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Fellowships for early career researchers

Birkbeck is committed to supporting postdoctoral and early career fellowships. We are also keen to consider eligible applications from suitable PhD students and early career researchers of postdoctoral standing, whether or not they have a current affiliation with Birkbeck.

Available fellowships

If you need help with any aspect of applying for a postdoctoral fellowship, please contact us.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships at Birkbeck

  • British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships are designed to support outstanding early career researchers. All potential applicants for this scheme must first be selected by Birkbeck’s Research Strategy Group.
  • How to apply
    • Eligible applicants will need to complete a short proforma describing their research and why they have selected Birkbeck as their host institution.
    • Please  to allow for the selection of the best candidates, who will be supported by Birkbeck in their application to the British Academy.
    • All applications will be considered on the basis of research excellence: the scholarly importance of the project; your ability to carry out the research successfully; the feasibility of the proposed research programme, especially the proposed methodology and timescale; and your publication record to date.
    • Successful candidates will need to demonstrate in their CV a clear research trajectory and some standing in the field. As such, it is extremely unusual for Birkbeck to select a candidate without any relevant postdoctoral experience.
    • You must be able to demonstrate that you are eligible to apply for a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship.
    • All applicants will need to identify a mentor prior to submitting their application. You should discuss your application with your mentor. Your mentor will need to provide a supporting statement of no more than 300 words. The Research Strategy Group will not consider an application submitted without a mentor. It is your mentor's responsibility to guide you through Birkbeck's internal application processes.
    • Most departments have an internal selection stage before candidates are put forward for the college-level panel. It is the responsibility of your mentor to ensure that they find out from research leads in the department about this.
    • Before writing an application, you should check the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship FAQs and guidance on how the British Academy reviews and evaluates applications for funding.
    • All applicants considered by the College panel will receive feedback from the Research Strategy Group.
    • Selected applicants will be supported by their mentor, who will work with them on their application and will guide them as they go through Birkbeck’s approval process for applicants. Please note that selection for support by the College is not the end of the process, and your mentor should guide you through the remaining local and College-level processes.
    • We anticipate that there will be a call for every academic year, opening in May/June of the academic year preceding the application.

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships at Birkbeck

  • The call for applications to the February 2020 deadline is now open. 
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven record of research.
  • How to apply
    • Eligible applicants will need to complete a short proforma describing their research and why they have selected Birkbeck as their host institution. This must be submitted to us at rescomp@bbk.ac.uk to allow for the selection of the best candidates.
    • All applications will be considered on the basis of research excellence: the scholarly importance of the project; your ability to carry out the research successfully; the feasibility of the proposed research programme, especially the proposed methodology and timescale; and your publication record to date.
    • Successful candidates will need to demonstrate in their CV a clear research trajectory and some standing in the field. As such, it is extremely unusual for Birkbeck to select a candidate without any relevant postdoctoral experience.
    • All applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are eligible to apply for the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.
    • Before writing their applications, applicants are asked to carefully check the guidance to applicants on the Leverhulme website.
    • All applicants will need to identify a mentor prior to submitting their application. Applicants should discuss their applications with the mentor, ideally by the beginning of November. Your mentor will need to provide a supporting statement of no more than 300 words. The Research Strategy Group will not consider an application submitted without a mentor. It is your mentor's responsibility to guide you through Birkbeck's internal application processes.
    • Most departments have an internal selection stage before candidates are put forward for the College-level panel. It is the responsibility of your mentor to ensure that they find out from research leads in the department about this.
    • All applicants to the College panel must complete a proforma and submit it, along with a CV,  by 30 November 2019. 
    • All applicants considered by the College panel will receive feedback from the Research Strategy Group within two weeks of the panel meeting date. 
    • Selected applicants will be supported by a mentor, who will work with them on their application and will guide them as they go through Birkbeck’s approval process for applicants. Please note that selection for support by the College is not the end of the process, and your mentor should guide you through the remaining local and College level processes.
    • We anticipate that this will continue to be a rolling call for applications opening in October for the following academic year. 

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships at Birkbeck

  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships aim to support the best, most promising individual researchers and scholars from anywhere in the world.
  • Only experienced researchers and scholars can apply. This means you will have your doctoral degree or at least four years’ full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline.
  • Birkbeck is happy to support applications for Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowships as the named host institution.
  • Please note that all applications for research funding to be hosted by Birkbeck, including Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships, require institutional approval prior to submission.
  • How to apply
    • In order to have enough time to identify a suitable supervisor, we recommend that you identify and approach a supervisor at least three months before the deadline.
    • The supervisor will assist you with writing your proposal and will support you through the Birkbeck’s approval process for applicants.
    • Once approved by Birkbeck, applications will need to be submitted via the Research Participant Portal.
    • We recommend that you read carefully the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Work Programme.
    • You can also contact the Marie Sklodowska-Curie National Contact Point for advice.
    • The deadline for the submission of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships is in mid-September.
    • Therefore we recommend that you approach the supervisor by mid-June.

Newton International Fellowship at Birkbeck

  • The scheme provides the opportunity for the best early stage postdoctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years.
  • The scheme is jointly run by the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. Currently, there is one round per year which opens in January, which is administered on behalf of all three parties by the Royal Society.
  • All applications for research funding to be hosted by Birkbeck, including Newton International Fellowships, require institutional approval prior to submission.
  • How to apply
    • We require that you approach a member of Birkbeck academic staff to support you in your application as a mentor.
    • In order to have enough time to identify a suitable mentor, we recommend that you identify and approach the mentor at least three months before the deadline.
    • The mentor will assist you with writing your proposal and will support you through the Birkbeck’s approval process for applicants.
    • Further guidance can be found on the Royal Society website and on the Newton International Fellowships website.

Other Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunities

Birkbeck mentors supporting postdoctoral fellowships

  • Birkbeck is keen to support good-quality applications from early-career researchers, both from early career researchers currently at Birkbeck and early career researchers at another institution who wish to apply via Birkbeck.
  • All applications for postdoctoral fellowships hosted at Birkbeck require that the applicant have the support of a member of Birkbeck academic staff who acts at their mentor during the application, and once the fellowship is awarded.
  • Mentor’s responsibilities:
    • Most applicants will have little or no experience of writing a research proposal, and it is anticipated that the Birkbeck mentor will provide support and feedback to the applicant to help the applicant write the best fellowship application possible
    • The mentor will need to ensure that the application is peer reviewed in accordance with their School’s normal policies
    • All applications for postdoctoral fellowships require institutional approval. As the applicants are not members of academic staff they will not be able to access pFACT. The mentor will need to work with Research Grants and Contracts Office and the applicant to ensure that the proposal is not submitted until the institutional approval process using pFACT is completed.