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Fellowship Schemes for Life Sciences

Fellowships are an excellent source of funding that can be hugely beneficial in a researcher’s career development. There are a range of different types of Fellowships available to support people at different stages in their career, from newly qualified PhD students embarking on their first Postdoctoral position through to senior researchers at the Professorial level. Some of the main Fellowship opportunities are listed below. Please always check the funder's guidance for further details and confirmation of deadlines.

Postdoctoral Training Fellowships

Postdoctoral training fellowships offer early career researchers an opportunity to undertake a period of independent research within a well-supported environment, normally supervised within a more senior researcher’s laboratory. Applicants have normally recently completed their PhD or have a few years postdoctoral experience. These fellowships enable the fellow to build on their postdoctoral training, broaden their horizons and start to develop their independent research plans.


Alzheimer's Research UK Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

Research Fellowships support excellent non-clinical researchers in the early stages of their career to begin an independent project in a well-supported environment, thereby supporting their eventual trajectory to independence. For a detailed description of the skills and training you will be expected to demonstrate, please read our Early Career Researcher Framework. Fellows are required to have secured a Supervisor, a senior established investigator in the institution where the Fellowship is to be held.


BBSRC Discovery Fellowship

Next deadline: Expected May 2024

The Discovery Fellowship will provide support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills within a host laboratory. Awards are for three years and of a value of up to £500,000 (funded at 80% fEC). This can be used to support personal salary as well as travel and subsistence, training activities, and research consumables, but not equipment.


BHF Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: open - no set deadlines

BHF Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowships provide an opportunity for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent cardiovascular research careers in an established institution in the UK.


EPSRC Synthetic Biology Postdoctoral FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: Open call, no deadlines

Apply for a fellowship focusing on the engineering challenges of delivering synthetic biology as a mature technology.


Human Frontier Science Programme Postdoctoral FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 14 May 2024 (for Letter of Intent)

The HFSP fellowship program supports proposals for frontier, potentially transformative research in the life sciences. Applications for high-risk projects are particularly encouraged. The projects should be interdisciplinary in nature and should challenge existing paradigms by using novel approaches and techniques. Scientifically, they should address an important problem or a barrier to progress in the field.
HFSP postdoctoral fellowships encourage early career scientists to broaden their research skills by moving into new areas of study while working in a new country.
Two different fellowships are available:
Long-Term Fellowships (LTF) are for applicants with a PhD on a biological topic who want to embark on a novel and frontier project focussing on the life sciences.
Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (CDF) are for applicants who hold a doctoral degree from a non-biological discipline (e.g. physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or computer sciences) and who have not worked in the life sciences before.


Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

Next deadline: 22 February 2024

This scheme is for early career researchers, with a research record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Fellowships are tenable for 3 years on a full-time basis, and it is anticipated that a Fellowship will lead to a more permanent academic position.
The scheme provides the Fellow’s salary and research costs of <£6,000/year.


L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in ScienceLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

International Fellowships support promising young women researchers in the life sciences at doctoral or postdoctoral level. Candidates must be female and no more than 35 years old. Preference will be given to candidates already possessing a PhD degree (or equivalent) in the field of life sciences at the time of application. However, applications from doctoral students will be considered.


Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: Postdoctoral FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 11 Sep 2024

Supports the mobility of post-doctoral researchers within and beyond Europe - as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU. The grant usually covers two years' salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution. Individual researchers submit proposals for funding in liaison with their planned host organisation.


Royal Society Newton International FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: expected March 2024

This fellowship is for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK.


University of Warwick Institute of Advanced Study Early Career Fellowships

Next deadline: tbc

This programme supports completing Warwick doctoral candidates in the transition phase between their doctoral and independent postdoctoral research careers. The part time (50% FTE) Fellowships are awarded for an initial six months, with the option to extend to ten months. During this time, Fellows participate in the Accolade Training Programme - designed to prepare participants for independent academic careers. In addition, the Fellows establish independent research profiles that contribute to their ongoing career development.


Wellcome Early Career AwardsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 15 February 2024

This scheme provides funding for early-career researchers from any discipline who are ready to develop their research identity. Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme. There are normally three deadlines per year, in February, May and October

Career Development Fellowships

These fellowships support early career researchers, often with a few years of postdoctoral experience, establish their independent research career. Many of the schemes provide resources to develop a research group and offer training and career development opportunities, in addition to leading an independent programme of work. It is often expected that the Fellow will be established as a leader in their field by the end of the Fellowship.


Alzheimer’s Research UK Senior Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 31 January 2024

Senior Research Fellowships are designed to retain excellent clinical and non-clinical researchers who have a track record of nationally competitive research, and clear plans to manage their own independent research group and become internationally recognised within the field of biomedical dementia research.


BHF Intermediate Basic Science Research FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: open - no set deadlines

To fund talented individuals with the potential to become research leaders.


CRUK Career Development FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 21 March 2024

The Career Development Fellowship supports new group leaders who do not have a salaried independent position to establish their own independent research group. Applications are considered from any cancer-relevant research field with the exception of clinical trials and drug discovery.


Epilepsy Research UK Emerging Leader Fellowship AwardLink opens in a new window

Next Deadline: expected November 24

Applications are invited for awards of up to £250,000, over 1-4 years. Emerging Leader Fellowship awards provide research funding for epilepsy researchers planning to develop a track record in epilepsy research and seeking to transition into research leadership. Funds will cover the Fellow’s salary, support staff costs, and project running costs.


EPSRC open fellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: Open call, no deadlines

An EPSRC Fellowship is designed to provide the recipient with the necessary support to establish or further develop themselves as a leader of the future. The award enables the recipient to devote most of their time to deliver their proposed research vision. An EPSRC Fellowship is aimed to position yourself and your research topic within the wider academic field, to develop your leadership by establishing or extending your research group, and to act as an advocate for the STEM disciplines in general and EPSRC specifically.


ERC Starting grant

Next deadline: tbc

Funding for researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD and a scientific track record showing great promise. Starting Grants may be awarded up to € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years.


MRC Career Development Award

Next deadline: April 2024

The MRC career development award provides up to five years' support for outstanding post-doctoral researchers who wish to consolidate their research skills and make the transition from post-doctoral research trainee to independent investigator. Applicants are expected to take advantage of the full five years’ funding available. The CDA provides full personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project. It will also support a period of research overseas, at a second UK institution, or within industry where appropriate for the research project.

There are normally two deadlines per year for this scheme: April and September


NERC Independent Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: Autumn 2024

The scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving Fellows five years' support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes, and to establish international recognition. Applications will not be accepted from individuals with more than 8 years full time post-doctoral experience. If the applicant has not yet completed their PhD, they must expect to submit your PhD thesis before the fellowship interview would take place, and if successful would not be able to take up the fellowship until the intent to award the PhD has been confirmed by the awarding university.


RAD-ARUK Fellowship Programme

Next Deadline: tbc

In collaboration with Alzheimer's Research UK, the Race Against Dementia (RAD) Fellowships are designed to power outstanding early career scientists in their pursuit of innovative solutions to the big questions in dementia research. The objectives of the RAD Fellowship Scheme are:
• To attract outstanding early-career scientists to the field of dementia research
• To accelerate progress towards research breakthroughs through innovative and ambitious research projects.
• To provide these future leaders of dementia research with a unique package of flexible funding and developmental opportunities to fast-track their progress towards becoming independent research scientists.
• To facilitate diverse secondments that foster interdisciplinary and inter-institutional interactions on a global scale.


Royal Society University Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: Summer/Autumn 2024

This fellowship provides the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships. Research must be within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. Applicants must be in the early stages of their research career (between 3 to 8 years of research experience since their PhD) by the closing date of the round.


UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

Next deadline: 18 June 2024 (Round 9)

This cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential. These Fellowships support applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles. The support offered will be long-term and flexible and will provide comprehensive package of support, including the fellow's salary and justified research, staff and training costs, with seven years of support available on a 4+3 model, with a review in year four.

The scheme aims to:

  • develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
  • foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic, business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes

Please note that Warwick is limited to 6 applications in each round, and so runs an internal selection process, to which the School is normally able to put forward 2 candidates.


Wellcome Career Development AwardsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 11 April 2024

This scheme provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders. They will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. There are normally three deadlines per year for this scheme: April, July and December.

Fellowships for Research Leaders


BHF Senior Basic Science Research FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: open - no set deadlines

To fund outstanding individuals with a track record of internationally competitive research.


ERC Consolidator GrantLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. The scheme will strengthen independent and excellent new individual research teams that have been recently created. This scheme is for researchers of any nationality with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD and a scientific track record showing great promise.


ERC Advanced grantLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: September 2024

Applicants for the ERC Advanced Grants - called Principal Investigators (PI) - are expected to be active researchers who have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years. They should be exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions.


Leverhulme Trust Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

Research Fellowships are open to experienced researchers, particularly those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research. Fellowships are tenable tenable for between 3 and 24 months.


Leverhulme Trust Emeritus FellowshipsLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: 1 February 2024

This scheme is for senior researchers who have retired or partially retired from an academic post to complete a research project and prepare the results for publication. The primary intention of the scheme is to support the facilitation, integration or completion of the applicant’s own research output, rather than generally further support for his or her research group or research assistants. Fellowships are tenable tenable for between 3 and 24 months.


Lister Institute Research Prize FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc (normally Autumn)

The awards are aimed at researchers in the early years of running their own groups. The research prizes are awarded as lump sums of £250,000 which must be spent within a five-year period. The money must be used in support of the applicants’ research but can be used for equipment, travel, consumables or the salaries of post-doctoral workers, technicians or PhD students etc. Personal salary provision or augmentation is not allowed, but the funds can be used for a replacement lecturers’salary.


MRC Senior Non-Clinical FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: April 2024

To be within remit of the scheme, and therefore eligible to apply, all applicants must be leading their own research group as an independent investigator, primarily demonstrated by senior / communicating authorship on publications which do not include previous supervisors, and previous success in obtaining research/fellowship funding as PI.


Royal Society/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research FellowshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

This scheme is for scientists who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching and administrative duties. The applicant must have a PhD or equivalent and hold a permanent post at a UK university.


Royal Society Research ProfessorshipLink opens in a new window

Next deadline: tbc

Royal Society Research Professorships provide long term support for world-class researchers of outstanding achievement and promise. These are the Society’s premier research awards and the aim of this scheme is to release the best leading researchers from teaching and administration allowing them to focus on research. Research Professors are appointed for up to 10 years


Wellcome Discovery Awards

Next deadline: 16 April 2024

This scheme provides funding for established researchers and teams from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing There are normally three deadlines per year for this scheme: April, July and December.

Fellowships supporting a return to research or flexible working

These Fellowships are designed to support applicants return to research after a career break, and/or a have a need for flexible support due to personal circumstances.

Daphne Jackson Fellowship

Next deadline: open, no deadline

Daphne Jackson Fellowships are retraining fellowships for women and men who have taken a break of two years or more from STEM research for family, caring or health reasons..The Fellowships are usually for two or three years (depending on the sponsorship arrangement) at 0.5 FTE (full-time equivalent).


Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

Next deadline: tbc

This scheme is for excellent scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues. Female candidates are particularly invited to apply. Applicants must be at an early stage of their research career having completed their PhD but having no more than 6 years of research experience post PhD by the closing date of the round.


BHF Advanced Training Awards

Next deadline: open, no deadline

To provide researchers with an opportunity to re-train and gain additional expertise within 1 to 3 years of submitting a PhD. Candidates must be moving into a different field of science or entering cardiovascular science from a different discipline.


BHF Career Re-entry Research Fellowships

Next deadline: open, no deadline

To provide an opportunity to re-establish a career in cardiovascular science after a career break of one or more years.