Short Industry Fellowship

This scheme, part of the Royal Society's Industry programme, enables scientists employed in industry or academia and/or their postdoctoral researcher to have shorter more dynamic engagements between academia and industry, working on a mutually beneficial and collaborative project.

Status: Closed Opening: 29 August 2024
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About the scheme

The Short Industry Fellowships scheme is open to talented researchers, especially early career researchers, in academia or industry in the UK.

The aims of the scheme are to:

  • Support mobility of excellent academic or industry researchers (and/or their postdoctoral researcher) between the two sectors in the UK, across the natural sciences
  • Enable the fellow to initiate and develop collaborative links between the academic and industry organisations, which may lead to longer term collaborations (and can seek further funding through the Industry Fellowship)
  • Support the career development of the fellow and/or their postdoctoral researcher gained through the working in the other sector
  • Enhance knowledge exchange in science and technology between industry and academia. Awards must involve mobility between sectors i.e. UK based private industry and a UK university or a not-for-profit research organisation.

Collaborations between academia and early-stage companies are particularly encouraged. It is anticipated that the personal and corporate links established by the researcher between the two sectors in the UK will seed longer-term collaborations and contribute to their long-term future development.

For longer term collaborative projects between industry and academia, see the Industry Fellowship.

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 assessment criteria. 

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

What does the scheme offer?

Awards can be held full time for three to six months. Alternatively, they can be held at 50% part-time for up to 12 months, enabling fellows to maintain links with their employing institution more easily.

Funds can cover:

  • The applicant’s and/or their postdoctoral researcher's basic salary while on secondment. The employing organisation continues to pay national insurance and pension contributions
  • Research expenses which may be claimed up to a value of £1,000.

Full funding details can be found in the scheme notes.

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. 

This scheme is for you if: 

  • You hold a PhD or are of equivalent standing in your profession
  • You hold a post in either a UK university, a not-for-profit research organisation or UK industry, which is either a permanent or fixed-term position with an end date after the expected end of the Short Industry Fellowship
  • 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. 

Note that Royal Society-funded early career researchers, i.e. holders of a University Research Fellowship or a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, are not eligible for this scheme as they are encouraged to collaborate with industry partners as per the terms of their fellowships.

The applicant can request their postdoctoral researcher to work on the collaborative project at the partner organisation. Applicants in this instance must ensure their nominated postdoctoral researcher has sufficient tenure in their post to cover the duration of the fellowship. The applicant will be expected to lead the collaborative project.

We encourage applications involving small companies and/or early-stage companies provided they have a well-established research team and facilities. Self-employed consultants are not eligible to apply as the industrial partner.

Applicants cannot have concurrent applications detailing similar projects submitted to both the Royal Society Industry Fellowship and the Royal Society Short Industry Fellowship rounds at the same time. 

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 see below for details specific to this scheme. Full details of the application and review process are available in the scheme notes. 

Assessment of your application will be overseen by the Industry Fellowship Panel. Following eligibility checks, applications are initially reviewed and assessed by two panel members who have the most appropriate scientific expertise. Following completion of the panel assessment, a shortlist is drawn up. Shortlisted applications are reviewed by the Panel Chair and the recommendations for funding are made. 

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 innovationgrants@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

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