This page of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is split into the following sections:
Application eligibility requirements
Do you offer funding for MSc?
No, the Royal Society only offers funding for postdoctoral researchers with the exception of the Partnership Grants and Associate Schools schemes which are open to individual schools or a consortium of schools.
My research is in Psychology, am I eligible to apply for a Royal Society grant?
Yes, as long as your research is based on the rigorous methods of experimental psychology and you are using appropriate statistical analysis of data. If applicants are unsure then they should send in a description of the proposed project via the contact us form.
What subjects are covered by the Society's funding schemes?
The Royal Society welcomes applications from all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.
What do you mean by clinical medical research?
The Royal Society's definition of clinical medical research is patient-oriented research and clinical trials.
I worked part-time (or took extended-leave) during my time as a postdoctoral researcher, how does this affect my eligibility?
Some schemes have a specific requirement for the number of years of postdoctoral experience. However, we calculate postdoctoral experience pro rata, i.e. if you worked 50% part time for two years, that would count as 1 year of experience. Also, if you took an extended period of leave, we will add 6 months to the eligibility timeframe to account for a period of transition after your leave.
What is the age limit for the Royal Society's schemes?
There are no age limits for any Royal Society schemes although in some cases, schemes may be aimed at researchers with a particular level of experience.
Do you have early career fellowships to bring me to the UK?
Yes, the Newton International Fellowship scheme aims to attract the world's best postdoctoral researchers in the early stages of their career.
Do you have senior fellowships to bring me to the UK?
Yes, the Royal Society Research Professorships provide long-term support for internationally recognised scientists of outstanding achievement and promise. The Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards aim to provide universities with additional support to enable them to attract or retain respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential to the UK.
Can I work part-time?
Yes, the Society's fellowships are highly flexible and part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments can be accommodated.
Can I take maternity or paternity leave?
Yes, maternity and paternity leave is available to all research fellowship holders. More information can be found in the Society's policy on maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave.
What is the gender balance amongst research fellowship holders?
The Society recently published an analysis of the gender balance at application and award stage. Some statistics can be found in this blog post which includes a report that outlines the ways in which the Society aims to tackle issues relating to gender imbalance.
Before applying, should I wait until I have more postdoctoral experience to make my application more competitive with those who are more advanced in their careers?
The early career fellowship schemes have eligibility brackets for postdoctoral experience, however we acknowledge that individual scientific careers are unique and can be influenced by several things (such as research field). As such, we’re keen to support excellent researchers at all levels whose applications demonstrate excellent merit as well as creative, novel and innovative thinking.
Is my application more competitive if I propose to move institution to take up the fellowship?
Candidates are not required to move institutions for the proposed Fellowship, however those wishing to remain at their current organisation should clearly explain their planned route to independence and reasons for staying.
Completing an application
Can other people access my application to make additions or amendments?
Yes, in order for other individuals to be able to access your form they firstly need to have an e-GAP account (if they do not, they need to register for one). The applicant must select the 'share application' button and enter the correct email address of the individual they wish to share the application with. The sharer will also be able to select the level of permissions, e.g.’ edit only’, ‘edit and view’, etc.
Can you send me a paper version of the application form?
No, applications must be submitted online via the Royal Society's e-GAP system. Applications in other formats will not be accepted.
My host organisation/current employer is not a registered organisation on e-GAP and does not appear on the drop down menu.
Please contact the Grants Section who will assess the organisation's eligibility to the Royal Society's schemes. If eligible, details of your organisation will be set up on e-GAP enabling applications to be submitted through that organisation. If the organisation you wish to add is a private company please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitting an application
Can my application be submitted just after the official deadline?
No, applications must be submitted and approved by the UK 'host organisation' approver by the advertised deadline.
I can't see the submit button although I have filled in the form. Why?
This is because not all sections of the form have been completed. Fields that have asterisks (*) by them are mandatory as well as all drop-down menus, and must therefore be completed. Please note that the 'Statement of Qualifications and Career' and the 'Nationality' fields which can be completed by following those links on the form are also mandatory. When all mandatory fields are completed and the form is saved, the 'Submit' button will appear in the top right of the form enabling applicants to submit it to the 'host organisation' for approval.
What happens to my application once it reaches the Society?
Once applications are approved by the 'Host Organisation' and the application deadline has passed, the application is checked by the Scheme Manager(s) to ensure that it meets the eligibility requirements for the scheme and that it contains all the necessary information. Usually nominated references and Head of Departments statements must be submitted within 5 working days of the application deadline (however this may not be the case for all schemes - please see specific scheme notes for details). If the application is ineligible the applicant will be notified and the remaining eligible applications will be sent for assessment.
Can applications submitted to the Host Organisation for approval be edited?
Yes, applications submitted for host organisation approval can only be edited if the approver selects the 'Send back' option and provides a note/recommendations for changes that need to be made in the 'Reason' box. This will enable the applicant to edit their application once again. Please note that the approver will only be able to send the application back once.
Referee and Head of Department (HoD) statements
How can I attach statements written by my referees to the application form?
Referees need to provide their statements on e-GAP. Once their email is added to the application form they will receive an email containing instructions for submitting their reference on e-GAP. Usually nominated referee statements must be submitted within 5 working days after the advertised application deadline (some schemes require submission by the application deadline, please see specific scheme notes for details).
Can nominated referee and Head of Department statements supplied for an application submitted in an earlier round be transferred to a version of the application moved to a current or recently closed round?
No. The Royal Society treats applications moved from an old round to a current/recently closed round as though it were a completely new application. As a result referees need to provide a new reference through e-GAP regardless of whether a statement was supplied for a previous version of the application. This is because the applicant may have made significant changes to the proposal or there may have been career developments since the previous submission meaning that the referees response(s) to the application may also differ.
Why can I not see the application I need to supply a reference for on my e-GAP account?
The application requiring a reference may be missing from your e-GAP account because of the following:
1) The applicant may have supplied a different/incorrect email address for you, creating an additional e-GAP account to the account you have signed in as, in which case please notify the office so that the situation can be rectified by merging the e-GAP accounts
2) The application has not yet been approved by the host institution. In the case of the latter you will be notified again when the application has been approved at which time the application will appear in your tasks list.
Would a reference from a Fellow of the Royal Society help my application?
No, statistics show that applications with a reference from a Fellow of the Royal Society are no more successful than others. Your nominated referee should provide information about your track record and your capacity to carry out the research you propose and we recognize references from all relevant sources.
How does the Royal Society choose its panel members/peer reviewers?
Please read about the application and assessment process.
Announcement of results
How will I be notified of the outcome of my application?
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email in the first instance and the email will be sent to the email address that appears on the 'applicant personal details' page of the application form. Depending on the scheme, an award letter will also be posted to the applicant.
How will the approver/research finance office hear of the outcome of applications submitted?
Results are emailed to the applicant (or the UK based PI in the case of schemes involving overseas researchers) in the first instance so it is up to the this individual to inform the organisation if an application is successful. Depending on the scheme, an award letter is also sent to the Research Services, or an equivalent department, at the 'host organisation'.
What is your policy on the use of animals and primates in research?
Read the Royal Society's statement on the use of animals in research.
How secure is e-GAP?
The Royal Society has built in appropriately high standards of security for the protection of mutual interests. Users own an email login and password in order to access the system and it is the user's responsibility to observe high levels of security to protect these personal details by not disclosing personal login details or using the login details of other users, for example.
How will the data I enter on to e-GAP be used?
Information submitted by system users will be used for purposes associated with the application and award processes for grants and fellowships. e-GAP users are responsible for maintaining personal data and notifying the Grants Team of incorrect or out of date information, or if such data cannot be edited by the user. The Royal Society complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and is committed to upholding the data protection principles.
What information regarding awards are made public?
By accessing the system, users have explicitly consented to personal data being processed and stored by the Royal Society. To maintain public accountability, the Royal Society may publish or disclose into the public domain details of funded grants or fellowships including the name and nationality of the award holder(s); name of the UK host research organisation; the type, value, dates and duration of award; and a description of your subject or research (e.g. project title/lay summary/abstract, subject area). The data provided may be used to provide information on the Royal Society's activities and to respond to enquiries from relevant Government departments and other sources.
Does the Royal Society have its own research laboratories? Do you currently have any vacant positions in your laboratories?
No, the Royal Society does not have its own research laboratories.