Accessibility statement

Independent Fellowships at York

Our research has had major influence on environmental policy, industry and health, with internationally recognised strengths across the biological sciences: from ecology to biochemistry, biotechnology and biomedical sciences. Biological Sciences at York are ranked in the top 10 overall in the UK according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results. Over 55 per cent of our research outputs and 75 per cent of our research environment - the support we give to our researchers - is classed as “world-leading” with 4* - the REF's highest rating.

A key factor in our success is our superb research facilities, including the innovative Technology Facility which houses state-of-the-art equipment.

We also have major interdisciplinary collaborations with the Department of Chemistry (the York Structural Biology Laboratory, located in Biology, is York's epicentre for biological chemistry research), and the Hull-York Medical School, and we contribute to the York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI) and Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB).

Collaborating with other departments on campus, we’ve also established the Biological Physical Sciences Interdisciplinary Network (BPSInet) and York Environmental Sustainability Institute.

Within the Department, our values of collegiality, openness and flexibility have gained us a gold Athena SWAN award. We celebrate a culture in the department where ‘we can all be ourselves’.

We have a strong track-record of hosting Independent Research Fellows and we greatly value the contribution they make to research in the Department. Our supportive, dynamic and flourishing environment is an ideal location for Fellows, who we view as the potential academic leaders for the future.

Funders and schemes

Pre-Fellowship Application

  • Introductions to members of our academic staff relevant to your proposed research area
  • Mentoring on scheme suitability and design of your proposal
  • Feedback on draft proposals
  • Support and practice sessions for your interview preparation

Fellowship Awardees

  • Up to two years additional support at the end of a five year fellowship, or a possible additional year at the end of a three year fellowship
  • Outstanding research facilities, with financial support provided to access Bioscience Technology Facility labs and other Biology Research Facilities. 
  • Modern laboratory space of the highest standard
  • Continued mentoring from senior colleagues
  • Support with writing further funding proposals
  • Opportunities to gain teaching experience
  • Training and personal development

Career Progression

  • Advice for progression to permanent positions
  • A guaranteed interview for any suitable Departmental lectureship vacancy.
  • Opportunities for proleptic appointments

Case studies

We have an excellent track record in hosting Fellowships and helping independent Fellows develop their research career. Read about the experiences of some of our current and recent Fellows:

Fellowship schemes

Fellowship Funders and Schemes

There are many different types of fellowships available, each of which have their own eligibility criteria and application process.

Royal Society University Research Fellowship

For outstanding early career scientists who have the potential to become experts and leaders in their field

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

For early career researchers whose personal circumstances (such as parenting, caring responsibilities or health issues) require a flexible working schedule

Royal Society Newton International Fellowships

These Fellowships are for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK.

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class. This scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential and welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants.

BBSRC Discovery Fellowships

Provides support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. The DF will support the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders. As such, the DF enables BBSRC to supply the UK with highly skilled, professional research leaders.

NERC Independent Research Fellowships

Five-year awards to support outstanding environmental scientists and enable them to develop their research, start to build a research group and become internationally recognised.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships

The obiectives of PFs is to support researchers' careers and foster excellence in research. The Postdoctoral Fellowships action targets researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers.  PFs help researchers gain experience in other countries, disciplines and non-academic sectors.


 Wellcome Early-Career Awards

This scheme provides funding for early-career researchers from any discipline who are ready to develop their research identity. Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.

Wellcome Career Development Awards

This scheme provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders. They will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

Wellcome Discovery Awards

This scheme provides funding for established researchers and teams from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.


MRC’s fellowships support the development of talented individuals to strengthen the UK research base and enable the scientific community to respond effectively to current and future grand challenges in medical research.

Career Development Award

Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship

Leverhulme Trust logo 

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Fellowships are intended to assist those at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, and it is hoped that the appointment would lead to a more permanent position for the individual, either within the same or another institution.

Daphne Jackson Trust logo 

Daphne Jackson Fellowships

Daphne Jackson Fellowships are unique. They offer researchers the opportunity to return to a research career after a break of two or more years for a family, health or caring reason. By combining a personlised retraining programme with a challenging research project, held in a supportive UK university or research establishment, the Fellowships provide a vital opportunity for those looking to return to a research career.


Royal Commission

1851 Research Fellowships are intended to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation; an ultimate objective is to contribute to the knowledge base required for a healthy and innovative national culture.

If you are thinking of applying for an Independent Research Fellowship, in particular in an area of strategic fit with current research in York Biology, we encourage you to contact individual staff members whose research area most closely matches yours. Alternatively contact Dr David Kent (, Chair of the Research Committee, for further information.

Please visit here for a full list of Fellowship funding schemes including;