Accessibility statement

                    Getting Started

                    What we offer

Independent Research Fellowships

The Department of Education at the University of 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
  • we offer our researchers access to a wide range of first-class research facilities and equipment
  • the university offers an award-winning programme of training for researcher development

The department has successfully hosted independent fellowships funded by ESRC as well as British Academy and The Leverhulme Trust. We currently have an ever-growing, vibrant and talented community of early career researchers collaborating on a wide range of projects which have been funded by BetterStart Bradford, British Academy, British Council, ERC, EPSRC, ESRC, Nuffield Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust.

We have an excellent track record of helping early career researchers develop their own research careers, from the fellowship stage through to academic posts, both here at York, elsewhere in the UK or internationally.

We are keen to attract ambitious researchers to join our department and work within one or more of our research centres:

Where funding schemes allow more than one mentor/senior research collaborator we are interested in collaborating in joint applications with other departments. This can be an excellent way of strengthening a proposal, engaging in interdisciplinary work, and enriching your own experience. We have experience of collaborating on funded projects with the Departments of Computer Science, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, and are interested in exploring collaborations with other departments.

Getting Started

We welcome expressions of interest, at any time during the year, from researchers who are considering applying to hold a fellowship at York, with a view to supporting them in the application process.

There are two routes for making contact to initiate discussions:

  1. Get in touch with a member of our academic staff directly to discuss your proposed research and how it aligns with existing research in the Department of Education at York.
  2. Contact Professor Sophie von Stumm, Director of Research ( or our research support team ( to enquire about funders, schemes, eligibility and suitability.

To be considered for departmental support for a fellowship application we require candidates to send an expression of interest to our research administrator ( that includes the following:

  • your CV
  • a brief outline of your proposed research (maximum two sides of A4)
  • a short statement setting out your reasons for wanting to base your research at York and an indication of which fellowship scheme(s) you are interested in exploring, such as The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, Marie-Curie, and ESRC. (As funding schemes can change from year to year, please provide a link to the current scheme you are considering). Please check your eligibility for the scheme (eg in terms of nationality or visa requirements). 

Each expression of interest will be assessed on the basis of:

  • scientific merit
  • alignment of the proposed research with our research centres
  • eligibility of the candidate for the proposed funding scheme(s).

Your expression of interest will be evaluated by at least three members of staff: the director of research, the relevant research centre leader, and the member of staff named in the proposal (or one other member of staff if you are applying to work with either the director of research or the research centre leader themselves). If there are any financial implications for the department (such as co-sponsorship or costs that are not covered by the funder), the head of department will also review your expression of interest. Please allow at least five to ten working days for this initial review process.
You will be contacted as soon as possible with a decision as to whether or not the department would be able to support your application. For more information on the type of support that we provide please refer to the 'What we offer' tab.

Contact us as early as possible so that we can provide the maximum level of support throughout the process. Ensure you take into consideration any scheme deadlines because fellowship applications take time to develop. Please note that we have institutional internal deadlines for approval of all research funding applications, and will therefore not generally be able to accept proposals less than four weeks before the funder deadline.

What We Offer

Once your expression of interest has been approved, you will work with the experienced academic staff member you would like to collaborate with.

Support from this academic member of staff will include:

  • advice on the development of the 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 and the Director of Research 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.