Newton International Fellowships: 2018 Call Now Open

Globes and Maps by caruba CC BY-NC 2.0
Globes and Maps by caruba CC BY-NC 2.0

The latest call for Newton International Fellowships, released yesterday by the British Academy, Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Applicants should hold a PhD (or expect to obtain one by the time funding starts) and not be UK citizens and be working outside of the UK at the time of application. In addition, applicants should have no more than 7 years of active, full-time postdoctoral experience at the time of application, discounting career breaks. Applicants should not have done their PhD at the institution they are applying to.

The opportunity covers the full range of subjects covered by the three funders, including engineering, computer science, earth and environmental sciences, pure/applied mathematics, human geography, astronomy and physics (see p2 of the scheme notes for full details).

The funding is to pay for their subsistence costs for a two-year full-time fellowship appointment (up to £24k/annum as a tax exempt stipend), up to £8k/annum for consumables, a one-off £2k relocation payment in year one, as well as a contribution to institutional overheads.

This is a highly competitive scheme, but if you know of a good quality candidate with an excellent research track record who is keen to work here, then it may be a good opportunity to apply for. The application deadline is 27th March 2018 at 3pm.

Please contact your Faculty aligned Research Funding and Policy Manager for a further discussion in the first instance.


UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships – Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Government Office for Science have announced the latest round of the UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships scheme. The deadline for applications is 26th March 2018.

The fellowships are targeted at early career academics without a current permanent lectureship and within 5 years of their PhD award. They provide funding for two years (with an optional third year pending a review at the end of Year 1) with full salary costs covered, plus travel and subsistence linked to the research, and modest items of equipment (up to £3k incl. VAT), consumables and other expenses which are fully justified in connection with carrying out the research.

The research may be on any one of the 13 topics identified for 2018 by the UK intelligence community. Further detail on these is given in the topic list:

Topic Title No.
Research into methods to detect manipulated facial images in identity documents or on-line applications 1
Advanced research into archive, analysis and retrieval of video based data 2
Detecting malicious activity on distributed Internet of Things sensor/actuator networks 3
Non-conventional energy harvesters/power sources to provide power in remote locations for 10+ years 4
Security of Automatic Speaker Verification Systems to synthesis spoofing attacks 5
Micro-robotics 6
Crowd modelling in post-event emergency situations 7
Opportunities and risks in the application of deep learning to security screening applications 8
The use of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) to enhance briefing and training 9
Novel approaches to compact energy storage and lighter/more efficient autonomous systems 10
Understanding and mitigating side-channels in commodity hardware 11
Cross-linguistic approaches for representing place and movement 12
Quantum sensing and readout with cavity quantum phonodynamics 13

These awards are highly competitive and significant institutional support is required, including assigning a mentor, so if you have an idea and are considering applying please contact your relevant Research Funding & Policy Manager at an early stage.


Enterprise Fellowships: Royal Academy of Engineering – OPEN NOW

Academic by Time Ellis CC BY-NC
Academic by Time Ellis CC BY-NC

The Royal Academy of Engineering have recently announced that the competition for Enterprise Fellowships is now open. Please get in touch with us if you wish to discuss an application – the deadline is Monday 2nd October 2017:

Fellowships are available to both university-based academics of any experience level who wish to spin-out a company, and also to recent graduates wishing to create a company.

Prior experience of commercialisation activities is not essential, the desire and capability to succeed is more important and we will equip you with the necessary skills through a programme of training and mentoring.

Awardees receive:

  • Up to £60,000 funding
  • 12 months mentoring
  • Business skills and training
  • Lifetime Hub Membership

The Academy does not take any equity stake in the companies formed.

So if you are an academic with an innovation or technology you wish to develop and spin-out from your university, or you have graduated within the last five years and are seeking to run a startup, then we can help you.


UK Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

CCTV by Ian Britton CC BY-NC

Are you an early career researcher in science, computing or engineering disciplines? The Royal Academy of Engineering, in conjunction with the Government Office for Science, are offering a number of postdoctoral fellowships in areas of interest to the intelligence, security and defence community. Applications must be submitted by 10th April at 4pm.

The topics available are in the table below with full descriptions available from the RAEng website (PDF):

Topic Title No.
Environmentally stable rechargeable batteries for flexible wearable electronics 1
Calculus of privacy 2
Magnon algorithmics 3
An examination of the role and impacts of automation in security 4
Stored energy detection in complex environments 5
Voice liveness detection 6
Heterogeneous network analysis 7
Ultra-Narrowband Transceiver Design for Long Range Low Power and Low Profile Communication 8
Advanced research into archive, analysis and retrieval of video based data 9
Quantum and Optical Sensors 10
Through the Earth Information 11
Electronic Materials and Components for Low Power Flexible Devices 12
Advancing direct-write printing methods for the fabrication of electronics on complex surfaces 13

Eligibility: Fellowships must be held at a UK Higher Education Institute in a department capable of supporting the research project and researcher. The fellow must have been awarded a PhD no more than five years prior to the submission deadline, and must not currently hold a permanent academic post. Full details on eligibility are available at the RAEng site.

Funding available: Applications are costed on a Full Economic Cost basis for up to two years of full-time postdoctoral fellowship. Costs covered in the grant include the applicant’s salary, travel, consumables, small items of equipment (less than £3k), plus technical staff, estates and indirect costs.

How to apply: Applications are made online at The application includes sections on the profile and track record of the proposed fellow, the research topic, methodology, relation to previous work, potential significance and application of the results, resources requested and host institution support (which is added separately via a letter).

Please get in touch with your Faculty-aligned Research Funding and Policy Manager at an early stage if you would like to apply.


British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships

Piggy bank with coins by 401k CC BY-SA 2
Piggy bank with coins by 401k CC BY-SA 2

The British Academy has this week opened up calls for proposals to its Senior Research Fellowships scheme, which is administered by the BA and funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

British Academy/Leverhulme – Senior Research Fellowships

The purpose of these awards, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and administered by the British Academy, is to provide a period of research leave for one year for established scholars during which they will be able to concentrate on bringing a major piece of research towards completion while their normal teaching and administrative duties are covered by a full-time replacement. The Fellowships are tenable for one year beginning in the autumn of 2017.

The awards are intended to provide opportunities for those who have already published “works of intellectual distinction” and who have been prevented from completing a major piece of research by heavy teaching and/or administrative duties. Although these are labelled “senior” fellowships, they are primarily targeted at mid-career scholars in the humanities and social sciences. No account is taken of current job title (e.g. Professor, Reader, Lecturer).

If you have already applied to the Academy’s own Mid-Career Fellowship scheme, or if you intend to submit a BA/Wolfson Research Professorship application, then you are not eligible to apply for this grant.

The deadline for applications is 16th November 2016, and these should be made through the BA’s eGap system.

Please contact your Faculty RFPM to discuss prospective applications at an early stage.


Lister Institute – Early Career Fellowships

The Lister Institute for Preventative Medicine is offering £200,000 to Early Career Researchers (3-10 years post PhD) which may be used in any appropriate way to support their research, other than the provision or augmentation of personal salary.

The money may be used to free the recipient from teaching or administrative duties by funding a replacement lecturer etc.  Expenditure of the award may take place over a period of up to 5 years.  Applicants may work in any field of biomedical research and may be wither medically or scientifically trained.

For further details see the Lister Institute for Preventative Medicine website.


Find Out About Marie Curie Fellowships: 11th May 2016

Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0
Information Kiosk by Max Sparber CC BY-NC 2.0

Are you interested in applying to the 2016 round of the European Commission’s Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships call?

What are they? Marie Curie Fellowships provide funding to host a fellow (a researcher at any career stage with a doctorate) from anywhere in the world for up to 2 years, plus research expenses and a small amount for management costs. They help experienced researchers to advance their careers and gain new skills through advanced training, international mobility, and optional intersectoral secondments. UK-based academic staff can also apply for a Global Fellowship to go to another research institution anywhere in the world for up to 2 years, plus a 1 year reintegration back into the EU. This year the deadline is 14th September 2016.

How do I find out more? The UK Research Office, the UK’s national contact point for Marie Curie schemes, is holding an information event on 11th May 2016 at the University of Edinburgh. The day will provide an overview of the Individual Fellowships scheme. “Participants should gain a clear understanding of the proposal format and the key considerations related to planning, writing and submitting proposals.” There will also be a case study from a successful Marie Curie applicant.

Register: If you’d like to attend this event, you can book a place for free on the registration page.

For more information about this scheme and to access examples of successful proposals, please contact your Faculty Research Funding and Policy Manager.


Wellcome Trust invites applications for its Engagement Fellowships…

… which aim to support and develop upcoming stars in public engagement with science.

Applicants should be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, and have at least three years’ experience engaging the public with science. They may be professional science communicators, research scientists, medical historians, clinicians or professionals working in the arts.

Fellowships include salary and salary buyout for up to two years, project costs, training, access to office space and facilities, and opportunities to work with Wellcome Trust staff to develop projects.

Closing date: 12 February 2016

Further details can be accessed here.


National Institute of Health Research – Fellowships 2016

Applications are invited from individuals working in any sector or scientific discipline who propose to undertake people or patient-based clinical and applied health research at an institution based in England or Wales.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on Wednesday the 20th of January 2016.

Five levels of NIHR Fellowship award are available: Doctoral, Post Doctoral, Career Development, Senior Research and Transitional Research:

Northumbria University applicants also have support available from the North East Research Design Service who can offer specialist advice on all aspects of an application including:

  • designing a research study
  • research methods (qualitative and quantitative)
  • identifying suitable sources of funding
  • involving patients and public in research design
  • identifying potential academic, clinical and lay collaborators.

RDS-NE advice is confidential and free of charge. Research Design Service North East

For full details of the Fellowship Programme see the NIHR website.


Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowships: Changes in Application Template

Highlights by Dey CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Highlights by Dey CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you applied to last year’s call for Marie Curie Fellowships (as everyone still calls them, for short) and you’re planning to reapply this year, then you may have noticed there are one or two changes in the all-important Part B template.

Part B is the heart of the proposal – it’s where you describe the applicant, the project, the capacity of the host organisation, and the match between all three of those elements. The reviewers rely heavily – if not exclusively – on Part B to form their judgement of the proposal, so it’s crucial that you get it right.

We’ve spent some time going through this year’s guidance and last year’s with a highlighter pen. Here’s a summary of the main changes and what they mean for your application to this year’s round:

  • Removal of section 1. Summary. This was for most applicants a duplication of the Abstract already required in Part A so it makes sense to remove it to save space (there’s still just 10 pages to cover Excellence, Impact and Implementation). Applicants have the ability to write an “Introduction, state of the art, objectives and overview of the action” in the new section 1. Excellence.
  • Under 1.3 Quality of the supervision and the hosting arrangements, there are now two sub-headings required: one for the supervisor and the other to describe hosting arrangements. This doesn’t change substantially the content required here, but orders it more logically under two sub-headings. A clarification has also been added about Career Development Plans: you don’t need to include one in the proposal, but you should include about the framework for career development at the host and a plan should be developed as part of the project.
  • A clarification around hosting arrangements has been added. This sub-heading refers to how the researcher will be integrated, rather than infrastructure/equipment available, which is covered later in section 5. My understanding of hosting arrangements is that it should include things like: induction into the department, research group and University, mentoring arrangements, training and development opportunities offered centrally and in the Department/research group, ability to be part of supportive groups like the ECR Forum, international networking opportunities.
  • Under 2.1 Enhancing research- and innovation-related skills and working conditions to realise the potential of individuals and to provide new career perspectives, there’s the addition of “new competences acquired during the fellowship” to the “impact of the planned research and training”. To me this seems to emphasise the impact on the fellow over last year’s guidance, so it would make sense to highlight anything new the fellow will learn at the host institution.
  • Under 2 Appropriateness of the management structure and procedures, three bullets about progress monitoring, risk management and IPR have been removed. I think this is mostly just removal of duplication, as these are covered in the text directly above. IPR is covered under 2.2 “Effectiveness of the proposed measures for communication and results dissemination”.
  • Some clarification of the content required under 3.4 Competences, experience and complementarity of the participating organisations and institutional commitment. The emphasis here is more on the contribution of the host beneficiary than last year and the confusing subheading has been removed. There’s a note not to simply repeat the information in Section 5: one of the difficulties last year was knowing where to put information about the host organisation since it seemed to fit under several headings. I think this helps to clarify that.
  • Section 4. CV of the Experienced Researcher now includes an additional two headings: “Funding received so far” and “Supervising, mentoring activities”. There’s a new note that the CV is “intrinsic to the evaluation of the whole proposal.”
  • Section 5. Capacity of the Participating Organisations now allows a full page per institution, whether beneficiary or partner. There’s also more guidance about what to include in the sub-sections here, e.g. Independent research premises in particular. The publications should be a maximum of 5 good, relevant publications produced by staff at the organisation, not just limited to the supervisor. This could be significant since you can include relevant publications from other members of your team or department.
  • There are further clarifications under the Ethics and Letters of Commitment. The former is only relevant when you’ve identified any ethical issues in the table in Part A. The latter is only required for Global Fellowships, where organisations in Third Countries are participating.