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Early Career Schemes


Open Deadline.

The aims of the leadership fellows scheme early career route are the same as those for the standard route (outlined above) in addition to two specific aims for the early career route:

To develop the leadership experience of early career researchers in a crucial phase as they establish themselves and move beyond doctoral and immediate post-doctoral work.

To enable the production of high-quality innovative research this is beyond the standard of doctoral work.

Fellowship may be up to 24 months and fund between £50,000 and £250,000 (fEC).

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AHRC Research Grants (Early Career Route)

Open Deadline.

It is intended to support well-defined research projects enabling individual researchers to collaborate with, and bring benefits to, other individuals and organisations through the development of high quality research.

The early career route provides grants for projects with a full economic cost (fEC) between £50,000 and £250,000 for a varying duration up to a limit of 60 months.

*Please note that as a minimum, from 1 April 2012, all applications under the grants scheme will be required to include a principal investigator and at least one co-investigator jointly involved in the development of the research proposal, its leadership and management and leading to significant jointly authored research outputs.

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British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

Internal selection procedure deadline: 5pm on 16 August 2019.

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships are three-year Fellowship awards made to an annual cohort of outstanding Early Career Scholars.

The aim of the British Academy (BA) in making these awards is to offer opportunities for outstanding early career researchers to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment, which will develop their curriculum vitae and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship. The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research, which will be assisted by full membership of an academic community of established scholars working in similar fields.

Awards will include the salary of the Fellow and research expenses of up to £6,000 (£2,000 for each year of the fellowship). Salary must be commensurate with the early career stage of the applicant and will be equivalent to posts in the Faculty that incorporate similar duties and levels of responsibility.

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British Academy Wolfson Fellowships

Currently closed.

These Fellowships are addressed to early-career researchers who show exceptional talent in both research and public engagement. They provide them with release-time from administration and teaching duties, along with funding for public engagement and travel. The grant maximum is £130,000 across three years. Awards can be used flexibly: at least £90,000 for time buy out, and up to £40,000 for research and travel expenses and dissemination of findings. Applicants will be expected to already have a permanent post at a UK university or other research institution.

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Newton International Fellowships

Currently closed. Will open January 2020.

The Newton International Fellowships Scheme was established in 2008 to select the very best early career postdoctoral researchers from all over the world, and enable them to work at UK research institutions for two years. The scheme is offered by the Royal Society, British Academy and Academy of Medical Sciences.

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Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) Early Career Fellowship

Deadline: TBA Michaelmas term 2019.

The Early Career Fellowship scheme at CRASSH, jointly funded by the Isaac Newton Trust and the Schools of Arts & Humanities and Humanities & Social Sciences, allows Cambridge University Teaching Officers and College Teaching Officers to apply for an additional term of research leave in order to develop a new research project.

The value of the award is set at a flat rate of £2,000 per fellow per term (if Easter Term leave is requested, the sum is reduced to £1,000).

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European Research Council (ERC) Starting Investigator Grants

Calls Open: Summer 2019

ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. 

Starting Investigator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of €1.5 million for a period of 5 years (the maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration).

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European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants

Calls Open: Summer 2019

A competitive Consolidator Principal Investigator should be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field.

Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 000 000 for a period of 5 years (the maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration).

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ESRC New Investigator Grants

Internal Expressions of Interest: ongoing. 

New Investigator Grants will support new researchers and academics at the start of their careers to become independent researchers through gaining experience of managing and leading research projects and teams.

Grants can be for up to five years in duration (a five year grant would need a clear justification of the timeframe), and within an overall limit of £300,000 at 100 per cent full Economic Cost (fEC).

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ESRC DTP Postdoctoral Fellowship

Next round opens: November 2019

Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) scheme 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. Grants provide funding for up to one year full-time.

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The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF)Early Career Research Fellowship

Next round opens: January 2020

The Independent Social Research Foundation wishes to support independent-minded researchers to explore and present original research ideas which take new approaches, and suggest new solutions, to real world social problems.

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The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

Next round opens: November 2019.

The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship is a highly prestigious, fiercely competitive, post-doctoral award for researchers who are near the start of their career. Fellowships are tenable for three years on a full-time basis.

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Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

ROO internal deadline: 3pm on 10 September 2019

Transnational deadline: 5pm (Brussels time) on 11 September 2019

Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research in a European context (EU Member States and Associated Countries) or outside Europe. The scheme particularly supports the return and reintegration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked here. It also develops or helps to restart the careers of individual researchers that show great potential, considering their experience.

Fellowships take form of European Fellowships (up to 24 months) or Global Fellowships (up to 36 months). Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a mandatory 12 month return period to a European host. 

The stipend covers a living allowance, as well as mobility and family allowances.

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    Royal Society/British Academy Newton International Fellowships

    Next round opens: January 2020.

    The Newton International Fellowships Scheme was established in 2008 to select the very best early career postdoctoral researchers from all over the world, and enable them to work at UK research institutions for two years.

    Funding consists of £24,000 per annum for subsistence costs, and up to £8,000 per annum research expenses, as well as a one-off payment of up to £2,000 for relocation expenses.

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    Wellcome Trust Seed Awards in Humanities and Social Science

    Currently closed.

    Seed Awards help researchers develop compelling and innovative ideas that will go on to form part of larger grant applications to Wellcome or elsewhere. The Seed Award fund between £25,000 and £100,000 for projects lasting 12 to 18 months.

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