Frequently Asked Questions

My fellowship was rejected, when can I reapply?

You may only apply for one EPSRC fellowship in any 12-month period, the date being taken from the date the original proposal was submitted to EPSRC. EPSRC doesn't accept uninvited resubmissions so you would need to make sure your new proposal is substantially different from the original proposal.

Please see our Fellowship Policy page.

Can I submit a fellowship application to different funders at the same time?

Fellowship applications can be submitted to more than one council at the same time.

There is an implied rule that we will expect these parallel submitted proposals to be significantly different from each other. The same application cannot be submitted to different Councils at the same time, for more information please see the How to apply for research funding page on the RCUK website.

On the EPSRC website it states: If you are submitting fellowship applications to other funding bodies in parallel to this application, you should be aware that if you accept an EPSRC Fellowship, where 100% of your time is supported, you will be expected to turn down offers of other similar awards.

Please see our Fellowship Policy page.

For interdisciplinary research at the interface between Research Councils, it is often difficult to know which council a proposal should be submitted to. Before you commit yourself to producing a full proposal that may cross Research Council remits, we encourage you to contact us to discuss which council is most appropriate, please see the Remit Queries page for guidance.

What if my fellowship sits across several EPSRC Fellowship priority areas?

You should indicate all priority areas that you think are relevant to the proposed research in the cover letter, and highlight the one area that you think is the most relevant.

Which Career stage should I apply for?

You should read the person specification and assessment criteria for the Postdoc, Early career and Established Fellowships to help you make a decision and seek advice from your University’s Research Office.

As a guide if you have recently completed your PhD we would suggest you apply for a Postdoctoral fellowship

If you are new lecturer you could still apply for Postdoctoral fellowship

If you hold a first grant we would suggest applying for an Early career fellowship

If you recently received a senior lectureship you would be on the boundaries of Early and Established fellowship

If you have a Chair, then we would suggest you have the experience to apply for an Established career fellowship

Please see our Who can apply page.

If I apply for a fellowship would I be eligible for a First grant?

If you are an unsuccessful EPSRC fellowship applicant you can subsequently apply for a First grant providing you meet the other First grant eligibility requirements. (Bear in mind EPSRC submission behaviour policy.) Additionally, EPSRC postdoctoral fellows are still eligible to apply for a First Grant.

Please see First grant scheme eligibility.

Can fellowships be held at Research Council Institutes?

Yes.  An EPSRC fellowship can be hosted by any organisation eligible for EPSRC funding.  To check your eligibility for the Research Institutes and other Independent Research Organisations (IROs), visit the RCUK website.

Can a fellowship have more than one host organisation?

Fellowships must have one lead host organisation who is their employer. You may work closely with other organisations.

Do I need to hold an animal test license?

You do not need to hold a license before you submit your fellowship application. However, any EPSRC award will be made on the absolute condition that no work that is controlled by the Animal Act will begin until the necessary licences have been obtained, and it is the institutions and fellow’s responsibility for ensuring that all relevant legal requirements are satisfied.

Can I apply for a fellowship even though I am not a UK National citizen?

There are no nationality restrictions imposed by EPSRC on who can apply for a fellowship. You will require the support of a UK University

Please see our Who can apply page.

I have been working in industry since obtaining my PhD; can I still apply for a fellowship?

Applications are welcomed from candidates who wish to re-establish themselves in academia after a career break or other period of absence from active research.

Please see our Who can apply page.

Am I allowed a Co-I on my fellowship?

Co-I's are not permitted on Post-Doctoral fellowships as you are expected to demonstrate independence, but collaborators are permitted.

Early and Established career fellowships can include a Co-I if justified. A Co-I is expected to bring complementary and different skills.

As a fellow can I be a PI or Co-I on another grant?

Fellows at the Early and Established Career stage at 100% FTE are eligible to be a PI / Co-I on a research grant, assuming you meet all of the other requirements. However the required resource cannot be duplicated – salary should not be costed to the new proposal for any overlapping period of time, with the fellowship, estates and indirect costs would need to be reduced accordingly.

However, you would need to be able to convince peer review that this would not adversely impact the delivery of your fellowship and the research grant project is feasible whilst having a 0% time commitment. This is usually the case where the research grant project is heavily related to the fellowship, so the administrative time needed on the grant is able to be covered by the time on the fellowship.

Can resources be requested for project partners, such as cost to cover travel?

Applicants cannot request any resources for project partners as they are supposed to be formally contributing to the project either in cash or in kind.

Project partners who are not contributing to the fellowship, either in kind or cash, should be included and costed in as a sub-contractor / consultant and so on, on the proposal.

Can a project partner be from the same Research Organisation as an applicant?

Project partners cannot be from the same Research Organisation. If you want to reference collaborators from the host organisation, then please refer to them in Host Organisation Statement.

Can non-project partners’ letter of support be included in the application?

Letters of support should only come from named project partners. If you would like to make reference to third parties in your proposal without adding them as project partners, you can refer to them in the Host Organisation Statement. In this case, they are not project partners and hence their letters of support cannot be included.

In exceptional circumstances, EPSRC accepts Letters of Support that do not meet the requirements for Project Partner Letters of Support. This occurs when an organisation cannot be listed as a project partner, for example when the host institution wants to detail a proposed contribution to the cost of the equipment. However, unless there are exceptional reasons why an organisation cannot meet the requirements to be a project partner, EPSRC will not accept Letters of Support. This is on a case-by-case consideration and only if you have contacted the portfolio manager for the priority area you are applying to in advance will you be allowed to do so.

Can I go on long visits?

You can spend up to 12 months of the fellowship elsewhere. Although caution would need to be taken with costing (in other words, no estates).

A visit longer than 12 months plus additional conferences would be considered but could raise questions at Peer review for example, regarding supervision of the staff on the fellowship.

For rules on periods of abeyance (in other words, interrupting your fellowship) please see Managing your fellowship.

Can named visiting researchers on a fellowship apply for their own EPSRC Fellowship?

Yes. Although they need to make sure there is no salary duplication if there is an overlap of time.

Would EPSRC pay for staff acting as a supervisor or mentor?

No, we would not pay for staff resource acting in a supervisory or mentoring role.

My University does College teaching, I understand that there is precedent for including resources to cover College teaching on EPSRC fellowships, but is there any specific way that I include this or do I just include it under "Other Directly Incurred Costs"?

For 100% FTE fellowships, we are paying for your time so you should not be including additional resources on your fellowship for college teaching. If the fellowship is not 100% FTE then it is not relevant to the fellowship and EPSRC would not get involved in what you do outside of your fellowship time.

Should inflation be included in the costs?

Inflation should not be included in fellowship costing, as EPSRC applies indexation at the time of grant announcement. The relevant excerpt from the funding guide states:
Proposals should be made at current (year 1) prices, inclusive of VAT and other taxes, where applicable, with no allowance for inflation.

Please see the Funding guide.

Can Relocation costs be included?

Relocation costs (under Travel & Subsistence) are allowable for fellows (and other named staff on grants) as the Funding Guide states:
Relocation costs may be included for staff who are named in the proposal form. Relocation costs for un-named staff should be found from the Indirect Cost element of the grant.

It would be up to the applicant / host organisation to determine what is reasonable cost in this regard and justify accordingly.

Is there a maximum number of postdocs / technicians I can request when applying for a fellowship?

There is no maximum number of postdocs you have can have on your proposal but they must all be fully justified in terms of the science and resource you are requesting.

Is there a maximum amount I can apply for?

There is no upper limit to the amount you can apply for on a Fellowship but it must be fully justified in the Justification of Resources.

Are publication costs an eligible cost on a Fellowship grant?

General publication costs are not allowed, these are to be paid by the university. Universities receive funding from EPSRC to cover researcher’s publication costs via a block grant, hence these are not allowable costs on individual grants.

How many hours of teaching can I do if I am a 100% FTE fellow?

Provided the teaching is related to the research project on which you are currently working, you may, during normal working hours, undertake teaching and demonstrating work, including associated training, preparatory, marking and examination duties, for up to an average of 6 hours a week (pro rata for part-time staff) calculated over the period that you are supported on the grant.

Terms and Conditions of Grants (PDF 114KB) [RCUK]

How long can a fellowship be extended for?

After a grant has started, the duration may be extended at no additional cost by an overall total of up to 12 months, subject to prior written approval. Extensions will be allowed where they are necessary to enable work to be completed following delays due to:

  • breaks or delays in the appointment of staff;
  • maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental or paid sick leave;
  • extended jury service; or
  • changes from full-time to part-time working.

Requests for extensions should be made via the Grant Maintenance facility in JeS once the required duration is known and before the grant ends.

Please see Managing your Fellowship for full details.

How long can a fellowship be extended for to cover maternity, paternity and adoption leave?

After a fellowship grant has started, the duration may be extended to cover maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, extended jury service or paid sick leave for a Research Fellow in line with the terms and conditions of the fellow's employment.

Please see Managing your Fellowship for full details.

After a fellowship grant has started, the duration may be extended to cover maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave, extended jury service or paid sick leave for a Research Fellow in line with the terms and conditions of the fellow's employment.

Any request for an extension should be made via the Grant Maintenance facility in Je-S once the required duration is known. All requests for extensions must be made before the grant ends.

Could I transfer my fellowship to another UK Higher Education institution?

Fellowships can be transferred to a different Higher Education Institution in the UK. For a transfer, EPSRC’s expectation is that: (1) more than six months are left on the fellowship, (2) the new host institution agrees to all of the original conditions of the fellowship, including support originally offered to the fellow, (3) the new host institution submits a statement from the head of Department confirming they are happy with the transfer. All documents are to be submitted via Grant Maintenance in Je-S. EPSRC must also approve the transfer.

The fellowship will be transferred at the original value, re-costing will not be allowed.

Can my fellowship be put on hold?

Early career and established fellowships may be interrupted no more than twice during the whole fellowship period, to spend time on activities not supported by EPSRC but directly related to the fellowship, for example, working overseas at another institution. Such period of abeyance must not exceed two years in total.

Postdoc fellowships may be interrupted no more than once during the whole period of your fellowship. Such periods of abeyance must not exceed one year in total.

In all cases, the agreement of EPSRC must be sought in advance. Agreement will not be given for a break during the first or final year of the award. Where periods of abeyance are agreed the award will be extended by a period of time equal to the length of the break.

During the approved abeyance, payments will not be made. Fellows should consider the impact on any PDRAs.

When will the next submission deadline for Fellowships be?

In general there are no deadlines for a fellowship submission. Applications can be submitted at any time and will be processed on a rolling basis at a prioritisation panel after postal peer review (this can take a minimum of 4 months). However, there are some exceptions; a specific call can have a set closing date, please see our calls page.

Most themes have only two prioritisation panels per year. For guidance on when to submit to have the best chance of the proposal being assessed at a forthcoming prioritisation panel, please see the tables on our Who can apply page. Or download the panel dates PDF.

Further information on applying for a Fellowship can be found on our Application and Peer Review Process page.

Will notice be given on the EPSRC website of a priority area being removed?

Any removal of priority areas will be given a 6 months advanced notice on our website. Any related applications in process at the time that advance notice is given will continue to be assessed in good faith.

Please see On-going refresh of fellowship priority areas.

I have a 100% FTE fellowship; would I be able to go part time?

In principle yes, you are able to reduce the time spent on your fellowship to a lower %FTE to allow for other duties in your department or on other grants, but you would still keep the same end date to your fellowship (if you remain in 100% FTE employment).

However, such requests should always be discussed up front with the appropriate EPSRC theme contact for approval on a case-by-case basis, as we would not allow the originally proposed fellowship research to suffer.

Please find the theme contacts listed under the Fellowship Priority Areas table

Where a fellow changes their conditions of employment with their host institution to work part time during the fellowship, it can be converted to a part time award, at a minimum of 50% FTE, during the course of the Fellowship.

Can I apply for a part time fellowship?

Where a fellow is ordinarily employed part time your EPSRC fellowship may be held part-time at a minimum level of 50%, your fellowship will be extended accordingly (pro-rata), for example 120 months at 50% FTE. Requests to hold a fellowship below the minimum level of 50% will be considered on a case by case basis.

My Fellowship application was unsuccessful; when can I reapply?

You may only apply for one EPSRC fellowship in any 12-month period, the date being taken from the date the original proposal was submitted to EPSRC. EPSRC doesn't accept uninvited resubmissions so you would need to make sure your new proposal is substantially different from the original proposal.

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