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Group Leader Research Fellowship Sponsorship Scheme

About us

The Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) was founded in 2003 to promote multi-disciplinary research at the interface of structural-, computational- and chemical biology at UCL and Birkbeck. Since then, we have become one of the internationally premier institutions in multidisciplinary life sciences. Our research portfolio encompasses several foci, including (i) gene expression & RNA biology, (ii) protein folding, membranes & trafficking, (iii) microbiology & synthetic biology, (iv) metabolism, cancer & biological chemistry and (v) evolution, computational biology with AI & deep learning (

About the opportunity

We invite Expressions of Interest from early career researchers who wish to be sponsored for external fellowships that will enable them to establish an independent research group at the ISMB, via a tenure-track like process. Such fellowships include: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Career Development Award, MRC Career Development Award, CRUK Career Development Fellowship, ERC Starting Grant, Royal Society URF, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, EPSRC Open Fellowship, and similar awards. Our research fellows make vital contributions to the ISMB. They bring energy and prestige, novel and original research questions and approaches and new collaborative opportunities, as they widen or deepen our current research portfolio. We run two selection rounds per year. The deadline for this round is 30 January 2024. Salary will depend on experience and fellowship awarded.

We welcome applications with research focus in Structure and Molecular Biology, with particular interest in the areas of Infectious Diseases and Computational Methods and Machine Learning in Structural Biology. 

About you

Prospective candidates will have an exceptional track record appropriate for their career stage and have to demonstrate their potential to attract competitive fellowships. Following application, selected candidates will be invited to give a seminar at the Institute and attend an interview with the Fellowship Panel via an online platform. Successful candidates will be invited to visit the ISMB, with opportunities to meet staff, students and current fellows informally and engage in short meetings with selected group leaders. Eligibility: Candidates should confirm their eligibility for specific fellowships schemes and will be required to provide evidence of eligibility to work in the UK before commencing any fellowship offered. To apply, please email the following to with the subject header “ISMB Fellowship Application”: 1) a short CV with names of referees; 2) a two-page research vision/draft fellowship application; 3) a cover letter explaining how your proposal is suitable for the fellowship scheme(s) you are interested in, a timeline for application(s), and how you see this research programme fitting into the ISMB. Further information can be found here:

What we offer

Successful candidates will receive substantial support for the preparation of their Fellowship applications including mock interviews. Candidates that are successful in securing a fellowship are supported by and embedded into a closely-knit network of colleagues. They receive laboratory and office space, access to state-of-the-art equipment and expertise and access to research students from a range of 4-year PhD programmes. In addition, we provide bespoke mentoring and continued professional training. We expect fellows to develop into strong candidates for permanent positions within the department, or elsewhere. In line with this ethos, a large proportion of our past fellows have progressed to permanent positions within the ISMB. For informal enquiries, please contact the ISMB director Professor Franca Fraternali (

Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

As London’s Global University, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation, and we want our community to represent the diversity of the world’s talent. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where we all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in UCL’s workforce. These include people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds; disabled people; LGBTQI+ people; and for our Grade 9 and 10 roles, women. Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality.

Further Information

Professional Expertise Research and Research Support
Department School of Natural Sciences
Location London
Working Pattern Full time
Salary See advert
Contract Type Permanent
Working Type On site (> 80% of working time)
Available For Secondment No

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