Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: ESRC postdoctoral fellowships

Apply for a postdoctoral fellowship to develop:

  • publications
  • networks
  • research skills
  • professional skills.

You must:

  • have completed your PhD at a research organisation that is part of a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
  • have less than 12 months’ postdoctoral experience (at full-time rate) measured from passing your viva voce to the competition closing date.

Fellowships must be held at a research organisation that is part of a DTP and aligned to an accredited pathway.

Your proposal can be from a single discipline or a combination of disciplines, but social sciences must make up at least 50% of your fellowship activities.

Who can apply

The call is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP and who have less than 12 months of postdoctoral experience from passing their viva voce to the competition closing date.

At the submission deadline, the applicant must either have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date.

Applicants who have passed their viva voce with major corrections will be able to apply to the following year’s call when their PhD has been awarded. This is to ensure that all fellows are able to commence by the annual start date of 1 October.

What we're looking for

Fellows’ actual programmes or proposed programme of activities should reflect their prior knowledge and experience and be designed to support their longer-term research career aspirations. Activities could include but are not limited to:

  • producing publications in order to help establish track record
  • engaging with a range of different audiences to communicate research findings
  • building networks to develop impact opportunities and inform and support further development
  • collaborating with users through an internship or placement to help develop professional and transferrable skills and understanding of users’ organisations, provided they are an integral part of the fellowship
  • further training to improve research and related skills
  • developing funding proposals
  • carrying out further limited research (up to 25% of the programme of work) related to their PhD
  • teaching, if this is aligned with the wider purposes of the fellowship (up to a maximum of six hours per week)
  • research visits to internationally leading research organisations, either in the UK or abroad, for the purposes of research collaboration, training, and access to data or other resources not available at the applicant’s host organisation.

Fellowships must be held at a research organisation that is part of a DTP and aligned to an accredited pathway.

Proposals are welcome from both single disciplines and combinations of disciplines, but the fellowship activities must be based at least 50% within the social sciences.

How to apply

Applications must be made directly to the DTP and they will administer the assessment process.

DTPs will have their own procedures in place to peer review the proposals and make funding decisions on behalf of ESRC. Where this includes an expression of interest stage, potential applicants must abide by the deadlines specified by the DTP to which they intend applying.

Full details, including the call specification, a frequently asked questions document and an application form will be available on the DTP websites.

All applicants must submit a full proposal along with the required attachments by 16:00 on 23 March 2022 to the DTP they are applying to.

The DTPs participating in the fourth round are:

Contact details

For queries, please contact the relevant DTP directly.

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