The Constitution Unit


Call for ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship applications

5 December 2019

The Constitution Unit is inviting applications for the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships award.

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ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships are aimed at those in the immediate postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.


Fellows must spend 100% of their working time (whether full-time or part-time) on the fellowship and cannot take any secondary paid employment during the course of the grant.


Fellowships will provide funding for up to one year full-time, or up to two years part-time to cover the fellow’s salary plus up to £10,000 of additional costs (e.g., travel, conference attendance, training, fieldwork, mentoring time, etc.).


The call is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a Doctoral Training Centre and who are within 12 months of having completed their PhD. The 12 months period is calculated from the date of the viva (passed or passed with minor corrections) to the closing date of the full stage application, which is 23rd March 2020. In calculating the 12 months the funder will make allowance for career breaks, where the applicant has interrupted their career for family, health or other personal reasons’. More on eligibility rules in the guidelines and FAQs.


All Fellows are required to have a mentor based at the research organisation where the fellowship is held. The mentor should have experience and a strong interest in the applicant’s field of research but should not normally have been the applicant’s PhD supervisor. Therefore candidates must have the support of a Constitution Unit member of staff who will act as the mentor and who will have reviewed and commented on the candidate’s proposal before it is submitted to the department for consideration. 


The Unit would like to encourage applications from exceptional candidates to work with one of our researchers:


Professor Meg Russell (Unit Director) is particularly interested in applicants with projects on parliament or parliamentary reform, in the UK or comparatively


Dr Alan Renwick (Unit Deputy Director) particularly invites candidates wanting to work on electoral systems, the conduct of referendums or deliberative democracy, in the UK or comparatively


You can read more about each potential supervisor's research interests at the links above and are encouraged to do so before contacting them about your project. You are also encouraged to study the Constitution Unit research pages to get a sense of our past projects.



Before they can submit the full stage application, candidates will need to submit an outline application by 20 January 2020 on the UCL’s application system for this call, fluidreview. The Department of Political Science is expected to filter applications beforehand, therefore the department has set the internal deadline at 9am, 10 January 2020. Potential candidates should fill the ‘preliminary application form’ and send it to monica.burgess@ucl.ac.uk, copying in Dr Lisa Vanhala, l.vanhala@ucl.ac.uk.


Please note that the mentor details will need to be included in the outline application and the mentor will need to provide a confirmation letter that they’re willing to support the application. Candidates should hence contact their preferred mentor ASAP, in good time to get feedback on their proposal and submit by the departmental deadline of 9am 10 January – bearing in mind the Christmas holiday period.


Candidates will be informed of the departmental selection as soon as possible, in order to meet the next deadline of 20 January.