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ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships


The Midlands Graduate School is pleased to invite applications for next round of ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships, to be based at any of our partner institutions: Aston University, the University of Birmingham, De Montfort University, the University of Leicester, Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Warwick. This call is for fellowships beginning on 1 October 2024.


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 are expected to complete their PhD at a UK research organisation. (Please note that you do not have to have completed a PhD funded by ESRC or a DTP.)
  • Have either been awarded a PhD by the submission deadline (16 May 2024) or have passed their viva voce with minor amendments by the application deadline of 16 May 2024 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2024.
  • Have no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by 16 May 2024.

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.

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 pathways - please see our Pathway Grid)

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 page 4 of the call specification, and pages 7-8 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 16 May 2024.

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

Please note that there are further earlier internal deadlines depending on the institution to which you are applying which will be detailed below as soon as they are available:

Aston University Deadline
  • Wednesday 20 March 2024 – Applicants must have submitted an expression of interest (EOI). Please contact Ronni Littlewood, Strategic Funding Manager for Business and Social Sciences ( to request a copy of the EOI pro-forma and guidance on how to submit the EOI. Prospective applicants are advised to contact Ronni for this information as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to complete the EOI documents.
    Applicants to the Health and Wellbeing pathway at Aston are strongly encouraged to contact Jennifer Whale (j dot whale1 at aston dot ac dot uk) at the same time for support from the College of Health and Life Sciences.

University of Birmingham Deadline
De Montfort University
University of Leicester Deadlines
  • Thursday 4 April 2024 – Latest date for applicants/mentors to have approached their respective College Pre-Award and Contracts team to notify intention to submit a proposal, in order for support to be allocated. For applications within CSSAH, please contact For applications with CSE, please contact For applications within CLS, please contact Mentors must create a project in Worktribe on behalf of the applicant, and applicants/mentors must work with their PAC contact to determine the costings for the project.
  • Thursday 2 May 2024 - Latest date for projects to be submitted within Worktribe for approval, along with a copy of the application.
Loughborough University Deadline
  • TBC
University of Nottingham Deadlines
  • Faculty of Social Sciences; Faculty of Arts and Humanities; Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
    • 9:00 Monday 18 March 2024 – Applicants must have confirmed their eligibility, contacted their mentor and provided them with a CV (max 2 pages) and a 1-page summary of their proposed project, and received written confirmation of support from their mentor. Mentors should then confirm School support and inform relevant Research Development contact (Queries about who the relevant Research Development contact is can be directed to in the first instance).
    • 9:00 Monday 22 April 2024 - Applicants to submit draft proposals to Faculty RDM contact and mentor for review
    • 09:00 Tuesday 07 May 2024 - Applicants to submit final proposal (with all required attachments) to Faculty SRDM contact for final checks
  • Faculty of Science
    • TBC
Nottingham Trent University Deadline
  • TBC
University of Warwick Deadline
  • Thursday 4 April 2024 - Applicants must have contacted Warwick's Research & Impact Services team ( about their application by this date and should have confirmed support from their host department, a first draft of their Postdoctoral Fellowship application ready (the short sections on the application form and Case for Support), 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 costings for the project. A copy of the email confirming support from the host department must be provided to the research support contact before they can progress the application.

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, 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 July 2024.
  • Fellowships will commence on 1 October 2024.
  • Please ensure that the department to which you are applying is accredited by the ESRC to host MGS Postdoctoral Fellows.
  • Please ensure that your proposed fellowship falls within the ESRC's scientific remit. ESRC have released a joint statement with AHRC which may be useful to you. If you have any doubts about the remit of your proposed project, contact the relevant pathway lead for advice.
  • If you are also applying for an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship through another DTP please make us aware of this when you submit your application to us and let us know to which other DTP you are applying.
  • Applicants may apply to only one institution in the MGS DTP.


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