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EPSRC fellowships: early and established career

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EPSRC fellowships help early and established career researchers with the greatest potential to develop world-leading research that will meet UK and global priorities.

A fellowship offers support, flexibility and freedom for you to develop high-quality research ideas and outputs, raise the profile of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and EPSRC, and gain the experience you need to help you move to the next stage of your career.

Your project can be across any topic in the EPSRC portfolio.

We will award 80% of the full economic costs of the project, and your organisation must agree to find the balance.

Who can apply

Research grants are open to UK higher education institutions, research council institutes, UKRI-approved independent research organisations and NHS bodies with research capacity.

Read the guidance on institutional eligibility.

You can apply if you have a PhD or equivalent research experience by the start date of your fellowship.

There are no eligibility rules about how many years of postdoctoral experience you need or whether you are currently in a permanent academic position. We encourage applicants who have taken a non-standard career path after their first degree. We also welcome applications from candidates who want to move back into research after a career break or any other type of break from active research. There are no restrictions on nationality.

For more information, read our guidance for applicants (PDF, 585KB).

We will not accept uninvited resubmissions of projects that have been submitted to UKRI or any other funder.

This funding opportunity is also subject to our policy on repeatedly unsuccessful submissions.

What we're looking for

We’re looking for aspiring individuals who need support to develop a new and outstanding piece of world-leading research and progress their career to the next level.

An EPSRC fellowship will help to position you and your research topic within a wider academic field. It will also develop your leadership skills by helping you to establish or extend a research group.

We support early and established fellowships in all areas of EPSRC remit, covering:

  • digital economy
  • energy
  • engineering
  • global uncertainties
  • healthcare technologies
  • information and communication technologies
  • living with environmental change
  • manufacturing the future
  • mathematical sciences
  • physical sciences
  • quantum technologies
  • research infrastructure.

If you are not currently in an academic position, your host organisation must be prepared to give you the same level of support as it would for an academic member of staff. They must also provide you with mentoring support to enable you to move into an academic position in the future.

You can apply for up to five years of support for early career or established career awards. We will also allow fellowships over shorter periods. You can spend between 50% and 100% of your time on a fellowship.

If you want to work part-time, you can hold your EPSRC fellowship part-time as well, at a minimal level of 50%. In these circumstances, the duration of your fellowship can be extended pro rata.

We will fund 80% of the full economic costs of your project. You may request funding for:

  • staff costs
  • equipment and other items needed to carry out the project
  • costs related to impact
  • travel and subsistence.

If you are a research organisation

We expect eligible research organisations to submit the best candidates for these fellowships.

If you are a research organisation, you must:

  • help applicants identify how they fit the aims and outcomes of their career stage
  • make sure your applicants have chosen the most relevant resource packages for their career stage and proposed project.

Find details of current fellows

We invest in people with leadership potential at all career stages, helping them to lead excellent research projects. Read more about the inspiring scientists and engineers who are our current fellows and find out how taking part in a fellowship has influenced their careers.

Find examples of projects we have funded by searching for ‘fellowship’ in our online portfolio.

How to apply

The things you must do before you start your application for a fellowship:

  • ensure your application fits into the EPSRC remit. If you are not sure, contact the relevant relevant portfolio manager, theme fellowship coordinator, or submit a remit query
  • read the aims and outcomes for individual career stages to help you and your research office decide which level to apply for
  • read the guidance for applicants (PDF, 585KB).

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S). We are always open for applications for fellowships.

When applying, select ‘New document’, then:

  • council: EPSRC
  • document type: fellowship proposal
  • scheme: EPSRC fellowship
  • call/type/mode: EPSRC fellowship – early career or EPSRC fellowship – established career.

Your application should include the following attachments:

  • a case for support (nine pages – two on your track record and seven on the scientific case)
  • a work plan (one page)
  • a host organisation statement (two pages)
  • justification of resources (two pages)
  • CVs (up to two A4 sides each) for the principal investigator, named postdoctoral staff, researcher co-investigators (these are research assistants who have made a substantial contribution to the proposal and will be employed on the project for a significant amount of time) and visiting researchers
  • letters of support from all project partners included in the Je-S form (no page limit)
  • quotes for equipment above £25,000 including VAT (no page limit)
  • an equipment business case for any items of equipment or combined assets with a value above £138,000 including VAT (up to two pages)
  • technical assessments for facilities listed as needing one in the Je-S guidance (no page limit)
  • a cover letter (no page limit) – this is a mandatory attachment and will not be seen by peer reviewers
  • other attachment – this can be used for a document that does not fit under any of the headings above. Reviewers and panel members will not see this attachment
  • a list of publications (no page limit).

You should attach your documents as PDFs to avoid errors and use single-spaced 11 Arial or similar sans serif typeface.

We recommend you start your application in good time. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later. When you submit the application, it will first go to your host organisation for review.

See the Je-S handbook for full advice on completing applications.

You can find more details about the application process in our:

Find out more about completing your application.

How we will assess your application

Your application is assessed by peer review. It will be sent electronically to at least three reviewers, including at least one nominated by you.

You will have the opportunity to respond to reviewer comments if your application gains enough support. The proposal, reviewers’ comments and your response will then go to a panel that will score it against our assessment criteria and rank it with other proposals. Panels are organised by theme and meet at different times of the year.

Our assessment criteria at the review stage:

  • research quality (primary criterion)
  • national importance (secondary major criterion)
  • applicant and partnerships (secondary criterion)
  • resources and management (secondary criterion)
  • fellowship vision
  • research leadership
  • communication and ambassadorship
  • personal development

Find out more about:

At the prioritisation panel the panel will assess the application against:

  • research quality (primary criterion)
  • applicant and partnerships (secondary major criterion)
  • national importance (secondary criterion)
  • resources and management (secondary criterion).

Following the prioritisation panel, we will invite successful candidates to interview. Interviews will take place around six weeks after the prioritisation panel meeting. An interview panel will assess your application against the criteria below:

  • fellowship vision
  • research leadership
  • communication and ambassadorship
  • personal development.

Contact details

If you need any further information about applying for a fellowship, email: researchcareers@epsrc.ukri.org

If you are not sure if your research fits within the remit or if you have specific questions about our theme areas, you should contact the relevant portfolio manager or theme fellowship coordinator.

Additional info

EPSRC occasionally offers other fellowship opportunities, some of which are in partnership with external organisations or with other UKRI research councils. These fellowships may have different eligibility, application and review processes.

Check our Funding finder for details of the latest funding opportunities across UKRI.

Supporting documents

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