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Postdoctoral research

The Department of English and Related Literature has long supported postdoctoral researchers of all kinds in successful applications to myriad funding schemes. These include: UK Research Councils, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Foundation, the Danish and Irish Governments, and the Wellcome Trust. We welcome applicants to join one of our four period-specific research schools and benefit from the facilities and collegial environment of one of the top English departments in the world.

Arts and Humanities research in York is generously supported by the facilities offered by the purpose-built Humanities Research Centre on our main campus and at King’s Manor in York city centre. The University library is home to the Borthwick Institute for Archives (the largest public record office outside London) and the dedicated Raymond Burton Yorkshire Collection, and we also have research links with York Minster Library.

The Department supports a broad range of scholarly, intellectual and cultural activities in a variety of media, including theatre, film and creative industries. Writers at York brings high-profile national and international authors to campus every term. Our interdisciplinary research centres all host their own seminar series and York-based research projects.

We will support candidates who can demonstrate a track record of excellent research, 'fit' with a mentor (where appropriate) and compatibility with the work of our research schools and centres.

If you want to pursue your research here please contact our Director of Research, Professor Claire Chambers in the first instance. In relation to mentorship, please also feel free to contact any colleagues on the below pages.

Find out more about our:

In the information that follows, where dates have passed, please bear in mind that we expect similar deadlines in future.

List of our current scholarships:

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Department welcomes expressions of interest for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships.

We support exceptional applicants for Leverhulme ECRs. Potential candidates are welcome to submit a concise 800-word draft proposal along with their CV for consideration by an internal review panel before they commit to an institution. We also expect all candidates to identify a mentor within the Department to support their Fellowship/application. Expressions of interest should be submitted well in advance of the announcement of the opening of the Leverhulme scheme, that is, by 12 noon (UK time) on Friday 25 November 2022. An internal panel will be able to give an indication of whether we can support an application by mid-January 2023. The department will most likely be unable to support more than one application for funding starting in the academic year 2023-24.

Please contact Claire Chambers, Director of Research.
 
I knew I wanted the University of York to be the institutional home for my postdoctoral research because of its lively and rich research culture, both within the department of English and Related Literature and beyond through its many interdisciplinary networks, including the Centre for Medieval Studies. I joined York in 2020 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and I have benefitted immensely from the incredible community here in the department - Francesca Brooks, Fellow
 
I joined the department in 2020 as a postdoctoral research associate at The Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity. I have benefited greatly from the incredibly supportive network of early career scholars and from mentorship with Professor Helen Smith. York's department of English and Related Literature is truly one of the most vibrant and supportive communities of scholars I have encountered. - Sarah Bezan, Fellow






British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships are three-year Fellowship awards made to an annual cohort of outstanding Early Career Scholars. The scheme provides a salary for three years and associated research expenses.

Who can apply?

The scheme offers 3-year fellowships for postdoctoral researchers who are within 3 years of the award of their doctorate (for the 2022-23 scheme, this means being awarded via a viva voce examination between 1 April 2020 and 1 April 2023).

The applicant must be a UK or EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university. Applicants who don’t fall into one of these categories must demonstrate a ‘strong prior association’ with the UK academic community. This is typically gained through having been employed in a temporary capacity at a UK university for a significant period of time (generally at least 12 months).

The award is paid on an 80% fEC basis (the same way research councils work) and includes salary costs for the fellow and university overheads. Research expenses up to £6000 are paid at 100% fEC. Application is a 2-stage process; only applicants that are successful in the first outline stage will be invited to submit a full proposal in early 2022.

While it is not a requirement, the British Academy does encourage applicants to consider moving to a different institution. If any York PhDs are interested in applying for a fellowship at York, it's important that they have a good reason for doing so (i.e. it’s integral to their career development) and can articulate this clearly in the application.

As you may already be aware, this is an extremely competitive scheme and the success rate rarely exceeds 10%. Resubmissions are not possible unless the applicant has made it through to a 2nd-stage application in a previous year. As such, it’s important that applicants take the time to submit the best application they can since it may be their only chance. In some cases it may be wiser to postpone submission until next year if that means a significantly stronger application.

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme is now closed. The previous deadline was Wednesday 12 October 2022

British Academy Newton International Fellowships

Newton International Fellowships, delivered jointly by the British Academy and the Royal Society, enable postdoctoral researchers from overseas to work for two years at a UK institution with the aim of fostering long-term international collaborations.

Who can apply?

The scheme offers 2-year fellowships for postdoctoral researchers with no more than 7 years of full-time postdoctoral experience. Applicants must be currently working outside the UK and must not hold UK citizenship.

This scheme funds £30,000 per annum for subsistence costs, and up to £8,000 per annum for research expenses, as well as a one-off payment of up to £3,500 for relocation expenses.

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Claire Chambers:

  • A short CV (one page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.

It is recommended that you contact a proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Claire Chambers.

British Academy/Wolfson Fellowships

British Academy/Wolfson Fellowships are designed to support early-career researchers who currently hold a permanent or fixed-term post, who show talent in both research and public engagement. This award offers a maximum of £130,000 across three years, some of which can be used to buy out your time, and some of which can be used for research, travel expenses and dissemination of findings.

Who can apply?

Applicants should be within seven years of the completion of their doctorate, and must have a full-time or part-time permanent or fixed-term post that covers the length of the award (three years). Applicants should have research, teaching and other related duties from which they would need to be released.

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Claire Chambers:

  • A short CV (one page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.

It is recommended that you contact a proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Claire Chambers.

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships

For all funding schemes see Wellcome Trust website. The main funding schemes for Wellcome are:

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Claire Chambers:

  • A short CV (one page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.

It is recommended that you contact your proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Claire Chambers.

HRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

Read more about HRC Postdoctoral Fellowships (York only)

AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowships

The UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) runs a Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship scheme. This fellowship scheme allows researchers to carry out high-quality research in any area covered by the AHRC. It also provides the opportunity to develop capabilities as research specialists and to undertake innovative and collaborative development activities.

There are two routes, depending on your career route:

These Fellowships have no deadline, and are open all year round. In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Claire Chambers:

  • A short CV (one page)
  • An outline of the proposed research (max 500 words) and the name of your proposed mentor and why you have chosen them (max 100 words). The outline should include a summary of the project, the research questions, how the research advances the field and the proposed methodology.

If applying through the early career researchers route, you will also need to identify a mentor. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Claire Chambers.

UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship

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 cross-UK Research and Innovation scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research environments. The support offered will be long-term and flexible, providing a comprehensive package, including the Fellow's salary and justified research, staff and training costs. Seven years of support is available, employing a four year + three year model, with an external review in year four. Upon cessation of the FLF (after either four or seven years) and subject to performance, the University will offer Fellows an open-ended independent research position.

The University has an internal process for helping with applications to this scheme, and the University is already in the process of choosing applicants for round seven. However, round eight of this scheme is likely to begin in early 2023, and we encourage you to get in touch if interested in applying to this or future rounds.

Please contact Claire Chambers for details.

Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowships

The University is offering 2 part-time (0.5FTE) Fellowships, each with a duration of 2 years, in conjunction with the Daphne Jackson Trust, for individuals wishing to return to academia after a career break of at least two years’ duration, taken for family, health or caring reasons. As such, they present a unique opportunity for researchers who would like to get back into academic research. Applicants from all disciplines are welcome.

Applications for this scheme are usually made directly to the Daphne Jackson Trust in June-July each year. Applications for this year are closed. However, if you are interested in applying next year, please get in touch at any time to discuss developing a project proposal and finding a mentor.

EU - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships

This fellowship of up to three years is open to experienced researchers with a PhD (or at least four years’ full-time research experience). In all cases, the fellowship must involve an element of mobility (specified below).

  • European Fellowships are held in EU Member States or Associated Countries and are open to researchers either coming to Europe or moving within Europe. European fellowships are 12-24 months in length. To apply for a fellowship with York, you must not have been based in the UK for more than 12 months of the three years preceding the call deadline (14 September 2022)
  • Global Fellowships are based on a secondment to a third country and a mandatory 12 month return period to a European host. Global Fellowships are 12 to 24 months for the outgoing phase, plus 12 months for the return phase in Europe. To apply for a fellowship with York, you must be an EU / Associated country national or have been resident in the UK for five years or more. You must not have spent more than 12 months of the three years preceding the call deadline (14 September 2022) in the third country.

In order to be considered, please submit the following documents to Claire Chambers:

  • A copy of your CV (following the Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship guidelines) 
  • A two page outline of the proposed research project 
  • Up to one page on your proposed mentor, your reasons for this choice and the wider fit between your project and the Department

It is recommended that you contact your proposed mentor in advance of applying. If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Claire Chambers.