A number of organisations provide support to researchers, particularly those early in their career, to enable them to advance their careers as independent researchers. They are usually targeted at specific research areas or specific groups. Colleges also offer Junior Research Fellowships.
Funders often impose restrictions on the number of applications that each university can submit to a scheme. Potential applicants should contact their proposed host department as soon as possible to discuss their interest in holding an award at Oxford. You should also regularly check the University’s ‘Co-ordinated Bids website, which sets out the timetable and process for any internal prioritisation processes to select the Oxford candidates when restrictions apply.
College research fellowships
When possible we will provide information here about current college JRF opportunities
St Catherine’s College proposes to elect a Junior Research Fellow in the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences. The Fellowship will be tenable for up to three years, and is for academics who hold post-doctoral research and/or teaching positions within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division of the University of Oxford and have no present College attachment.
The Fellow will be a member of the Senior Common Room and will have rights of Common Table (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided free of charge on weekdays and when the College is open). The Fellowship is non-stipendiary.
Applications should be sent, in a single file, by email to email@example.com, to arrive not later than noon on Monday 1 October. Applications must include: a completed Application Cover Form (available to download as part of the further particulars); a letter of application; a full curriculum vitae; and the names of three academic referees. A recruitment monitoring form should also be submitted (available to download as part of the further particulars). Candidates should supply each of their referees with a copy of the further particulars and ask them to write directly to the Personnel Advisor, by email if possible, by the same closing date.
Interviews will be held at St Catherine’s on Monday 22 October or Tuesday 23 October.
Colleges regularly offering JRFs in the sciences
Corpus Christi College: The College normally appoints two non-stipendiary JRFs a year, one in the humanities/social sciences and one in the sciences. Applicants should be close to completing their doctorate, or have obtained it within the last 2 years.
Kellogg College: Offer non-stipendiary junior research fellowships, typically advertised from September.
Linacre College: non-stipendiary junior research fellowships. Advertised annually in November/December, with interviews in spring.
Magdalen College: Fellowships by examination.
New College: Invite applications for stipendiary and one non-stipendiary junior research fellowships each year, typically in September. Please check college website.
Merton College, Christ Church and St John’s College invite applications for stipendiary junior research fellowships each year, typically in September. Please check college websites.
The Queen’s College: 'extraordinary' (i.e. non-stipendiary) Junior Research Fellowships. Check website for opportunities.
St. Catherine’s College: Check website for opportunities.
St. Hilda’s College: Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships. Usually advertised from September.
Wolfson College: Non-stipendiary JRFs and RFs in Clinical and Non-Clinical Sciences, usually advertised from September.
Wadham College: Research Associates
Opportunities are also advertised on the Conference of Colleges site.
General fellowships, available in all areas
AXA Junior Research Fellowship: The mission of the AXA Research Fund is to fund academic research dedicated to a better understanding of important hazards, risks and threats and current global societal challenges within three clusters: socioeconomic risks, environmental risks and life risks. Each year, the AXA Research Fund offers twenty-five (25) Post-Doctoral Fellowships to outstanding researchers.
Daphne Jackson Trust (Royal Society): designed to return STEM professionals to their careers after a break. Fellows normally carry out their research part-time over 2 years, in a university or research establishment in the UK.
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships: for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues.
European Research Council: Starting Grants
Leverhulme Trust: Early Career Fellowships to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven record of research.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie: Research Fellowship Programme.
The Royal Society: Early Career and Senior Career Fellowships
Schlumberger Foundation, Faculty for the Future: supports women from developing countries in their pursuit of advanced graduate studies in STEM at leading universities worldwide.
The BBSRC has four schemes
- Future Leader Fellowship: Support for researchers to undertake research and gain leadership skills
- David Phillips Fellowships: World class early career scientists
- Returners to Research Fellowships: Support for those returning from a career break
- Enterprise Fellowships: Provides a salary and training to develop a commercial proposition
EPSRC Fellowships scheme: supports three career stages - postdoctoral, early career and established career.
NERC: Independent Research Fellowships provide opportunities for outstanding early-career environmental scientists to devote their time to producing research of international importance; developing their research careers and research groups; and developing into recognised science leaders.
Discipline-specific awards from Learned Societies and Trusts
British Heart Foundation: provide personal support for clinical and non-clinical cardiovascular researchers at all stages of their career; grants for short and long term research projects, essential infrastructure and strategic initiatives.
European Southern Observatory: the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere awards several postdoctoral fellowships each year in both Germany and Chile.
London Mathematical Society, Grace Chisholm Young Fellowships: offers two fellowships each year to mathematicians who need support when their mathematical career is interrupted by family responsibilities, relocation of partner, or other similar circumstance, making possible some continuous mathematical activity, so enabling the fellow to be in a position to apply for posts when circumstances allow.
L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science fellowships: recognises the achievements and contributions of exceptional females across the globe, by awarding promising scientists with Fellowships to help further their research.
Royal Academy of Engineering - Research Fellowships: designed to promote excellence in engineering. They provide support for high-quality engineers and encourage them to develop successful academic research careers.
Royal Astronomical Society: including the Norman Lockyer and RAS Research Fellowships.
Schmidt Science Fellows, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust: fourteen-month programme to broaden scientific and societal horizons of graduate students between finishing their DPhil and starting a research career. The deadline for 2017 nominations was 31st October and information about 2018 opportunities will be linked here when available.
Violette and Samuel Glasstone Research Fellowships in Science: provide the opportunity to conduct original research at Oxford for outstanding scientists at an early stage of their research career. Fellowships can be held in the departments of Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Materials, Mathematics, Physics, Plant Sciences and Statistics.
Wellcome Trust Biomedical Fellowships: The Trust offer a portfolio of personal support schemes to cover the key stages of a research career. All awardees are provided with a salary or stipend, and a budget for research expenses. Support is available for basic biomedical scientists, clinically qualified investigators (including clinical psychologists, dentists and veterinarians) and public health researchers. We also support low- and middle-income country scientists working in public health or tropical medicine.