The University of York is keen to encourage and support outstanding early career researchers to develop their research at York. One way that we wish to do this is by supporting early career researchers in the development of applications for externally-funded fellowships.

What is a fellowship?

A fellowship is one way of funding your research. There are a range of fellowships available, from a variety of funding sources. While their aims, research areas, duration and amount of funding can vary, fellowships are commonly designed to be an investment in you and your career as a researcher. Fellowships therefore typically provide funding for your time (protecting it for research), and research expenses (such as travel to conferences etc., and consumables). Some fellowships also allow you to include funding to build your team and buy larger pieces of equipment.

You can find a short video that introduces key features of early career fellowships here.

When do I need to start planning for a fellowship application?

The earlier that you can start planning, the better.

Preparation - As a fellowship is an investment in you as a researcher, there are typically a number of broad criteria that funders will consider in your application. Whilst the research excellence of your proposal will be key, other criteria may include, for example, aspects of leadership, or experience with engagement (these will depend on the particular scheme that you are applying for). It may therefore take time and planning to ensure that you have built sufficient demonstrable experience in these areas.

Timings - Longer-term planning will be needed as funder deadlines can often be annual, with the lag between submission of the application and starting the fellowship sometimes being in the area of 9 months (again this is dependent on the scheme).

The application itself - Fellowship applications can often take more time than anticipated to develop, and often take several months. In addition to the writing of the proposal itself, it is necessary to leave time: to share your application with internal peer reviewers, who can comment on your application and provide useful suggestions; to work on the sections beyond the main proposal (e.g. costings); and to submit your whole application to the University for checking and approval prior to submission to the funder.

How do I find a suitable fellowship opportunity?

There are a number of ways of finding a fellowship opportunity that may be suitable for you. These include:

Searching through our list of currently available fellowship opportunities (sorted by Faculty area).

  • Speaking to people in your field, including current fellowship holders, and members of academic staff.
  • Searching the Research Professional site (or you can start with this search for early career fellowships).

What should I do to start?

The best place to start is by contacting the University of York department that you would like to host you during your fellowship. Many of our departments have specific and tailored support for fellowship applicants. This support can include help with identifying a suitable fellowship opportunity, providing you with personalised time-scales and helping with planning of resources. You can find links to departmental fellowship support here.

The University also has a Fellowship Coordinator if you have any questions (

Frequently asked questions

What will the effects of Brexit be on future European funding opportunities?

The UK Research Office (UKRO) have links to useful information, including a Brexit factsheet that provides factual answers to common questions:

I've been invited for an interview, how should I prepare?

We're collating some tips and potential questions for interviews here.

I'm drafting a Letter of Support for a fellowship candidate. Is there any advice on avoiding gender bias in my letter?

There are some tips on avoiding gender bias in reference writing from the University of Arizona here:

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