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ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP is pleased to invite applications for seven ESRC funded Postdoctoral Fellowships at least one of which will be aligned with the Industrial Strategy, to be based at one of our partner institutions: Aston University, the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick.

At least one Postdoctoral Fellowship will be aligned with the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This award can address skills gaps – advanced quantitative methods and data skills/science - or a programme of activities that involves direct engagement with partners in business or industry (for example, a placement opportunity or the development of a collaboration research project). Therefore, if your proposed project has an alignment with the Industrial Strategy as outlined above, we recommend that this is addressed clearly within your application, and the project developed accordingly.


These fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

This opportunity is open to applicants who:

  • Have completed or expected to complete their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT.
  • Have either been awarded a PhD by the submission deadline (22 March 2019) or have passed their viva voce with minor amendments by the application deadline of 22 March 2019 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2019.
  • Have no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by the closing date of the competition 22 March 2019.

Permanent members of staff in an academic position with a research component are not eligible for this scheme. If a candidate has previously been employed on a part-time basis, that employment can be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Please read the call specification and FAQ documents fully before applying.

Proposals are welcome from single or inter-disciplinary backgrounds but the fellowship activities must be aligned to one of the Midlands Graduate School DTP's 17 accredited pathways.

How to Apply

Step One: Identify an MGS institution, pathway, and mentor

Institution: All MGS institutions can host a postdoctoral fellow, provided they offer the relevant pathway.

Pathway: Fellowships must be aligned to accredited pathways. You can find a list of our pathways here. Also note that your application will need support from the relevant Head of School or Department.

(Note: not all institutions offer all training pathways. )

Mentor: All applications must include a named mentor, who is also aligned to the chosen pathway. Further information about this aspect of your application can be found on pages 3-4 of the call specification, and page 6 of the FAQ document. If you need help in identifying a mentor you can contact the relevant institutional pathway lead for further advice.

Step Two: Costing

Applications will need to be costed. There is support available in the ESRC call documentation to help you with this (see key documents above), and the institution to which you are applying will also offer support. Get in touch via the relevant enquiry contacts below.

Step Three: Submission and Deadlines

Applicants are required to complete the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Application Form and submit this along with all required attachments to esrcdtp at warwick dot ac dot uk by the application deadline 16.00 on 22 March 2019.

Please refer to the call specification for more details on what is required within each of these attachments.

Please note that there may be further earlier internal deadlines depending on the institution to which you are applying which are detailed below:

Aston University Deadline
  • Monday 25th February 2019 - Applicants must have contacted Strategic Funding Manager Ronni Littlewood v dot littlewood at aston dot ac dot uk and submitted an expression of interested form, which can be requested from Ronni Littlewood.
University of Birmingham Deadline
  • Friday 22nd February 2019 - Applicants must have contacted the relevant Research Support Office about their application by this date. The relevant person you will need contact will vary depending on the College to which you are applying: Ipshita Ghose for the College of Social Sciences, Jason Hutton for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, and Liese Perrin for the College of Arts and Law.
University of Leicester Deadlines
  • Friday 15th February 2019 - Applicants/mentors to have approached their respective College Research Support Team/administrator to notify intention to submit a proposal, and discuss their project. Applicants/mentors will work with the research support contact to determine the costings for the project so that a LUCRE costing form can be generated.
  • Friday 8th March 2019 - Latest date for costings and final proposals to be submitted to the Research Grants team for approval.
Loughborough University Deadline
  • Friday 22nd February 2019 - Applicants to have confirmed their eligibility, received confirmation of support from their proposed mentor at Loughborough, and have contacted Denise Wade, D dot J dot Wade at lboro dot ac dot uk.
University of Nottingham Deadlines
  • 9am Monday 10th December 2018 - Applicants who will be based in the Faculties of Arts or Social Science should themselves confirm their eligibility (by reviewing the eligibility guidelines) and have also received verbal/written confirmation of support from their proposed mentor at Nottingham by this date. Mentors should inform their Schools (Head of School/Research Director) of the potential applicant. It may be that Schools will ask for supporting information from the applicants to inform shortlisting. By 9am Monday 17th December, Schools should have shortlisted the applicants they are supporting and notify both the applicant/mentor and the Centre for Advanced Studies of the outcome of the shortlisting.
  • 22nd February 2019 - Candidates based in the Science Faculty should have identified and received confirmation of support from their proposed mentor and have submitted a final proposal with costings to the Psychology Research Support Office by Friday 22nd February 2019.
  • For applicants who will be based at any other Faculty, we will confirm any internal deadlines here shortly, however in the meantime we encourage you to make contact with your proposed mentor as early as possible.
University of Warwick Deadline
  • Sunday 10th March 2019 - Applicants must have contacted Warwick’s Research Support Office (ris dot socsci at warwick dot ac dot uk) about their application by this date and should have a draft of their Postdoctoral Fellowship application ready, along with an outline of the activities they wish to be costed into the application, and details of their agreed mentor. Applicants will then work with the research support contact to determine the costings for the project.
Equality & Diversity Data Form

The ESRC are seeking demographic statistics for the overall postdoctoral fellowship applicant pool for the purpose of equal opportunities monitoring. In order to comply with our ESRC reporting requirements if you are applying for an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship with the Midlands Graduate School, you should also complete our ‘Equality & Diversity Data Form’ available here, and submit this as one of the attachments with your final application. However, this is not a required attachment and candidates who do not include this form with their application will be recorded as having submitted as ‘Prefer not to say’ for each option.

If you choose to submit your Postdoctoral Fellowship application with all required attachments as a single PDF document, please ensure that the Equality & Diversity Data Form is submitted as a separate attachment and not incorporated into the main application.

  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • All final decisions on applications will be communicated to applicants by the end of June 2019.
  • Fellowships will commence on 1st October 2019.


General enquiries should be directed to the relevant institution within the DTP to where you are applying to hold the Fellowship.