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, 2015, and 2018);
  • 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. 

High quality fellowship applications require time to develop and to undergo vigorous peer review. We require all expressions of interest for departmental support to be submitted at least three months before the external funder deadline. 

For Semi-independent Postdoctoral Fellowships, expressions of interest should be submitted at least six weeks before the external funder deadline. 

Prior to submission, candidates are encouraged to discuss their research plans in detail with at least one member of academic staff to explore potential collaborations and the fit of their research to the department. 

Contact us

For further information on fellowship funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability please contact us.
+44 (0)1904 321157

Application Form

When applying you will need to supply the following: 

  • CV - your up to date CV with a full publication list
  • Research Proposal - your draft research proposal should be 2-3 or 5-6 sides of A4, with references excluded from the page limits - see below for the required length
  • Candidate Statement - a short statement (max 1 side of A4) describing how your research fits within the Chemistry Research Themes and how you fit in within the remit of your chosen fellowship scheme(s) 
  • Sponsor Statement - a supporting statement by a sponsor academic in the department identifying opportunities for collaboration and new skills/capabilities that the candidate and project would bring to the department
Fellowship Scheme Funder Deadline Proposal Length
BBSRC Discovery Fellowships (Postdoctoral) 25th May 2023 2-3
Wellcome Early-Career Awards 18th May 2023 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards 27th July 2023 5-6
Royal Society University Research Fellowships September 2023 2-3
MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 13th September 2023 2-3
EPSRC Open Fellowships September 2023 (TBC) 5-6
EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowships September 2023 (TBC) 2-3
EPSRC Synthetic Biology Postdoctoral Fellowships September 2023 (TBC) 2-3
NERC Independent Research Fellowships October 2023 5-6
Wellcome Early-Career Awards October 2023 2-3
ERC Starting Grant October 2023 5-6
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships November 2023 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards December 2023 5-6
EPSRC Open Fellowships December 2023 (TBC) 5-6
1851 Research Fellowships (Postdoctoral) January 2024 2-3
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships* February 2024 2-3
Wellcome Early-Career Awards February 2024 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards April 2024 5-6
EPSRC Open Fellowships May 2024 (TBC) 5-6
UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships July 2024 5-6

*Dependent on match funding availability

Each expression of interest is evaluated by a panel of academics 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

There are many different fellowship schemes from different funders. Each scheme will have different eligibility criteria and application processes. 

If you are interested in applying to a scheme that is not listed below please contact us.



Duration Eligibility
EPSRC logo

Postdoctoral Fellowships

3 years

Postdoctoral fellowships are only available in certain priority areas 
Open Fellowships 5 years  


Independent Research Fellowships 5 years  
BBSRC Logo Discovery Fellowships 3 years <5 years post PhD
UKRI logo Future Leaders Fellowships 4+3 years (Please contact us directly if you are interested in this fellowship.)
Early Career Fellowships 3 years <4 years post PhD
University Research Fellowships - this now includes biomedical sciences within their remit 5 years 3-8 years post PhD
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships 5 years

<6 years post PhD

need for flexible support

Early-Career Awards 5 years <3 years post PhD (some flexibility)
Career Development Awards 8 years independent researcher (usually already hold a fellowship at time of application or are within three years of your first academic appointment)

Research Fellowships 3 years <3 years post PhD
Ramsay Memorial Fellowships 2 years 50%+ salary match would need to be sought
Daphne Jackson Fellowships 2 years after a career break of two or more years

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships 2 or 3 years  
European Research Council Starting Grant 5 years 2-7 years post PhD

Other schemes

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.

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.

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.

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. 

Contact us

For further information on fellowship funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability please contact us.
+44 (0)1904 321157