Independent Fellowships at York

Our department is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for overall research performance and first for impact outside academia (Times Higher Education’s ranking of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework results). 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.

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.

Collaborating with other departments on campus, we’ve also established the Biological Physical Sciences Institute, York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis, 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.

The Royal Society University Research Fellowship

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

The 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

The Royal Society Newton International Fellowships

Designed for non-UK early career researchers

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 David Phillips Fellowships

Supports outstanding researchers to conduct very high-quality research and establish independent academic careers.

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 Individual Fellowships

We seek to support strong researchers currently based outside the UK in applying for an Individual European Fellowship under the above scheme. Applicants can be of any nationality but they must not have spent more than 12 months in the last 3 years in the UK.

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

Offering recently qualified postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to start independent research careers, working in some of the best research environments in the world.

Sir Henry Dale Fellowships

Providing support for postdoctoral researchers who aim to become independent scientists leading their own groups. The scheme is a partnership between the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust.

Research Career Re-entry Fellowships

Offering postdoctoral research scientists the opportunity to re-establish their scientific careers after a continuous break from research of at least two years.


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

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 Professor Jane Hill (, Chair of the Research Committee, for further information.

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