Independent Research Fellowships


We are peopled by high quality staff and are interested to hear from researchers wishing to hold an Independent Research Fellowship in the Faculty.


The Faculty of Biological Sciences represents one of the largest groupings of biological scientists in the UK, with an internationally renowned track record in research. Our position amongst the UK elite for bioscience research was confirmed in the results of the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) where we were ranked as 6th in the country for research impact. This provides a strong platform upon which to continue its growth. The Faculty is a major area of strength within the University and enjoys very close working relationships with the Faculties of Medicine and Health, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Earth and Environment, and Engineering. The size of the Faculty and the University of Leeds is an opportunity to bring people together into interdisciplinary research groupings. Significant recent investments in our infrastructure contribute to the dynamic and vibrant research environment that offers excellent opportunities for leading edge research.

As part of our academic strategy, we are committed to fostering a dynamic research-led environment, peopled by high quality staff and we are particularly interested to hear from researchers wishing to hold an Independent Research Fellowship in the Faculty.

Applicants will join an ambitious research environment with a world class infrastructure and research facilities in all major areas of Biological Sciences. Applicants are particularly encouraged in areas which would enhance the Faculty's cross-disciplinary and collaborative research programmes.

What we can offer

  • Advice on preparing your application – from experienced, senior staff including; suitable funding sources; effective CV content; the application process; costing the grant and core research facilities;  peer review and mock interviews.
  • Lab and office space - New independent fellows are given suitable lab and office space.
  • Support - access to PhD studentships and support staff to support your career development.
  • Mentoring and guidance – senior academic as mentor from day one they provide one-to-one advice and guidance on grant writing and peer review to ensure the best opportunity for success, and act as an independent advisor to your career progression. You will also become a full member of a Faculty research group, providing you with access to wider support and guidance.
  • New investigator network – as a Fellow in the Faculty you will join the large network of new investigators who meet on a regular basis to share their experience and discuss best practice.
  • Career development – access to a suite of University training schemes and the opportunity to develop your teaching skills.
  • Facilities – in-house cutting-edge facilities and equipment to support world-class research.
  • Start up fund – negotiable fund for use to kick start your research programme.

A large proportion of our staff hold, or have held, fellowships and the Faculty has historically had an excellent track record in recruiting independent fellows as permanent members of staff at the end of their fellowships. The career-developing environment at Leeds will be highly beneficial to your career whether a position becomes available at the end of your fellowship at Leeds or elsewhere.

Next step

To discuss a potential Fellowship application, please contact Dr Thomas Edwards.

Prospective fellows should then send a brief curriculum vitae and one page summary of their research interests to Nicola Turner.

New Opportunities

UKRI Future Leader Fellowships

This cross-UKRI scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential to provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.

The financial support offered will include the fellow's salary and justified research, staff and training costs, with seven years of support available on a 4+3 model, with a review in year four. Up to £1.2m funding is available per Fellowship. This is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit, with no ring-fenced budgets for specific areas and no barriers to interdisciplinary or cross-sector research. There will be six calls for these fellowships, with the first two deadlines in July and October 2018

It is mandatory for the first round of this call that host organisations submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for each of the applicants they intend to submit to the first round, by 7 June 2018.

The Faculty of Biological Sciences is interested in hearing from potential applicants to this scheme. If you are thinking of applying please contact

Potential Fellowships Schemes







BBSRC Discovery Fellowship Applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone succesful PhD viva prior to the announcement of the award. 2019 tba
David Phillips Fellowships 5 year fellowships for applicants 3-10 years post PhD. Currently closed
Enterprise fellowships Open to all who have received BBSRC funding.  Part time option also available. Next call opens 20 Aug.  Deadline 31 October 18
New Investigator Scheme   25th September 2018
Intermediate Basic Science Research Fellowships

Entry requirements: Usually at least three to six years successful postdoctoral work with a series of first or senior author high impact research papers.

No closing dates

Biochemical Society

Daphne Jackson Fellowships Usually 2 year fellowships carried out part-time. Designed for STEM professionals to return to their career after a break of 2 or more years. Applicants must have had at least 3 years research experience and/or a PhD. Apply any time
Cancer Research UK
Career Development Fellowship

Applicants should have typically at least three and up to eight years of research experience since completing your PhD at the time of submitting your preliminary application

Date for final submissions -24 May 2018
Career Establishment Award The Career Establishment Award offers new group leaders 6 years’ support to enhance their cancer research. Date for final submissions - 24 May 2018
Senior Cancer Research Fellowship

Applicants should typically have between eight and fourteen years of postdoctoral research experience since completing your PhD at the time of submitting the preliminary application and obtained a PhD or MD and extensive post-doctoral research experience if you are a clinician.

Date for final submissions - 24 May 2018
RD Lawrence Fellowship Applicants must be in the early stage of their research career with between three and six years' postdoctoral experience from the date of examination for their doctoral degree (PhD viva). Allowance will be given to applicants whose career has been subject to a late start or interruption for family or personal reasons. Annual deadline 31 October
EPSRC Fellowships A single scheme for all career stages (postdoctoral, early career and established career). Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience, however, there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether you hold (or do not hold) a permanent academic position. Apply any time
Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund
KKLF Fellowship Programme Non-medical scientists who will usually have 1-4 years’ postdoctoral experience and are intending to work either at a recognised UK research institution or seeking a travel fellowship for relevant work abroad may apply for a Scientific Fellowship with funding and administration via an appropriate UK institution. 2018 date tbc


Independent Research Fellowships 5 year fellowships for early career researchers (up to 8 years full-time (or equivalent) post-PhD) of any nationality in any area of NERC’s remit Call opens 5 June.  Closes at 4pm on 2 October 2018
Independent Research Fellowship in Bioinformatics As for the above Independent Research Fellowships but specifically in the priority area of Bioinformatics. Call opens 5 June.  Closes at 4pm on 2 October 2018
NERC & RSE Enterprise Fellowship NERC has agreed to support up to five new Enterprise Fellowships to boost the development of new businesses from investments in environmental research.  

The Leverhulme Trust

Early Career Fellowships Applicants must not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK university or comparable UK institution, nor may Fellows hold such a post concurrently with the Early Career Fellowship. All candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience by the time they take up the Fellowship. 2019 deadline tba
Research Leadership Award Eligible applicants will have held a university post for at least two years but will not yet have developed their academic career such that the trajectory of their research contribution has become firmly established. Next round will open in Spring 2019
Research Fellowship

Applicants must be resident in the UK at the time of application. Should be able to demonstrate experience and academic background sufficient to confirm their ability to complete the proposed programme of research and may not be registered for a degree, for doctoral studies, or for professional or vocational qualifications.

2018 deadline tbc
Emeritus Fellowship   1 February 2018

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

Research Fellowships in Science or Engineering Up to 3 year fellowships for early career researchers with no more than 3 years’ postdoc experience. Applications will open in October with a closing date of 15 February 2018

New Investigator Research Grant   See webpage
Career Development Award The MRC career development award provides up to five years' support for outstanding post-doctoral researchers who wish to consolidate their research skills and make the transition from post-doctoral research trainee to independent investigator. See webpage
Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship   See webpage

The Royal Society

University Research Fellowships 5 year fellowships for applicants who are 3-8 years post PhD. Opportunity to apply for an extension of 3 additional years. Scheme expected to open for applications in summer 2018
Research Professorship   Scheme currently closed
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships Up to 5 year fellowships for applicants who require a flexible working pattern and have up to 6 years post PhD research experience. Scheme currently closed.

The Royal Society/ Newton Fund

Newton International Fellowships Up to 2 year fellowships for non-UK early-career scientists with up to 7 years post-PhD experience who wish to carry out research in the UK. 27 March 2018
The Royal Society/Leverhulme Trust
Senior Research Fellowship   21 February 2018
Lister Institute
Research Prize Fellowship   Please see website for details

The Royal Society/ The Wellcome Trust

Sir Henry Dale Fellowships 5 year fellowships for applicants up to 7 years post PhD wishing to build their own UK-based, independent research career addressing an important biomedical question. Preliminary application deadline: 4 April 2018
European Molecular Biology Organization
Long-Term Fellowships 2 year fellowships for post-doctoral research Applications accepted throughout the year. See website for further details.
Advanced Fellowships Additional two years of funding for EMBO Long-Term Fellows who can demonstrate exceptional progress during their current postdoctoral work Call currently closed
Society in Science
Branco Weiss Fellowship This research fellowship is designed to support postdoctoral researchers after their PhD and before their first faculty appointment. Call currently closed
Human Frontier Science Program
Postdoctoral Fellowship HFSP fellowships support top postdoctoral researchers that propose innovative, ground-breaking projects that have the potential to advance the knowledge in their field of study and open a new approach to the research problem. 2018 date to be confirmed
UNESCO Women in Science International Fellowships support promising young women researchers in the life sciences at doctoral or postdoctoral level. Candidates must be female and no more than 35 years old. Preference will be given to candidates already possessing a PhD degree (or equivalent) in the field of life sciences at the time of application. However, applications from doctoral students will be considered. 16 February 2018

The Wellcome Trust

Career Re-entry Fellowships 2-4 year fellowships that give postdoctoral scientists the opportunity to return to high-quality research after a career break of at least 2 years. Applicants should have at least 2 years’ postdoctoral experience. 18th April 2018 - deadline for preliminary applications
Principal Research Fellowships   Submit an expression of interest at any time
Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science This scheme provides support for outstanding postdoctoral scientists based in academic institutions in the UK. Candidates are expected to have an excellent track record in their scientific field and be able to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research. 12th March 2018
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships 4 year fellowships for the most promising newly-qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent research careers in the biomedical sciences. Applicants must be in the final year of their PhD or be no more than 2 years post PhD. 18th April 2018 - deadline for preliminary applications
ERC Starting Grants Researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (plus 18 months for each child), a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal Currently no open calls
Researchers of any nationality with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD (plus 18 months for each child), a scientific track record showing scientific talent and an excellent research proposal. 15 February 2018
ERC Advanced Grants   Upcoming call expected May 2018
European Commission (Marie-Skolodowska-Curie Actions)
European Fellowships   See website
Individual Fellowships   See website
Global Fellowships   See website