Independent Research Fellowships

The Department of Chemistry at York offers an outstanding environment for researchers looking to establish and develop their career by way of an independent research fellowship:

  • We combine strong research performance and income with excellence in teaching;
  • Our researchers have access to a wide range of facilities and equipment;
  • We were the first academic department in the UK to win Athena SWAN Gold in 2007 (renewed in 2010 and 2015);
  • The University of York offers an award-winning programme of training for researcher development.

We have an excellent track record in hosting fellowships and helping independent fellows develop their research career and we are keen to attract ambitious researchers to join our Department. Case studies of current and former fellows are available on the Case Studies page.  

The Department of Chemistry holds an annual open day for potential independent research fellowship applicants. Details of the next event on 12 March 2019 are available on the Fellowships Open Day page. 

General Information

General Information

We invite expressions of interest from potential fellowship candidates at four specific points throughout the year.

The next submission deadline is 6th February 2019 - please see How to Apply for more information and the application form. 

Prior to submitting an application for support, there are two routes for making contact to initiate discussions regarding our fellowships support process:

  • get in touch with the member of our academic staff directly to discuss your proposed research and how it aligns with existing research in Chemistry at York
  • contact the Chemistry Research Support Office, to enquire about funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability

Evaluation Process

An initial evaluation of an application for departmental support is made on the basis of an expression of interest that includes the following:

  • your up to date CV;
  • a brief outline of your proposed research (either 2-3 pages or 5-6 pages depending on the fellowship scheme);
  • a short statement setting out your reasons for wanting to base your research at York and an indication of the fellowship scheme/s you are interested in applying to. (how you fit in remit of scheme) 

Each expression of interest is assessed on the basis of:

  • scientific merit
  • alignment of the proposed research with our research themes
  • eligibility of the candidate for the proposed funding scheme/s

Candidates who are successful at the expression of interest stage will be invited to present and discuss their research ideas, either in person or remotely. A final decision regarding departmental support will be made following these discussions.

More Information 

How to Apply

How to Apply

High quality Fellowship applications require time to develop and to undergo vigorous peer review. In general, we require that any expression of interest for department support needs to be received a minimum of 3 months before the funder deadline.

Expressions of interest are invited at four points throughout the year. Refer to the table below for the EoI submission deadlines for each Fellowship scheme. The next submission deadline is on 6th February 2019. The application form will be published here in January.   

If you are interested in applying to a scheme that is not listed below or have any other questions, please contact our Research Support Office.

Fellowship SchemeFunder DeadlineEoI Submission DeadlineDraft Proposal (A4 pages)
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships February 2019 21st November 2018 2-3
1851 Research Fellowships February 2019 21st November 2018 2-3
EPSRC Early Career Fellowships (May Submission Deadline) 6th February 2019 5-6
UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships May 2019 6th February 2019 5-6

BBSRC Discovery Fellowships

BBSRC David Phillips Fellowships

May 2019 6th February 2019 5-6

Why Chemistry at York?

Why Chemistry at York?

1. Excellence in research and teaching

The Department of Chemistry is a large and successful department in an attractive University with an excellent reputation for teaching and research). The excellence of Chemistry at York has been recognised in our league table rankings - 3rd in the Guardian University Guide 2019 and the Times Good University Guide 2019, and 6th in the Complete University Guide 2019

We have about 60 members of academic staff including five Fellows of the Royal Society and several national and international prize winners, contributing to a dynamic and thriving department. There are over 620 undergraduate students, over 160 graduate students (mostly studying for PhD degrees) and more than 70 postdoctoral researchers. We have a wide range of facilities and well-equipped laboratories, some very recently extended and modernised, providing an excellent environment for both teaching and research; £35M has been spent on new buildings and equipment in the last seven years.

2. Broad-ranging support throughout fellowship application process

The Department of Chemistry is committed to supporting our fellowship applicants at each stage of the application process. 

Assistance from an experienced academic staff member will include:

  • Advice on the development of the scientific case for your research proposal, including coordinating an internal peer-review process
  • Help as necessary with resource planning including the identification of available departmental equipment and resources
  • Draft text for institutional letters of support and other necessary support documentation

Assistance from research support staff will include:

  • Identification of funding schemes and assessment of eligibility
  • Help with understanding funder requirements
  • Resource planning and costing
  • Liaising with the University of York research office

Letters of support from relevant staff (e.g. academic sponsor/mentor, Head of Department) will be provided.

3. Commitment to equality and diversity: Athena SWAN Gold

The Athena SWAN Gold Award for promoting women in science was won by the Department of Chemistry in 2007 and renewed in 2010 and 2015. Ours was the first Gold award made in this scheme. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research. 

As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive and egalitarian culture at all levels and across all staff groups. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. We offer a set of family-friendly practices including flexible working.

4. Strong track record of supporting independent fellows

The Department of Chemistry at York has significant experience and history in hosting research fellowships, and many of our former fellows have gone on to successful academic careers, here and elsewhere. The Department provides support for all categories of staff in their career development and encourages the take-up of training opportunities including those provided by the award-winning University Research Excellence Training Team. 

The University of York has been successful in retaining the European Commission (EC) HR Excellence in Research Award, reviewed after six years (one of eight UK Universities to do so). The award recognises an institution’s commitment to implementing the UK Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers – principles that support all research staff by promoting recruitment, career enhancement, equality and diversity. 

Fellowship Funders and 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.


Fellowships are offered within the entire EPSRC remit, however calls for applications are targeted at specific areas

EPSRC Fellowships (MS PowerPoint  , 2,681kb)


Supports researchers who show excellent potential and who wish to undertake independent research in a host research group and gain the skills required to be successful in future. leadership roles

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 SkÅ‚odowska-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. 

MSCA IF (PDF  , 1,592kb)

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.

Wellcome Trust (MS PowerPoint  , 2,090kb)

Other schemes: