Imperial College Research Fellowships give outstanding early career researchers the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential. To achieve this, the College needs the assistance of potential sponsors to mentor the fellows and help them develop their research. 

Candidates need to identify a sponsor to support their application. Senior, permanent members of staff within the Imperial Academic or Research Families are eligible to act as sponsors and may receive sponsorship requests. Honorary members of staff are not eligible to be sponsors. Staff may be approached to act as an additional sponsor/ co-sponsor where a multi/ inter - disciplinary project is proposed.

Applicants are required to move from their existing sponsor/ supervisor to a new one, to increase both their independence and their breadth of experience. Thus it is not possible for a member of staff to act as a sponsor (or co-sponsor) for a member of their research group who would like to apply for an ICRF.  Further, candidates must not select a sponsor (or co-sponsor) who has had a supervisory role in their career (post-PhD). 

Sponsor guidelines and obligations are outlined below.

  • Sponsors will be crucial in helping a new generation of exceptional scientists to establish their own research independence. Sponsors must be in a position to provide equipment and space to an Imperial College Research Fellow and will play an important mentoring role. 
  • Sponsors (and co-sponsors) are limited to supporting a single fellowship application in each competition and may sponsor (or co-sponsor) one Imperial College Research Fellow at any one time.

Sponsors will be required to commit to and fulfil the following obligations with the support of their host department. Sponsors must -

  • Provide relevant equipment and laboratory space for the applicant’s research proposal and ensure that there is no additional cost burden on the College.
  • Recognise that the fellowship is to promote the growth and independence of the applicant. This includes mentorship activities and contributions to career development as well as appropriate assignation of authorship.
  • Understand that the funding provided to fellows does not fund the full economic cost of research, only the directly incurred costs of the research project will be covered. These are costs that are explicitly identifiable as arising from the conduct of the project, are charged at cash spend and supported by audit records.
  • Ensure that, before any research funded by the fellowship commences and during the full award period, all the necessary legal and regulatory requirements in order to conduct the research are met, and all the necessary licences and approvals have been obtained
  • Undertake the statutory obligations of ending a fixed term contract which include support with redeployment or the funding of any redundancy costs

Sponsors are not obliged to accept a request for support. If they choose not to support a potential applicant then it is at the sponsor’s discretion if they choose to give feedback.