Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships: Next Round Open 2nd Jan 2014

Academic by Tim Ellis CC BY-NC 2.0The Leverhulme Trust has given advance notice of the next round of their Early Career Fellowship scheme. The 2014 round will open on 2nd Jan and close on 6th March. Although the scheme is not yet open to applications, the guidance notes [.doc] are already available.

Who can apply?

Early career fellowships (ECF) are, as the name suggests, intended for researchers at an early stage in their career. Researchers based in any discipline are eligible to apply. The aim is to fund a substantial research project which will lead to publishable outcomes, but also to enable the fellow to move towards a permanent position. To be eligible to apply you must not yet have held a permanent academic post.

All candidates must also hold a doctorate or “equivalent experience” by the time the Fellowship begins. You can apply if you are in the final stages of your doctorate as long as you submit your thesis by 4pm on the closing date, 6th March. You can only apply if you are within 5 years of your doctoral viva (unless you’ve had a career break for family or other reasons).

Note that priority is given to “applicants who show evidence of mobility during their academic careers to date”. Given that the scheme is so competitive, it’s unlikely you’ll be in with a chance unless you have moved between institutions.

What’s available?

An ECF provides 50% of the Fellow’s salary costs (up to £23,000) for a standard 3-year full-time Fellowship, plus up to £6,000 per year towards the Fellow’s research expenses. A part-time fellowship over a longer period may be an option provided the applicant can justify the need for this arrangement. The remainder of the Fellow’s salary must be met by generally available funds from the institution (i.e. not matched with funding from another grant).

The Leverhulme Trust are expecting to fund 80 fellowships in the forthcoming round. Note that the success rate last year was 12% [PDF], and that it has generally hovered between 11% and 14% since 2008.

How do I apply?

You need to apply online on the Leverhulme Trust’s e-grants system. Note that before the scheme opens on 2nd Jan you can’t access the form, but you can consult the extensive online application guidance notes [.doc] which take you through each field. You should also take note of the guidance on choosing the right referee recently published by Leverhulme.

If you’re interested in submitting an application, please get in touch with the Research Funding and Policy Manager for your Faculty at an early stage to discuss.



Health systems research initiative – Low & Middle Income Countries

healthcareDepartment for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust (WT). have issued a health systems research initiative call : Providing evidence to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes

The aim of the call is to fund rigorous, high quality research that will:

  • Generate evidence on how to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Inform the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes.
  •  Provide evidence that is of direct relevance to decision makers and users in the field.

Up to £15 million has been committed to the Health Systems Research Initiative, which will be allocated through three annual calls for proposals of £5 million each. The costs of each call will be shared between all four funders.
Applications may be for:
  • Development grants with a duration of 1-2 years and a total budget of around £100k each. These grants are tailored to assist interdisciplinary teams to develop robust and competitive proposals.
  • Full-scale research projects of up to 5 years duration. Typically the funders would expect a project of 3-4 years with costs of £100-£200k per annum.
 Closing date – 14 January 2014 (4.00pm).
For full details of the call see the MRC website.

AHRC International Placement Scheme for ECR’s and PhD Students



An event was recently held at the University of Manchester on an International Placement Scheme offered by AHRC and ESRC. Funding is available to current AHRC or ESRC funded students and Early Career Researchers to spend up to 6 months at one of the worlds leading international research institutions accessing their world-class archives and collections.

Fellowships will provide privileged access to the extensive collections at the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C, The Huntingdon Library in California, Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas, The Yale Center for British Art or the National Institute for the Humanities in Japan. (Please note ESRC students can only apply for a fellowship at the Library of Congress.)

Potential applicants are strongly advised to access the online catalogues and research the collections at their chosen Institution. Applicants will need to identify speific collections and documents they need access to, and it is advised to speak to curators. (For some institutions it is essential to speak to a curator prior to applying.)

Application deadline is 14th January 2014, at 4pm and they are submitted via the online Je-s system. Please note you will need to submit the application a few days prior to this as there are internal approvals that need to take place in the system prior to formal submission.


Application tips:

-Research the collections!

-Name the collection/documents you want to access in your application and any academics at the Institution you could benefit from having the opportunity to meet with while you are there

-Match your research interests to the collection you need, and state how access to it will benefit your thesis/research.

-Explain why that collection suits your needs and what is unique about your need for it- is the collection rare or available nowhere else? Is it scattered across multiple sites elsewhere or hard to access?

-Check availability of the collection you need, and outline an itinerary of your time at the Institution if possible



Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 – Fellowships announced

Fellowship Advertisement 2013The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (or @royalcom1851 as its known to its Twitter followers) has recently announced the latest round of its Fellowships funding schemes. Three types of fellowship are available with different deadlines:

Research Fellowships: “Intended to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise an opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation.” These offer a flat rate stipend payable over three years for the successful applicants, plus £3,000/annum to cover research expenses and travel. Approximately 8 awards are made per year. Deadline: 20th February 2014.

Industrial Fellowships“Aim to encourage profitable innovation and creativity in British Industry by supporting research leading to a patented product or process in conjunction with a PhD/EngD. [These awards are] open to outstanding first degree graduates in engineering, science or medicine”. The awards pay university student fees, 50% of salary, £3,500 travel grant per annum and £10,000 grant to the university department paid on completion. 8 awards were made in last year’s competition. Deadline: 23rd January 2014.

Industrial Design Studentships“Aim to stimulate industrial design capability among the country’s most able science and engineering graduates”. The awards pay tuition fees, a stipend of £10,000, plus £850 for materials. As in the two Fellowships, around 8 awards are made per year. Deadline: 30th April 2014.

Anyone interested in applying should contact your Research Funding and Policy Manager in RBS in good time to get help and support with your application. Incidentally, in this year’s call the Royal Commission are accepting email submissions, rather than hard copy only, which should make things easier all round.


European Research Council calls forecast

erc_logoThe European Research Council (ERC) (part of Horizon 2020) provides attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/ high-risk research. Proposals are judged solely on the basis of scientific excellence and applications can be made in any field of research. Interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged.

The draft European Research Council (ERC) Work Programme for 2014 has been published on the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 website.  Although it is not the final version, it has been approved by EU Member States and is not expected to change substantially.

The planned call publication and deadline dates in 2014 dates are:

  • Starting Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 25 March 2014
  • Consolidator Grants: call published on 11 December 2013, deadline on 20 May 2014
  • Advanced Grants: call published on 17 June 2014, deadline on 21 October 2014

To be eligible for a Starting Grant, applicants must have held a PhD for between 2-7 years at the publication date of the call for proposals. Consolidator Grant applicants should have held their PhD for more than 7 but less than 12 years. There are no specific eligibility criteria for an Advanced Grant.

Starting Grants are designed to support excellent PIs at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Applicants must demonstrate the ground breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. Starting Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of 1 500 000 euro for a period of 5 years.

If you are interested in developing a proposal, contact the Research Funding and Policy Managers in RBS.