1 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme Dr Anna Cieslik & Dr Andrea Salter, School Research Facilitators Please send all queries to Schools of Arts and Humanities and the Humanities and Social Sciences
2 Today s Schedule 1) Types of Research Funding 2) Eligibility 3) ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: background, eligibility, application 4) UK Funding Sources 5) EC funding and beyond LUNCH 6) How to write a good research proposal 7) Group work 8) Tips for Grant Writing and Applying for Fellowships
3 Main Categories of Research Funding Schemes Type of award Mode of research Salary Research expenses Fellowship Individual Yes Limited Grant Collaborative Yes All paid plus small, conference and travel grants
4 Main Categories of Research Funding Major UK Research Funders State-funded research councils (UK: AHRC, ESRC, British Academy, also EPSRC and NERC) Charities/trusts (e.g. Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, Nuffield Foundation) Government funding European Funding Horizon 2020: ERC, Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions => Different with regards to funding size, themes, impact agenda and mode of award selection for an overview of all check
5 Eligibility to apply Absolutely crucial to check eligibility! Typical eligibility criteria: Institutional affiliation Established/non-established position Years since PhD (NB exemptions) Nationality (in some cases) Only limited opportunities for early career researchers but potentially opportunity for postdoctoral post on large grant with established academic
6 AC and ACS, 22/01/18. School Research Facilitators for AHSShttps:// Overview of eligibility standard research funding schemes for the arts, humanities and social sciences The overview is just indicative. Please check the eligibility criteria of each scheme via the scheme website for complete and current information. Please note that there are likely to be additional subject-specific funding schemes in your research area. These tend to be less competitive and can be found via Research Professional alongside all other funding options for UK researchers: Years since PhD Standard Research Funding Schemes pre-submission >15 BA Postdoctoral Fellowship* Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship*² Fellowships Junior Research Fellowships ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship*² Wellcome Trust Investigator Award*³ AHRC Leadership Fellows - early career *¹ Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships EPSRC Fellowship BA Mid-Career Fellowship* AHRC Leadership Fellows³ Leverhulme Research Fellowship³ is just indicative Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship³ BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship³ Leverhulme Research Project Grant Grants ESRC New Investigator Grant* ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative*4 ESRC Standard Grant*³ More suitable AHRC Standard Grant*³ ERC Starting Grant* with an established academic than AHRC Standard Grant - early career route*³ themselves to be PI. ERC Consolidator Grant* ERC Advanced Grant* Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award³ BA/Leverhulme Small Grants scheme Wellcome Trust Small Grants in HSS * career breaks such as maternity cover and illness or time outside of academia can be taken into account. ¹ normally at least one year at the university; two years of post-doctoral experience; within eight years of award of PhD or within six years of first academic appointment. ² only unestablished staff can apply (without permanent contract) ³ only established staff can apply (or with commitment of University to employment over course of grant plus 3-6 months). See funding guides for specific detail per funder or scheme. 4 more senior academic can apply with a junior academic as Co-I There is no fixed minimum time since PhD and display for early career researchers to be Co-I
7 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship all Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Annual deadline for submission of outline proposals: Early October. There is internal selection! Results of outline stage expected: January (invitation to submit full application) Research beginning on or after: 1 September. Duration: 3 years Eligibility: Applicants have to be within three years of the award of their doctorate. Number of fellowships: Up to 45 awards will be made for research starting in 2017/18.
8 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship Annual competition for all disciplines Funder s deadline is in early March of each year but there is an internal deadline in January. Duration: three years (may be held part-time) Costing: 50% of fellow's total salary with the balance to paid by host institution. ( Isaac Newton Trust at Cambridge University) Covers annual research expenses of up to 6,000 Eligibility: Not more than 4 years since PhD. Applicants may not currently hold, or have already held, a full-time established (i.e. permanent) academic position in a UK university. Change institution since PhD, unless particular benefit of staying. Number of fellowships in 2016/17: There are approximately 100 fellowships.
9 Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences Eligibility: PhD (in most cases), no permanent contract, sponsorship from the host organization (including a sponsor with a permanent post) Research Area: research in humanities and socials sciences that addresses any aspect of health Up to 275,000 over three years (or longer, if working part time), no indirect or directly allocated cost Application deadlines: twice a year. Next round: 11 January 2018 (preliminary), 29 th March 2018 (full application)
10 ESRC New Investigator Grants Funding: 100,000 to 300,000 at fec Duration: up to five years Timetable: ongoing scheme, three internal selection deadlines throughout the year Eligibility: not more than four years of post-doctoral experience; no present UK university affiliation required but need agreement of a UK university to host applicant, mentor at host university is required Number of awards: ESRC aims to make up to 35 awards/year
11 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions: Individual Fellowships months for a training and research project with a Host Supervisor From any discipline, but focus on interdisciplinarity, plus international and intersectoral mobility = secondments encouraged EUROPEAN Fellowships (EF) (for fellows moving to/within Europe). GLOBAL Fellowships (GF) (for fellows moving outside Europe then coming back). Strict mobility criteria: Need to have spent <12 months in country of Host Institution in preceding 36 months. One call per year, September 2018 deadline Assessment criteria: research excellence (50%); impact including skills development (30%); project implementation (20%) Scheme details available here
12 European Research Council: Starting Grant For outstanding early-career researchers between 2-7 years after completing PhD in all disciplines to create their own independent research team or programme. PI profile clearly outlined! Applicants can be of any nationality, of any age and can reside in any country at the time of application. No need to be employed by host institution at submission but if awarded will enter a contract for duration of grant with host. Applicants must spend at least 50% of their time on their project. up to 1,500,000 over 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). Scientific excellence is the only criterion (no themes; no need for international collaboration; no European added value) Scheme details:
13 Postdoctoral Fellowships outside of the UK? National research councils and institutes in most European countries offer postdoctoral fellowships e.g.: Country: The Netherlands Funder: NWO Scheme Name: the Veni strand of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Country: Ireland Funder: The Irish Research Council Scheme Name: Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Country: Italy Funder: European Commission (DG Education and Culture) Scheme name: Max Weber European University Institute Lists of European Research Fellowships for Postdocs e.g. and wider European research jobs: Looking to the US and beyond? Check out specific University, funder and Society websites, see also e.g.: and **Search far and wide, look for country- and topic-specific opportunities**
14 ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme
15 Background The scheme is part of the ESRC s strategy to support early career researchers It will be delivered through ESRC s national network of DTPs and CDTs The scheme aims to provide support to those who are within 12 months of completing their PhD, to support them in consolidating their PhD, and prepare them for the next stage of their research careers. 4 fellowships are available at Cambridge Possibility of a fifth fellowship we await confirmation!
16 Aims and Scope Fellows are not expected to undertake major new research during a grant. However, limited additional research directly linked to the PhD can be undertaken. The Fellowship does not have to be directly building on the work of the PhD; however, it does need to follow on or be related to it. The programme of activities should provide the fellows with time to maximise the impact of their PhD, which could include communicating the research findings arising from their doctoral work, building international networks to develop impact and further research, collaborating with users, learning the skills of writing for publication, and further improving their research and related skills. A limited amount of teaching could be beneficial to the professional development of the fellows so grant holders are permitted to spend a maximum of six hours per week (pro rata) teaching including preparation time.
17 Eligibility Applicants must have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of an ESRC DTP or ESRC CDT there are 73 eligible institutions in total Applicants do not have to have held an ESRC-funded studentship in order to be eligible to apply All Cambridge ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships must be held within one of the Cambridge ESRC DTP s 26 participating Departments (i.e. pathways) Unlike ESRC DTP studentships, fellowships they are not limited to Home and EU applicants Applicants must have no more than 12 months of active postdoctoral experience At the point of application, applicants must have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce (subject to minor corrections) Applications from those returning to research following a career break are welcomed
18 Funding amount The total cost for each fellowship can include the following: Fellow s salary costs Indirect costs Estate costs Up to 10,000 of other costs (to include costs such as mentoring costs, travel and subsistence, conference attendance, training, and fieldwork, for example). No other costs are permitted. The ESRC will meet 80% of full Economic Cost (fec) Applicants will need the support of Departmental Research Grants Administrators in preparing applications. To compile the financial information required, an X5 (left in draft state) should be utilised
19 Mentors All Fellows are required to have a mentor based within their respective research departments The mentor should not normally be the applicant s PhD supervisor Mentors would normally be at Professorial, Reader or Senior Lecturer level, or an experienced lecturer. Ideally a mentor will have 3 years experience as a PI or PhD supervisor, or have experience of supporting postdocs. Dedicated Mentor area on the website:
20 How to apply? Applications must be made via the online application portal at: Applicants should be aware that there are seven mandatory attachments, including a statement of support from the Head of Department Departments have been sent an exemplar Head of Department statement of support If a Department supports more than one application, they are asked to send a ranked order of preference within one week of the application deadline Departmental ranking is purely advisory
21 Key Dates Closing date for proposals on 23 March 2018 Deadline for receipt of ranked order of preference from Departments on 29 March 2018 Decisions confirmed to applicants 29 June 2018 Successful proposals submitted in Je-S no later than 27 July 2018 Fellowships commence from 1 October 2018
22 More information: And finally All information can be found at: You can contact us at:
24 Lunch Break!
25 Tips on Writing a Research proposal
26 Plan of the session Tips on writing a good research proposal Group reading and discussion General discussion The ESRC PDF application Assessment procedure and evaluation criteria General Tips on Networking, Grant Writing and Applying for Fellowships Round-up/Q&A
27 Proposal Outline your Research Questions Why is this project important to your field? To other fields? How will you answer the research questions: method Why is this method the best way to answer them: methodology Is the project feasible timetable What will your outputs be: Extra-Academic Engagement Conference dissemination Journal Articles Book Chapters Monograph How are you uniquely equipped to undertake this research? How will undertaking this project at the host Department develop you professionally?
28 Peer Review Get as much feedback as possible on your application, from: Your mentor Other senior colleagues in your field Colleagues with experience of the Scheme and the BA Non-specialists is anything unclear? Jargon. Need for examples. Your RGA may be able to help you to identify and approach some suitable people A good research proposal explains: What do you want to do? Why should we care? How will it advance the research area/contribute to the knowledge base? How are you going to do it?
29 Examples of Proposals Analyze the two examples following the proposal writing guidelines we just discussed. Which elements of a good proposal can be found in the examples? Which (if any) are missing?
30 Attachments to Application form ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Mandatory attachments In addition to an application pro forma, seven attachments are mandatory and must be included with your proposal in a minimum of font size 11: 1. Case for support (maximum six sides of A4) This should be structured to include the following headings: Abstract/ summary of progress: Applicants should provide either a summary or abstract of their in-progress or completed thesis. This should be no more than one page and should include its main claims to originality and excellence, methodology used and significant findings.
31 Case for support - subheadings Impacts of your research: This section should describe the impacts your research has had or that you expect it to have. Impacts include the impact of completed research and any planned further limited research, the dissemination of its results and the building up of a publication track record, the development of the research field and the behaviour or understanding of users and policy-makers. We are also interested in the impact the applicant's training to date has had on their skills development and on their prospects for a successful academic career.
32 Case for Support - subheadings Research-related achievements This section requires a well-structured summary of 'where you are now' in your training and personal development. This will help reviewers decide whether an applicant is at a stage in their career development where a fellowship will have an important and lasting impact on their ability to work as a professional researcher. Planned programme of activities This section should detail your planned programme of activities and the key milestones for these activities. Please note that the programme of activities should be tailored to support your longer term career aspirations, whether you are aiming for a career in academia or a research career in the broader economy.
33 Other Attachments 2. Justification of resources (maximum two sides of A4) 3. CV (maximum two sides of A4) 4. List of publications 5. Head of department statement (maximum one side of A4) 7. Referee statement (maximum one side of A4) 6. Mentor statement and summary CV (maximum two sides of A4)
34 Assessment Criteria Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria: 1. Quality of work programme Is the workload clearly defined and specified objectives achievable and realistic within the time allocated? Are the proposed activities clearly justified in terms of supporting their longer term career aspirations? 2. Value for money Are costs clearly and adequately justified? 3. Impact and outputs Is the planned output during the fellowship appropriate and attainable? Are there adequate plans to share the results and engage with academic and non-academic audiences? 4. Consideration of ethical issues Does the proposal show sufficient awareness of any ethical issues that may be raised by the proposed fellowship, and how might these be addressed?
35 Assessment Procedure 1. A review panel, comprising three senior academics from the University of Cambridge plus one external reviewer 2. Cambridge ESRC DTP Management Executive Group
36 General Tips on Networking, Grant Writing and Applying for Fellowships 1. Build up and use your networks 2. Design an unfolding research agenda with suitable a funding portfolio 3. Plan long in advance (at least one year before you need the funding); allow also for internal processes. Read all scheme guidance! 4. Don t put your eggs in one basket! Check also niche funding opportunities in your research area to build up your track record ( 5. Check eligibility tenure, years since PhD etc 6. Understand scheme and funder selection criteria & assessment process 7. Don t be afraid to sell yourself and your achievements 8. State the relevance and significance of your proposed research
37 9. Original idea is important but also methodology and implementation 10. Style: Share your excitement about the research in the proposal and avoid too much technical language (depending on funder) In summary for writing the application: What do you want to do? Why should we care? How will it advance the research area/contribute to the knowledge base? How are you going to do it? Identify and use the available support: your mentor/supervisor; CRASSH postdoctoral forum; PPD; Career Service; Vitae See also: Applying for a postdoc job? Here are 18 tips for a successful application, Rebecca Radcliffe, The Guardian 1 February 2015 re portfolio careers, thinking creatively, and
38 Networking is important! Intellectual exchange Mentorship Opens access to resources, e.g. joint applications for research funding How: Direct approach but caution firing off out-of-the-blue s. Study audience! Departments, Faculty Research Groups, CRASSH, College, OPDA Conferences Social media Small grants, seed funding, e.g. British Academy or Wellcome Trust Large grants
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