University Research Fellowship
This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field.
Protein crystals of a pro-phage encoded polysaccharide lyase by Dr Edward Taylor, University Research Fellow.
The scheme provides the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships.
The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine and any researcher addressing a direct biomedical research question.
The applicant must:
have a PhD (note we will not consider applicants who have just submitted their PhD)
be in the early stages of their research career and must have between 3 to 8 years of research experience since their PhD by the closing date of the round
not hold a permanent post in a university or not-for-profit organization in the European Economic Area (EEA)
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.
Royal Society - Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowships (funded by Science Foundation Ireland) are available for outstanding researchers in the Republic of Ireland. More information is available 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 for 80% of the basic salary costs up to £39,389.64 in the first year, estates costs and indirect costs. 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.
Initially funding is provided for five years with the opportunity to apply for an extension of three additional years. The University Research Fellowship provides researchers with maximum flexibility and can be held part-time, and allows sabbaticals, secondments or international experience.
The basic salary requested should be at a level commensurate with the applicant’s skills, responsibilities, expertise and experience, up to a maximum of £39,389.64 per annum
An annual spine point increase of 3% may be applied to the salary.
No indexation should be applied to the salary, indirect and estates costs; the Society will apply an annual inflationary increase to these budget headings 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.
Equivalent values for Royal Society - Science Foundation Ireland University Research Fellowships (funded by Science Foundation Ireland), are available in the scheme notes.
Successful University Research Fellows and Dorothy Hodgkin 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 University Research Fellows and Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows will receive this additional start up grant.
Applications are initially reviewed and then shortlisted by members of University Research Fellowship Selection Panels. Applicants are notified if they have reached the shortlisting stage in December.
The shortlisted proposals are reviewed by three independent referees suggested by the panel members and successful applicants are shortlisted for interview. Applicants are informed of the result of this stage in March and interviews take place in early to mid April.
The final decision is made at a meeting of the panel Chairs in April, and applicants are notified of the result in May.
Please note that interviews for the fellowships are held at the Royal Society. Applicants are asked to keep April free. Only applicants that pass the other stages of assessment will be invited.