For applicants

How do I apply?

  • Applicants should complete and submit an online application form via the College’s careers website. The next deadline for submission is 23:59 (BST) Tuesday 27 August 2019.
  • The application process consists of 6 steps.
    • Applicants should refer to instructions on the “Information for applicants” tab for further details
  • Please provide answers in English within the text boxes, keep within the dedicated margins, and do not exceed the word limit and page restrictions as indicated on the forms
  • Please refer to monetary values in £ pounds sterling
  • Please complete the form using Arial 10pt  
  • Applications without the required signatures will not be accepted. Signatures must be either original or electronic. Signatures that are a typed named only are not sufficient
Letters of support
  • Each application must be accompanied by a confidential reference letter, usually from the applicant’s current institution. Where the current institution is Imperial, the reference letter must be provided by someone other than the proposed sponsor or host Head of Department. As this is a confidential letter, it must be submitted directly by the referee to the College at by 23:59 (BST) 27 August 2019.     The letter will then be matched to the application by the ICRF Office. 

  • Each application may be accompanied by letters of support from any research collaborators.  These are not essential, but will provide further information to the decision making committees and are therefore encouraged.  Any collaborators should be named in Step 2 of the online form and letters of support confirming the proposed collaboration must be uploaded in Step 3. Where there are multiple letters, applicants are asked to combine these into a single PDF before uploading

Once the application form is complete, applicants will need to:
  • To apply, click the "Apply now” and upload the completed application material in the attachment section of the online application by 23:59 (BST) 27 August 2019
  • Ensure that a confidential reference from the applicant’s current institution is sent to by 23:59 (BST) 27 August 2019

Note that Faculties/Departments may set their own internal deadlines (for internal condidates) that precede the official College deadline: please check internal deadlines with your relevant Faculty and Department.

What are the eligibility criteria?

For further information about the eligibility requirements, please see the Eligibility section on the Information for applicants webpage.

How long does the application process take?

We have shortened the application process and brought the deadline for applications earlier in order to provide decsions to candidates earlier in the year. For 2020 start dates, the timeline is as follows:

Closing date for applications11.59pm (BST) 27 August 2019
Shortlisting October 2019
Interviews November 2019
Results of Selection Committee December 2019
Start date for Fellowships between 1 August and 1 December 2020

Who can sponsor me?

As part of the application process, it is your responsibility to find a sponsor. Applications that are not fully supported by an identified Sponsor will not be considered.

Sponsors must be senior, permanent members of staff within the Academic and Research Family at Imperial College, most likely Principal Investigators, and must be in a position to provide equipment and space to Imperial College Research Fellows. Sponsors must be permanent members of staff at Imperial College; Honorary members of staff are not eligible to be Sponsors.

From 2014, Imperial College Research Fellows have the option of having an additonal co-Sponsor through Imperial's engagement with the Francis Crick Institute. For more information on sponsors, please see Finding a Sponsor paragraph on the Information for applicants webpage.

Can Imperial help me find a sponsor?

It is each applicant's responsibility to find a suitable sponsor to support their application. The Imperial College website provides a good resource to help you identify the right person. Please view the finding a sponsor webpage for more information.

What is my sponsor responsible for?

Sponsors are required to promote your growth and independence by acting as a mentor and contributing to your career development. It is also the responsibility of Imperial College London Sponsors to ensure that you have met all regulatory and legal requirements in order to conduct the research, and that all necessary licenses and approvals have been obtained before the research commences.

Your sponsor (and co-sponsor where appropriate) is also responsible for providing relevant equipment and space for your research proposal and to ensure that there are no additional costs for the College

Can I spend a period of time at another institution or in industry during the fellowship?

Where it is justified in the application, you may spend up to 12 months in total visiting other research institutions and/ or in industry including overseas; the maximum time spent at any one institution being 6 months. Where this is requested, evidence must be provided to reflect the partner’s willingness to host the fellow. No further funds are available for travel or subsistence above the research expenses awarded as part of the Fellowship so if these visits were not planned, you may need to secure funding from another source. This does not apply to AZ ICRFs, as an industrial placement forms part of the fellowship.

For sponsors

How do I respond to requests to act as a sponsor?

As a sponsor you can only support one fellowship application and sponsor one fellow at any one time. If you are approached by more than one applicant, you will need to make a decision based on the quality of the applicants and the scientific quality of their proposed research.

You are not obliged to accept a request to be a sponsor. If you chose not to sponsor an applicant, it is at your discretion whether you provide feedback about your decision.

I am interested in being a sponsor. How can I be matched with an applicant?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to find sponsorship. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and can identify potential applicants, you could encourage them to apply for the scheme. If you have you any questions or would like to discuss how you can best support the Imperial College Research Fellowship scheme, email

Due to the current situation and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both internationally and locally to Imperial, the decision has been made to suspend the 2020 Imperial College Research Fellowship competition to recruit fellows starting in 2021.

It is expected that the 2021 competition (for fellowship starting in 2022) will proceed as usual.

General details relating to the ICRF opportunity can be found on these pages.