Applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 30 November 2021. Individuals demonstrating an upward track to pursuing working independently within a host organisation are eligible.
Applicants should ensure that the proposed start date is realistic, taking account of the period required for the office to process the proposal. Awarded fellows will be required to commence their fellowship on, or near to, the start date stipulated in their proposal, therefore applicants must ensure that they are in a position to do so. Requests to significantly alter the stated start date will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. Please note, no fellowships can commence prior to 1 April 2022, but all fellowships must commence by July 2022 at the latest following notification of an award.
There is no limit on the number of years of postdoc experience. However, to be considered eligible applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 30 November 2021. Applicants should not hold, or have held, an academic position of lecturer level (or the equivalent in institutions other than universities) or an equivalent competitive fellowship that provides the opportunity to establish an independent research group and therefore independent researcher status. Nor should they have had an offer of such an appointment prior to the commencement of a fellowship, if awarded. This applies to both fixed term and permanent positions.
In addition, applicants should not hold, or have held an equivalent competitive fellowship that provides the opportunity to establish an independent research group and therefore independent researcher status. Holders of fellowships where the applicant is eligible to supervise PhD students or submit research grants as a PI are considered, by BBSRC, as equivalent to a lectureship. As a result, applicants are therefore not eligible to apply. Examples of these fellowships include but are not limited to:
- Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowships
- MRC Career Development Awards
- NERC Independent Research Fellowships.
Note: 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 outlined above may also apply.
If applicants have previously applied for BBSRC grant funding as a PI or co-investigator (therefore confirming that they hold a lecturer level or equivalent post) they are not eligible to apply for a fellowship.
Prospective applicants on university ‘tenure track’ fellowships should contact email@example.com to discuss their eligibility.
DF applicants are not eligible to apply to the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship call in the same calendar year. Please see the fellowship handbook (PDF, 333KB) for further details on eligibility criteria.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
As part of UKRI, BBSRC are working proactively to ensure that 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 outlined below from all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, neurodiversity, disability, or socioeconomic background. We warmly welcome applications from individuals who may have undertaken non-standard or non-typical academic routes pre- or post-PhD prior to application.
Proposals are welcomed from applicants of all nationalities, subject to the fellowship being hosted by a UK university or BBSRC-sponsored institute.
Information for non-European economic area applicants
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 and 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 is able to provide additional guidance regarding the appropriate evidence required to complete the visa application process under the Global Talent visa. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Information for economic area applicants
EU applicants should refer to guidance on the UKRI website regarding the effects of EU exit.