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ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships


The call for application to begin an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2023 is now closed. The call may run again for October 2024 entry. If announced, this page will be updated with details for 2024 entry, and this is likely to be in November 2023. In the meantime, the details for 2023 entry below give a useful idea of what may be required for the next round.

ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships can be based at any of our partner institutions: Aston Universitythe University of Birminghamthe University of LeicesterLoughborough Universitythe University of Nottingham and the University of Warwick.


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 research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT. (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 (23 March 2023) or have passed their viva voce with minor amendments by the application deadline of 23 March 2023 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2023.
  • Have no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by 23 March 2023.

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.

Applicants should note that if they are unable to obtain a Head of Department statement or reference in advance of the deadline due to the ongoing UCU industrial action, please confirm this in the email when you submit your application and ensure that you submit any missing documents no later than Monday 3 April. All other documents must be submitted by the deadline.

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 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 23 March 2023.

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 will shortly be detailed below:

Aston University Deadline
  • Monday 23 January 2023 - Applicants must have contacted Strategic Funding Manager Ronni Littlewood at no later than Monday 23 January to discuss their application. By this date applicants will need to provide the name of their mentor at Aston and will need to confirm that they have discussed their applications with their proposed mentor.
University of Birmingham Deadline
  • 16:00 Monday 23 January 2023 - 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: Sonia Bains for the College of Social Sciences (, Jasmine Penny for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (, and Tania Cleaves for the College of Arts and Law (
University of Leicester Deadlines
  • Friday 10 February 2023 - Applicants/mentors to have approached their respective College Pre-Award and Contracts team to notify intention to submit a proposal, and discuss their project. For applications within CSSAH, please contact the For applications with CSE, please contact For applications with Health Sciences, please contact Applicants/mentors must work with the research support contact to determine the costings for the project.
  • Thursday 9 March 2023 - Latest date for costings and final proposals to be submitted to the Pre-Award and Contracts team for approval.
Loughborough University Deadline
  • Monday 6 February 2023 - Applicants must have contacted the Institutional DTP Administrator via email - - no later than Monday 6 February to discuss their application. By this date applicants will need to provide the name of their mentor at Loughborough and will need to confirm that they have discussed their applications with their proposed mentor.
University of Nottingham Deadlines
  • Faculties of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Friday 20 January 2023 – Deadline for Applicants and/or Mentors to 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).
    • Monday 27 February 2023 – Applicants to submit draft proposals to relevant Research Development contact and mentor for review.
    • Monday 13 March 2023 – Applicants to submit final proposal to relevant Research Development contact.
  • Faculty of Science
    • Friday 20 January 2023 - Applicants and/or Mentors to inform Faculty Research Development Manager of intention to submit (Dr Teresa Matini,
    • Monday 27 February 2023 – Applicants to submit draft proposal to Mentor, Faculty Research Development Manager and School of Psychology Fellowship Officer (Dr Neil Roach, for review.
University of Warwick Deadline
  • Friday 10 February 2023 - 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’ 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 2023.
  • Fellowships will commence on 1 October 2023.
  • 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. If you have any doubt about this, 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.