You should be able to demonstrate appropriate and relevant research or innovation experience. This could be through:
- recent completion of a PhD or other higher qualification
- relevant employment within a research or innovation environment.
You must also be able to evidence reasonable scientific and technical skills and competencies, in line with the ambitions of the Discovery Fellowships scheme.
Applicants currently studying for a PhD are eligible if they are expecting to have passed their PhD viva before 30 November 2022.
Holders of postdoctoral training fellowships such as the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions can apply. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkins Fellows who meet the research experience eligibility requirement may also apply
You should not hold, or have held:
- an academic position at lecturer level (or the equivalent in an institution other than a university)
- an equivalent competitive fellowship that allows you to establish an independent research group, and therefore independent researcher status.
In addition, you should not have been offered such an appointment before taking up a Discovery Fellowship. This applies to both fixed-term and permanent positions.
If you hold a fellowship where you are eligible to supervise PhD students or submit research grants as a principal investigator (PI), we consider that equivalent to a lectureship. As a result, you are not eligible to apply.
Examples of these fellowships include, but are not limited to:
- Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowships
- Medical Research Council Career Development Awards
- Natural Environment Research Council independent research fellowships.
If you have previously applied for BBSRC grant funding as a PI or co-investigator, you are also not eligible to apply.
Prospective applicants on university ‘tenure track’ fellowships should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their eligibility.
Discovery Fellowship applicants are not eligible to apply for a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in the same calendar year. Please see the BBSRC research fellowships handbook (PDF, 161KB) for further details on eligibility criteria.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
As part of UKRI, BBSRC is working proactively to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion in all we do. This allows for maximisation of the impact of our research and innovation to involve and benefit all parts of society.
Everything we fund must embrace a diversity of thought, people and ideas. BBSRC and Discovery Fellowships uphold this commitment.
BBSRC encourages applications from all individuals who meet the eligibility criteria from all backgrounds regardless of:
- sexual orientation
- gender identity
- socioeconomic background.
We warmly welcome applications from individuals who may have undertaken non-standard or non-typical academic routes prior to application.
We welcome proposals from applicants of all nationalities, subject to the fellowship being hosted by:
- a UK university
- a UKRI-sponsored institute
- an independent research organisation.
All successful applicants who require a visa to work in the UK are eligible to be considered under the Global Talent visa route. This replaces the previous Tier 1 (exceptional talent) route.
In line with the highly prestigious nature of the award, this visa route is designed for international researchers who bring new ideas and perspectives, enriching the UK’s research and innovation workforce.
This visa route also enables the holder to be both adaptable and flexible during their research in the UK.
Read more about the Global Talent route in the guidance on how to get funding and visas to do research in the UK.
The grant of any visa is always subject to the standard Home Office general grounds for refusal of a visa. UKRI can provide additional guidance regarding the appropriate evidence required to complete the visa application process under the Global Talent visa. Please contact email@example.com for further details.