Ernest Rutherford Fellowships

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships (ERF) enables early career researchers with clear leadership potential to establish a strong, independent research programme. They encourage talented researchers in UK universities to remain in the country and at the same time attract outstanding overseas researchers to the UK.

ERF are intended for early career researchers who do not have an academic position.

Please see details on how to apply for an ERF in the 2024 funding opportunity.

Applicants who have applied for the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships can also apply for an ERF but cannot hold two fellowships that fund their working time simultaneously.

Applicants who have a current application for the UK Research and Innovation Stephen Hawking Fellowships where a funding decision hasn’t been made cannot also apply for an ERF.

Each fellowship will last for five years. The aim is to support future scientific leaders to establish a strong, independent research programme.

Current fellowships

Fellows should refer to the STFC ERF guidance on terms and conditions, including information on the scheme features during the tenure of their awards.

STFC currently supports a number of Ernest Rutherford Fellows undertaking a range of research within STFC core science areas.

Previous fellowships

An analysis of Fellows who have completed their fellowship since 2014, disclosed all Fellows apart from one were employed and 94% held permanent jobs. Further details showing the key benefits of a fellowship can be found in analysis of questionnaires.

Postdoctoral experience

Please find below the number of years postdoctoral experience of previous ERF applicants and those awarded. This is a guide to potential applicants on the stage of career that may be competitive for a fellowship.

ERF years of postdoctoral experience: applicants
Call Postdoctoral experience Average
0 to 3 years 4 to 6 years 7 to 9 years 10 years plus Per call
ERF 2014 16 81 46 23 7
ERF 2015 15 72 51 21 7
ERF 2016 11 80 41 21 6.5
ERF 2017 16 75 45 27 6.5
ERF 2018 8 77 55 20 6.8
ERF 2019 17 68 64 23 6.7
ERF 2020 12 87 58 26 6.8
ERF 2021 13 73 67 21 6.9
ERF 2022 13 77 54 26 6.88
ERF 2023 13 80 50 30 6.88
ERF years of postdoctoral experience: awarded
Call Postdoctoral experience Average
1 to 3 years 4 to 6 years 7 to 9 years 10 years plus Per call
ERF 2014 2 7 1 2 6
ERF 2015 2 8 2 0 5
ERF 2016 0 6 5 2 7
ERF 2017 1 5 5 1 6
ERF 2018 0 6 5 0 6.2
ERF 2019 0 4 6 0 6.6
ERF 2020 0 5 3 2 7.2
ERF 2021 0 7 3 0 6
ERF 2022 0 5 5 0 6.6
ERF 2023 0 4 3 3 7.6

Introductory workshop for Ernest Rutherford Fellows

The introductory workshops are for all new Fellows and aim to:

  • enable Fellows to reflect on what to expect during their fellowships and introduce common issues
  • facilitate networking with peers and STFC contacts.

Workshops

On 17 April 2023 STFC held it’s fifth introductory workshop for newly appointed Ernest Rutherford Fellows. Thank you to those who participated in the event.

Contact us

You can email us if you have any questions.

Email: fellowships@stfc.ukri.org

Last updated: 4 June 2024

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