Who can apply and when
Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience; however, there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether you hold (or do not hold) a permanent academic position, as this doesn’t allow for variations of career paths across the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) disciplines.
EPSRC has defined three career stages (postdoctoral, early and established career) and the attributes expected at each stage. In conjunction with your host institution, you should evaluate your track record and assess which career stage you should apply against (if that stage is open to applications) and ensure that you are able to demonstrate how you fulfil each of the expected attributes.
In the case of postdoctoral awards, we expect that fellows have gained their PhD by the start date of the fellowship but consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a non-standard career path after their primary degree.
Applications are welcomed from candidates who wish to re-establish themselves after a career break or other period of absence from active research.
There are no nationality restrictions imposed by EPSRC.
EPSRC Fellowship – person specification
|Attribute||Post-doctoral||Early career||Established career|
|Research Excellence||Delivery of outstanding research and an indication of where the research contributes to delivering impact. Awareness of the international context of the research.||Has a track record of outstanding research and in delivering impact. Shows a strong awareness of the international context of the research and starting to show evidence of recognition in the community on an international scale.||Has a track record of outstanding research and in delivering impact. Evidence of international standing and influence in the context of the research and shows evidence of recognition in the community on an international scale.|
|Setting the research agenda||Has a clear vision of the contribution the applicant can make to their research area. Evidence of independence of (research) ideas.||Evidence of showing leadership within the research community and evidence of pushing the boundaries of the research area.||Demonstration of leadership within the research community and evidence of pushing the boundaries of the research area.|
|Strategic Vision||Shows an awareness of different research in other fields or across technology readiness levels, an aspiration to work across boundaries and/or to conduct high risk research and finding a network of independent contacts so that the applicant is getting positioned to do this.||Has some experience in identifying, exploring and developing research opportunities more broadly and across different interfaces. An awareness of how to position themselves to take up these opportunities and an ability to make decisions to deliver this vision.||An aptitude for identifying, exploring and developing research opportunities more broadly and across different interfaces. Can demonstrate where they have positioned themselves to take up these opportunities and has the ability to make decisions to deliver this vision.|
|Profile and Influence||Not strongly applicable at this career stage.||Shows potential and aptitude to act as an ambassador and advocate for a research field/theme and for research in general. Advising and influencing into policy making.||Evidence of acting as an ambassador and advocate for a research field/theme and for research in general. Advising and influencing into policy making.|
|Inspirational Team leader||Can provide evidence of an aptitude to lead and inspire for example, through mentoring or self organisation of peers.||Has ability to lead and inspire their own research team. Ability to identify and maximise potential in others (or get the best out of people).||Ability to lead and inspire. Ability to identify and maximise potential in others (or get the best out of people).|
|Communication and engagement skills||Demonstrates excellent communications and interpersonal skills and aspires to develop these across a broad audience.||Demonstrates excellent communications and interpersonal skills and aspires to develop these further across a broad audience.||Possesses excellent communications and interpersonal skills.|
When to apply
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 at which fellowship proposals are considered, 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 below or download the panel dates PDF. Please be aware that these dates illustrate typical timelines only and we cannot guarantee proposals going to specific panels.
|Capability Themes||Advised submission dates||Panel dates|
|Engineering||Early February / End of July||Early June / End of November|
|Physical Sciences||Early May / End of September / End of December||Early September / End of January / End of April|
|Mathematical Sciences||Early February / End of July||Early June / End of November|
|ICT||End of February / End of September||Early July / End of January (of the following year)|
|Healthcare Technologies||Please contact the Healthcare Technologies team for up to date information|
|Living with Environmental Change||Please contact the Living with Environmental Change team for up to date information|
|Digital Economy||Fellowship proposals predominately go to ICT panels|
|Energy||Fellowship proposals go to Physical Sciences and Engineering panels, depending on content|
|Manufacturing the future||Fellowship proposals go predominately to Engineering panels, but can also go to ICT and Physical Sciences depending on content|
Fellowships can be held at any UK university or similar Higher Education Institution (HEI) that is eligible for Research Council funding; please see the RCUK page on Eligible Organisations. From 01 November 2016 the Research Councils are introducing a change of eligibility status for Independent Research Organisations (IROs). Any organisation currently approved as an IRO for one Research Council will become eligible for all Research Councils.
The change will be implemented for all calls announced after 01 November 2016 and covers both responsive and directive modes of funding.
You will need a letter of support from your host organisation and therefore you should contact the Head of Department at your host organisation and their Research Administration (depending on the organisation this may be departmental or central) who will advise you about costing your proposal and internal procedures relating to submitting a research proposal through Joint electronic Submission (Je-S). Your fellowship must be costed and submitted by the host organisation. If you are applying from overseas, you must have agreement from an eligible UK Host Organisation to host the fellowship.