Royal Society Research Professorship

The Royal Society Research Professorships are the Society's premier research awards, which provide long term support to world-class researchers of outstanding achievement.

Status: Closed
Career Stage: Senior career
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About the scheme

The freedom provided by the Research Professorship enables the best internationally leading researchers to focus on ambitious and original research of the highest quality, in a UK academic institution.

Royal Society Research Professorships provide long term support to world-class researchers of outstanding achievement:

  • who are currently prevented from achieving full research capability by competing duties (i.e. already based in the UK)
  • who wish to relocate to the UK to undertake their research.

The Royal Society recognises that diversity is essential for delivering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Society wants to encourage applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. We regularly review and revise policies and processes to embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles in all aspects of the grant making process and ensure all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per the assessment criteria. 

There will be up to two awards available.

See below for details of adjustments we can provide for disabled applicants.  

What does the scheme offer? 

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

Funds can cover:

  • A contribution to the award holder's basic salary of up to £90,000 per annum
  • Indirect and estate costs
  • Equipment costs and research expenses including consumables, travel, etc.
  • Contribution towards research assistance salary and associated indirect and estate costs
  • Support for a new four-year PhD studentship(s)
  • Relocation and visa costs for the applicant and their dependents (partner and children). The total grant cap may be exceeded in order to cover relocation/visa costs if this is well justified in the application.

We provide flexibility to accommodate personal circumstances including part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments. There is provision for maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoptive or extended sick leave, as well as financial support for childcare costs that arise from attending conferences and research visits. 

Royal Society Research Fellows also have the opportunity to access a range of career development and engagement opportunities including training on leadership, science communication and public engagement, and activities coordinated by our science policy and schools engagement teams. For further detail on these additional benefits, read our opportunities page

This scheme is for you if: 

  • You are a world-class researcher of outstanding achievement and promise who is currently prevented from achieving full research capability by competing duties (i.e. already based in the UK) OR;
  • You are a world-class researcher of outstanding achievement and promise who wishes to relocate to the UK to undertake their research
  • Your research is within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research and biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society. 

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 Global Talent Visa under the fast-track process of endorsement. 

Read the scheme notes for further information on eligibility.  Please ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements before applying.

You will apply through our application and grant management system, Flexi-Grant®.  

See the ‘Application and assessment process’ page for a general overview of the application and selection steps and below for details specific to this scheme.  

Applications are processed through a two-stage selection process.

  • The first stage will involve the submission of the applicant's CV and a lay summary of their proposed research. These applications will be assessed by the Royal Society Research Professorships Panel
  • Applicants selected to proceed to the second stage will be invited to submit a full application.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview.

Further detail on the application and review process is available in the scheme notes. 

The Royal Society welcomes applications from scientists with disabilities and provides adjustments to ensure that they can participate fully in the selection process. If you need an adjustment when accessing the application form, attending interviews, or for any other part of the application process, please contact the Grants team on seniorfellowships@royalsociety.org or +44 20 7451 2666. Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:

  • extension of the deadline
  • additional support to complete the application form
  • technical support during interviews for candidates with hearing or visual impairments
  • support during interviews for neurodiverse candidates and those with mental health conditions
  • additional costs to support those candidates requiring a chaperone during interviews

If you have further questions regarding the scheme, please contact the Grants team on seniorfellowships@royalsociety.org or visit our contact us page.