Fellowships aim to facilitate research independence - some promote international mobility, some help people train or transition into a new area, and some support people returning to work after a career break or working part-time.

The tables below list early career fellowships under several categories with links to the funders’ web pages, deadlines and details about who is eligible to apply.
Once you have decided to apply for a fellowship, the PFDC’s ‘Preparing Successful Fellowship Applications’ workshop, Funders showcases, one-to-one support and mock interviews provide further support.

Using the tables

  • If you are calculating your eligibility and have had career breaks or have worked part-time at any point, remember to include this in your calculation.
  • You might be subject to additional criteria (such as nationality restrictions). Always check the funders’ websites for further details.
  • If interview dates are not listed, this means that the funder does not advertise this information or the information wasn’t available when the table was updated.
  • This list is not comprehensive but includes many UK and central EU fellowship funding sources. Ask colleagues in your department if they know of additional funding sources in your field. International colleagues might know of fellowships available in other countries.
  • In addition to this resource, you can use Idox GRANTfinder a website where you can search for international funding opportunities and sign up for tailored email bulletins. 
  • Always check the funders’ websites for further details – dates and information can change

Download the PDF version: Early Career Fellowship Categories

Early Career Fellowships Categories

1. Engineering

FellowshipEligibilityDeadlineInterview
UKRI - Future Leaders Fellowships Early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential    
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Choose Postdoctoral, Early Career or Established Career as appropriate  Ongoing – panel meets to discuss reviewed applications in Oct/Dec/Feb/May/Jul/Sep. 4-month review process 
ESA's postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme Preference for less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience. Member of cooperating state Check the website and search for Internal Research Fellow in the ESA job opportunities link.  Within 4-6 weeks of deadline. 
Royal Academy of Engineering Researchers who have been awarded their PhD in the last four years Applications usually open in July  
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships  No more than 3 years postdoc experience February  Decision by June 
Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF) 3-8 years of postdoc experience  September  March/April
Schlumberger Foundation  Preparing for postdoc, female, from a developing country  November  

2. Medicine Clinical

FellowshipEligibilityDeadlineInterview
UKRI - Future Leaders Fellowships Early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential     
Alzheimers Research UK Clinical Research Fellowship  Clinical specialists who may or may not have a PhD  January and July August and March 
British Heart Foundation (BHF) Intermediate Clinical Research  PhD/MD plus NTN & More than 2 years specialist training but less than 2 years after CCT   Rolling – applications reviewed 4 times a year  Allow 9 months from submission to decision. 
MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship (CSF) Clinically qualified PhD/DPhil/MD or Vet Med Jan / April / Sep June / November / March
MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship (CRTF) Achieved PhD over 5 yrs ago but have not been research-active since due to clinical commitments  Jan / April / Sep  June / November / March 
NIHR Advanced Fellowship Hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application. Applicants must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time they attend an interview  May and December   July and January
NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Award  Be a current member of the NIHR Academy. Hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application. You must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time you start Jan, May, Sep   
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Clinician Scientist   Clinically qualified PhD/MD  Preliminary submission – Nov/Dec  Full submission - mid-February  
Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowships  Want a clinical academic career and you’ve completed your thesis for a higher degree (preferably a PhD) February and August  June and December 

3. Medicine: non-clinical

FellowshipEligibilityDeadlineInterview
UKRI - Future Leaders Fellowships Early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential     
Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Fellowship  PhD-qualified non-clinical researchers who have delivered previous research project(s) with impactful outputs, such as publications and conference presentations, and demonstrate an upward trajectory January and July  
Alzheimers Society Junior Fellowship Applicants will be within five years of their PhD viva but the attributes above will be the deciding criteria. Candidates should contact the office to discuss if they are over 5years, Allowances will be made for career breaks. March  
Alzheimers Society Senior Fellowship Applicants should be a minimum of five years from the date of PhD viva. March  
Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellowship More than 3 years of postdoc experience April  
Versus Arthritis Foundation Fellowship Within one year of completing their PhD at the time of application. April  
British Heart Foundation (BHF) Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Less than 1 year from viva or in final year of PhD Rolling – applications reviewed 4 times a year  Allow 9 months from submission to decision
British Heart Foundation (BHF) Intermediate Basic Science 3-6 years of postdoc experience Rolling – applications reviewed 4 times a year Allow 9 months from submission to decision 
MRC Career Development Award (CDA) There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience. To be considered suitable for the scheme, applicants should be able to clearly demonstrate that their skills and experience at the time of their application match those of the transition to independence career stage in the applicant skills and experience table April and Sept October and March
MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship (SNCF) Applicants should hold a PhD (or equivalent); there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience April and Sept October and March
MRC New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience. The minimum formal qualification required is a graduate degree. Most applicants are also expected to have a PhD or an MD. Applicants can hold a lecturer appointment, a junior fellowship, or be in another research staff position Depend on the panel  
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Career Development You should be able to demonstrate that you meet the range of skills and experience as outlined in the ‘establishing independence’ career stage in our Fellowships Competency Framework Preliminary Submission - February; Final submission - May  
The Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Intermediate Research Fellowships Should hold a PhD (or equivalent), there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience  Call opens Feb/Mar – advertised on jobs.ac.uk  
Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund Junior Research Fellowships  1-4 years of postdoc experience  Call opens Aug – advertised on jobs.ac.uk   
Kidney Research UK Intermediate Fellowships (non-clinical)   2-3 years of postdoc experience  December   
Kidney Research UK Senior Fellowships (non-clinical)  Extensive post-doctoral experience and already have demonstrated a sustained ability to conduct independent research  December   
L'Oreal UK & Ireland National Fellowship For Women in Science. Early career researchers  January  
NIHR Advanced Fellowship  Hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application. Applicants must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time they attend an interview  May and December   July and January
NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Award  Be a current member of the NIHR Academy. Hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application. You must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time you start  May, Sept, January  
Wellcome Sir Henry Dale  You must have a PhD and significant postdoctoral research experience and want to be based in the UK  May, August and November  6 months after the deadline 
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Final year PhD or early-career researcher. be a UK or European Economic Area national
or have, or expect to have, a PhD from a UK or Republic of Ireland university 
April and October  6 months after the deadline 
Wellcome Research Career Development Fellowships  You must have a PhD and significant postdoctoral research experience and want to be based in The Republic of Ireland  May, Aug, November 6 months after the deadline 
Prostate Cancer UK Research Innovation Awards  Between 5 to 10 years postdoctoral research experience Expression of interest: September.
Full applications: January
 

4. Natural Sciences

FellowshipBasic EligibilityDeadlineInterview
UKRI - Future Leaders Fellowships Early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential    
BBSRC Discovery Fellowships   PhD and no more than 5 years Postdoc experience May November
BBSRC David Phillips Fellowships   At least 3 years postdoctoral experience  May November
ESA's postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme  Preference for less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience. Member of cooperating state  Check the website and search for Internal Research Fellow in the ESA job opportunities link  Within 4-6 weeks of deadline 
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Have a PhD and a lead author original research paper     
L'Oreal UK & Ireland National Fellowship  For Women in Science.
Early career researchers 
January  
NERC Independent Research Fellowships Up to 8 years of postdoc experience  October  
Ramsay Trust Memorial Fellowship   Postdoctoral chemists who have already had some postdoctoral experience of research  November  
RAS Research and Norman Lockyer Fellowships   Up to 5 years of postdoctoral experience  October  
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships No more than 3 years postdoc experience February Decision by June
Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF)  3-8 years of postdoc experience  September  March/April
Schlumberger Foundation
 
Preparing for postdoc, female, from a developing country  November  
Stephen Hawking Fellowships  Excellent researchers who will make significant contributions to the field of theoretical physics  Preliminary: June
Full: July 
January
Wellcome Sir Henry Dale PhD and significant postdoctoral research experience (no years since PhD)  May, August and November  6 months after the deadline 
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Final year PhD or early-career researcher. be a UK or European Economic Area national
or have, or expect to have, a PhD from a UK or Republic of Ireland university 
April and October  6 months after the deadline  
Wellcome Research Career Development Fellowships  You must have a PhD and significant postdoctoral research experience and want to be based in The Republic of Ireland  May, August, November 6 months after the deadline 
       

5. Multi-disciplinary

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
UKRI - Future Leaders Fellowships Early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential     
ESRC postdoctoral fellowships  Completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT and who are within 12 months of passing their viva voce  See DTP/CDT preliminary rounds
Full applications: March 
 
ESRC New Investigator Grants  Up to 4 years’ postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation (under revision)  No fixed dates   
Imperial College Research Fellowships   Up to 4 years postdoc experience  August  
Leverhulme Early Career Research   Up to 4 years from viva  February  
Marie Curie Individual Fellowship  PhD or 4 years research experience   September  
Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Ernest Rutherford PhD and some postdoctoral research experience (no years since PhD).  Check department requirements September February

6. Support for specific groups

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
Daphne Jackson – scientists re-entering after a career break Have had a career break of two or more years,
taken for family, caring or health reasons
• have at least 3 years research experience
and/or a PhD
• wish to return to a research-based career
Rolling (except sponsored calls)  
Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin – scientists who need to work flexibly Up to 6 years of postdoc experience  November  June
L'Oreal UK & Ireland National Fellowship   For Women in Science.
Early career researchers 
January  
London Mathematical Society – Grace Chrisholm Young Fellowship    Have a PhD and be returning from a career break  December and June   
Schlumberger Foundation   Preparing for postdoc, female, from a developing country  November  
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Returner Usually returning from a break of 2 years or more  Rolling  
Wellcome Career Re-entry PhD and postdoctoral research experience with a continuous career break of 2 years   April and October   6 months after the deadline 
Wellcome Sanger Janet Thornton Fellowship  At least 1 years’ postdoctoral experience returning after a break of 1 year or more, for any reason     

7. Moving countries

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)  Up to 2 years of postdoctoral experience No deadlines (panels meet in February and August)  
Marie Curie Individual Fellowship PhD or 4 years of research experience  September  
Schlumberger Foundation Preparing for postdoc, female, from a developing country  November   

8. Training/Transitional

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Have a PhD and a lead author original research paper    
MRC Skills Development Fellowships Last year PhD or early career researcher Directly contact the host institution  
Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowships Want a clinical academic career and you’ve completed your thesis for a higher degree (preferably a PhD) February and August 6 months after the deadline