Newton International Fellowship

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.

Sir Isaac Newton FRS (1642-1727) Sir Isaac Newton FRS (1642-1727) was President of the Royal Society from 1723 until his death.

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 a broad range of the natural, physical, and social sciences, and the humanities.  It also covers clinical and patient orientated research for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries except Turkey.

The scheme is jointly run by The British Academy and the Royal Society.

Eligibility requirements

The applicant must:

  • have a PhD, or will have a PhD by the time the funding starts
  • Applicants should 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

Applicants should ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements.

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 for up to ten years following the tenure of their Fellowship to support networking activities with UK-based researchers. 

Application process

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, and applicants will be notified of the result in August 2015.

Newton Fund

This is the first year that additional Fellowships will be supported through the Newton Fund, specifically for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries; this new 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, 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. They do not include FEC or contribution to overheads nor the alumn i funding that Newton International Fellows may receive. The project has to be as outlined in the original application but is not branded as a Newton International Fellowship.

Applying for this scheme

This scheme is currently closed to applications.

About 40 Newton International Fellowships are offered each year. The success rate in 2014 was 8%.

Case studies for Newton Fellowships

Read about researchers who have been awarded a Newton Fellowship:

See all the case studies.

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 developing countries.

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.

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.