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 2019);
  • The University of York offers an award-winning programme of training for researcher development. 

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For further information on funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability

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 - 7th in the Complete University Guide 2024 and 7th for 'Research Power' in the 2021 REF.  

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 ten years. 

Commitment to equality and diversity

We recognise the importance of equal participation, progression and success for all. The Department of Chemistry strives to provide a working, learning, social and living environment that will enable all our staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish and to excel.

The Department is committed to the Athena SWAN Charter which focuses on recognising advancement of gender equality.  In particular, we recognise the importance of the equal participation of women at all levels in a subject that has traditionally been, and remains, male-dominated.

Chemistry at York was the first academic department in the UK to receive the Athena SWAN Gold award, held continuously since 2007. In 2017 we celebrated 10 years of holding an Athena SWAN Gold award and in May 2019 we received our most recent Gold award.

Please see the department's Equality and Diversity pages for more information. 

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 York Researcher Professional Development & Skills Programme

York Research Fellowship Programme

The University's Research Fellowship Programme supports talented early-career researchers who would like to hold a fellowship at York. Once you join us as a fellowship holder, the programme will support your ongoing development, allowing your research career to flourish.

Key aspects of the Research Fellowship Programme include:

  • Development and support for outstanding prospective candidates to help you to succeed in gaining your fellowship
  • Ongoing training and development opportunities throughout your fellowship
  • The opportunity to apply for a funded extension to your fellowship to work on your research ideas, develop entrepreneurial, policy-related, or civic engagement activities, or to engage with new audiences, user communities, or international connections

Researcher Development Concordat

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. 

The Researcher Development Concordat 2019 is structured around three Principles:

  • Environment and Culture - Healthy working environments attract and develop a more diverse workforce, impact positively on individual and institutional performance, and enhance staff engagement.
  • Employment - This principle recognises the importance of fair, transparent, and merit-based recruitment, progression and promotion, effective performance management, and a good work-life balance.
  • Professional and Career Development - Researchers must be equipped and supported to be adaptable and flexible in an increasingly diverse global research environment and employment market.

Application Process

  1. Choose a scheme and check the eligibility criteria - for advice on suitable fellowship schemes, please contact us
  2. Contact a member of our academic staff to discuss your research plans in detail, the fit of your research to the department and to explore potential collaborations
  3. Check the funder deadline and our internal deadline for expression of interest
  4. Prepare your expression of interest documentation: 
    • 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 Support Letter - a supporting letter 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
  5. Submit your documentation on the application form before our internal deadline 
  6. If your expression of interest is approved, you will work with your academic sponsor and other academics in the department to develop your fellowship application
  7. Submit your fellowship application to the external funder with support from the Chemistry Research Office

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  8 years 3-8 years post PhD
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships 8 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

Application deadlines

High quality fellowship applications require time to develop and to undergo vigorous peer review and we can only support a limited number of applications due to match funding constraints.

If you are considering applying for a fellowship in the next 12 months, then please contact us on to let us know. We can then provide additional support to you while you prepare your EoI application. 

We require all applications to be submitted in a certain time frame before the external funder deadline:  

  • For independent fellowships - 14 weeks
  • For postdoctoral/semi-independent fellowships - 7 weeks
Fellowship Scheme Funder Deadline Proposal Length
Royal Society University Research Fellowships Early September 2-3
MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships Early-mid September 2-3
EPSRC Open Fellowships End September 5-6
EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Late September 2-3
NERC Independent Research Fellowships Early November 5-6
Wellcome Early-Career Awards Early October 2-3
ERC Starting Grant October 5-6
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships November 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards December 5-6
EPSRC Open Fellowships April 5-6
1851 Research Fellowships (Postdoctoral) Mid January 2-3
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships* Late February 2-3
Wellcome Early-Career Awards Mid February 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards Early April 5-6
EPSRC Open Fellowships July 5-6
UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships July 5-6
BBSRC Discovery Fellowships (Postdoctoral) May 2-3
Wellcome Early-Career Awards Mid May 2-3
Wellcome Career Development Awards Mid July 5-6

*Dependent on match funding availability

Evaluation Process

Your expression of interest will be evaluated 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

Support throughout the 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.

Contact us

For further information on funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability