knowledge gained through these awards should lead to changes in the wellbeing of communities and increased economic benefits. The Royal Society is one of several contributing partners to this scheme.

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