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 of the categories below.

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
Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Fellowship  Less than 5 years of postdoc experience  January/July  
Alzheimers Society Junior Fellowship Must have submitted PhD/be within 4 years of PhD Viva September  
Alzheimers Society Senior Fellowship Must have submitted PhD/ be within 3 – 10 years of PhD viva September  
Arthritis Research Career Development  More than 3 years of postdoc experience  June  4-5 Months after deadline 
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. 
BHF Intermediate Basic Science  3-6 years of postdoc experience  Rolling – applications reviewed 4 times a year Allow 9 months from submission to decision  
ECTS/Amgen Bone Biology Fellowship  Scientists and clinicians working in European institution  November   
Medical Research Council (MRC) Career Development  3-6 years of postdoc experience  May and September  October and March 
Medical Research Council (MRC) Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship Should hold a PhD (or equivalent), there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience April October
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Career Development  3-8 years of postdoc experience February  June 
Kay Kendal Leukaemia Fund (KKLF) Intermediate  3-6 years of postdoc experience  April   
KKLF Junior  1-4 years of postdoc experience  October   
Kidney Research UK Post Doctoral  More than 2 years postdoc experience  November  March 
L’Oréal Women in Science  Up to 10 years of postdoc experience  March  June 
National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Career Development (for applied research)  Up to 7 years of postdoc experience  January  July 
NIHR Postdoctoral (for applied research)  Up to 3 years of postdoc experience  January  July 
Sir Henry Dale Up to 7 years from viva April and November October and June
Wellcome Career Development  Up to 7 years from viva April and July February and October
Parkinson’s UK Senior Research  3-6 years of postdoc experience  December   
Prostate Cancer Career Development  3-6 years of postdoc experience  March  June/July

4. Natural Sciences

FellowshipBasic EligibilityDeadlineInterview
BBSRC Anniversary Future Leader Up to five years postdoc experience June November
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) David Phillips  3-10 years of postdoc experience  October  April/May
British Infection Association Research Fellowship  Up to 4 years of Postdoctoral experience March  
European Southern Observatory  Early career  October   
European Space Industry (ESA) External Postdoctoral Recently completed their PhD and a member of cooperating state Rolling - applications prioritised in October   
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Postdoctoral Long Term  Up to 3 years of postdoc experience  August   
L’Oréal Women in Science  Up to 10 years of postdoc experience  March  June 
London Mathematical Society – Grace Chrisholm Young Fellowship    December and June  
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent  Up to 8 years of postdoc experience  October   
Ramsey Memorial Chemical Science PhD, evidence of mobility, commonwealth  November   
Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellowship Up to 5 years of postdoctoral experience  October   
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships  Up to 3 years of postdoc experience February   
Royal Society University Research Fellowship (URF)  3-8 years of postdoc experience  September  April 
Schlumberger Foundation  Preparing for postdoc, female, from developing country  November   
Sir Henry Dale Up to 7 years from viva April and July February and October
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral  Up to 2 year from viva or in final year of PhD July and October April and November 
Wellcome Career Development (to undertake research in eligible Republic of Ireland institution)  Up to 7 years from viva April and July February and October

5. Multi-disciplinary

FellowshipBasic eligibilityHeader 3Header 4
AXA postdoctoral research (for those doing research related to risk). Up to 5 years of postdoctoral experience. From an institution registered with AXA research December  March 
Imperial Junior Research Fellowships Up to 4 years postdoc experience  September  December - January 
Leverhulme Early Career Research Up to 5 years from viva March   
Marie Curie Intra-European  PhD or 4 years research experience   August   
Marie Curie-Outgoing  PhD or 4 years research experience  August   
Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Ernest Rutherford  Usually more than 2 years postdoc experience  September   

6. Support for specific groups

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
Daphne Jackson – scientists re-entering after a career break More than 3 years of postdoc experience returning from more than a 2 year break  Rolling (except sponsored calls)   
Dorothy Hodgkin – scientists who need to work flexibly Up to 6 years of postdoc experience  January   
L’Oréal Women in Science  Up to 10 years of postdoc experience  March  June 
London Mathematical Society – Grace Chrisholm Young Fellowship     December and June   
Schlumberger Foundation  Preparing for postdoc female from developing country  November   
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Returner  Usually returning from a break of 2 years or more  September   
Wellcome Career Re-entry  Postdoc with more than 2 years of experience returning after a break of 2 years or more  May and October April and November
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute  At least 1 years’ postdoctoral experience returning after a break of 1 year or more, for any reason  September; November

7. Moving countries

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO)  Up to 2 years of postdoctoral experience February and August  
Marie Curie Intra-European  PhD or 4 years research experience  August   
Marie Curie-Outgoing  PhD or 4 years research experience  August   
Schlumberger Foundation – women from developing countries Preparing for postdoc, female from developing country  November   

8. Training/Transitional

FellowshipBasic eligibilityDeadlineInterview
Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Postdoctoral Cross Disciplinary Fellowships  Up to 3 years of postdoc experience  August   
MRC Strategic Skills (including fellowships for Biostatistics, Biomedical Informatics, Economics of Health, Methodology Research and Population Health Scientist)  Check particular scheme  June  January 
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Transitional
For basic scientists to change to applied research or clinical researchers moving into translational.  
Up to 5 years of postdoc experience  January  July 
Wellcome Postdoctoral Training  Clinicians about to complete PhD or less than 2 years postdoc experience   October May/June