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Royal Society Research Professorship

Royal Society Research Professorships provide long term support for world-class researchers of outstanding achievement and promise. These are the Society’s premier research awards and the aim of this scheme is to release the best leading researchers from teaching and administration allowing them to focus on research.

Saturn at its equinox. Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Professor Michele Dougherty was Principal Investigator for the magnetometer instruments for two major outer planetary space missions.

These are the Society’s premier research awards and the aim of this scheme is to release the best leading researchers from teaching and administration allowing them to focus on research. 

Am I eligible to apply?

This scheme is open to world-class researchers (scientists and engineers) of outstanding achievement. 

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. 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.

The scheme is open to applicants of all nationalities; applications are particularly welcomed from internationally renowned researchers currently residing outside of the UK. Royal Society Research Professors requiring a visa to work in the UK are eligible for the Research and Innovation Talent Visa, i.e. the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa, under the accelerated process of endorsement. Other visa routes are available. Further details can be found on the Society's visa information page.

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? 

Research Professors are appointed for up to 10 years: five years in the first instance with the opportunity to renew the professorship for a further five years subject to satisfactory progress.

The scheme provides funding for:

  • Contribution to the award holder's salary: contribution of £83,334 per year, which can be supplemented at the discretion of the host organisation
  • Research assistance: 80% of the full economic cost of a PDRA
  • Research expenses: consumables, equipment and travel costs. This can include a contribution to a four year PhD studentship 
    - Up to £100,000 per year until 2021
    - Start up costs of up to £200,000 in financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21
    - Up to £16,000 per year for financial years 2021/22 onwards

There will be seven awards available including six Royal Society Research Professorships supported through the “Research Talent Fund” as well as the Royal Society Noreen Murray Research Professorship restricted to research in neurological sciences (specifically, neurobiology).

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Royal Society’s grant management system (FlexiGrant®).

Your application will go through the process detailed on the making a grant application page overseen by the Research Appointment Panels.

Please be assured that the Royal Society specifically requests anyone involved in reviewing applications to consider them in confidence.

If you have any enquiries about the submission of your application or about the Flexi-Grant® process, please contact the Grants Section Senior Fellowships team (tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2263 or email: 

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

Meet our Research Professors

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