Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK 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.   

Dorothy Hodgkin OM FRS (1910-1994) Dorothy Hodgkin OM FRS (1910-1994) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964 (copyright Godfrey Argent Studio).

This scheme offers holders the opportunity to:

  • hold appointments on a part-time basis or convert from full-time to part-time and back again to help match work and other commitments, such as parental or caring responsibilities etc.
  • claim back time spent deferring the fellowship and/or working part-time at the end of the fellowship.
  • claim some funds for family support where these can be justified on scientific grounds, e.g. the cost of child care during a conference or collaborative visit abroad (those funds can be applied for during the Fellowship).

Eligibility requirements

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a current need for flexible support due to personal circumstances at the time of application. This can include current parenting or caring responsibilities (such as raising children or looking after ageing or seriously ill family members), clinically diagnosed health issues or other personal circumstances that create a need for a flexible working pattern. Please contact the grants team if you would like clarification on whether you meet this eligibility requirement.

The applicant must also:

  • be at an early stage of their research career (have completed their PhD but have no more than 6 years of research experience post PhD by the closing date of the round, 12 January 2015)
  • not hold a permanent post in a university or not-for-profit organisation in the European Economic Area (EEA) or in Switzerland.
  • be a citizen of the EEA or a be a Swiss citizen (or have a relevant connection to the EEA or Switzerland)

The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the European Union (including the UK) plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

When applying, the Society will consider time spent outside the research environment when assessing eligibility. Additionally, where applicants have taken formal periods of maternity, paternity, and adoptive leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), or extended sick leave, the Society will allow an additional six months for each period of leave when assessing eligibility.

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.


The Society’s fellowships are highly flexible and part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments can be accommodated. There is also provision for maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave. More information can be found in the Society’s policy on maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave.

Value and tenure

The scheme provides funding to cover the applicant’s salary costs, estates costs and indirect costs for a maximum of 5 years. Under the full economic costing model, 80% of these costs will be met by the Royal Society. Research expenses (up to £13,000 for the first year and up to £11,000 annually thereafter) will also be provided. The basic salary requested should be at a level commensurate with the applicant’s skills, responsibilities, expertise and experience, up to a maximum of £38,165.85. Please note this only relates to the Society’s contribution. Should the University wish to increase the salary of the researcher above what is outlined below, they are free to do so at their discretion, however any additional costs must be borne by the University.

No indexation should be applied to the salary; the Society will apply an annual inflationary increase to the salary of successful awards. The level of inflation applied will be determined by HM Treasury’s GDP deflator. This will be reviewed on an annual basis and the value of awards amended in line with increases or decreases in the GDP deflator.

Successful Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows and University Research Fellows who are about to start their first year are eligible to apply for a research grant of up to £150,000. A significant proportion of first year Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows and University Research Fellows will receive this additional start up grant.

Application process

Applications will initially be reviewed and then shortlisted by members of Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Selection Panels. Applicants will be notified if they have reached the short listing stage by March.
The shortlisted proposals will be reviewed by three independent referees suggested by the panel members and successful applicants will be shortlisted for an interview. Applicants will be informed of the result of this stage in May and interviews will take place in June.

The final decision is made at a meeting of the Panel in June, and applicants will be notified of the result in July.

Please note that interviews for the fellowships will be held at the Royal Society. Applicants are asked to keep the third week of June free. Only applicants that pass the other stages of assessment will be invited.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme is currently closed to applications.

The 2015 Round is currently being assessed, the next round will open in November 2015. Five Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships are offered each year. The success rate in 2014 was 8%.


Royal Society EPSRC Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

Additional awards are available for outstanding early career researchers who are working within EPSRC’s remit.

Early career schemes

University Research Fellowship
For outstanding scientists in the UK at an early to mid-stage of their research career who have the potential to become leaders in their field.

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
For outstanding scientists in the UK 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.

Sir Henry Dale Fellowship
For outstanding post-doctoral scientists wishing to build their own UK-based, independent research career addressing an important biomedical question.

Newton International Fellowship
For non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK.

We also provide the Education Research Fellowship for early-career academics in the UK researching physics and mathematics education and the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for early-career scientists in the UK who want to conduct research in Japan.

See all the grant schemes.

Equality and diversity

Read more about the Royal Society's work to promote equality and diversity in UK science.

Contact us

If you have a question about this scheme, please first read the scheme notes which contain more information. If the answer is still not available, you can contact the grants team here.