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UCL EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowships

The EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship scheme is intended to help universities attract and retain the very best newly qualified PhDs and help them to launch a career in research.

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2021/22 Round 1

Closing date: 14:00 on 27-July-2021. 

Important Notice

The difficult decision has been taken to reduce the duration of the Doctoral Prize Fellowship to 1 year in first instance, in line with the EPSRC's priorities for adjusting funding to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards will initially be for a period of up to 1 year. Further extension up to an additional 12 months may be awarded depending on progress and funding availability.

 

Summary

The EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship scheme is intended to help universities recruit and retain the very best newly qualified doctoral students (eg PhD, EngD), and help them launch careers in research. All Fellowship projects must lie within the EPSRC remit. Applicants must have received prior EPSRC studentship funding and their funded studentship must have ended no earlier than 30-Jun-2020. Applicants must have submitted their doctoral thesis for examination before the start date and no earlier than 30-Jun-2020. Fellowships are expected to start on 11-Oct-2021 unless exceptional circumstances require an alternate start date.

 

A webinar for potential applicants to 2020/21 round 1 was held in May 2020. Due to circumstances beyond our control it has not been possible to include video of the webinar on this website as we had intended. However, the slides used in the webinar can be viewed on slideshare.

Eligibility criteria

Funding source:
Any student who received EPSRC funding support during their doctoral study at a UK institution is eligible to apply. This includes: CDT (both CDT grant funded and Incorporated), DTP, DTP-CASE, and I-CASE. Those funded by other Research Councils or other funders are NOT eligible (this includes students aligned to EPSRC CDTs but funded from other Research Councils or other funders). Their funded studentship must have ended no earlier than 30-June-2020.

Career stage:
Applicants must have submitted their doctoral thesis for examination before the start date (11-Oct-2021) and no earlier than 30-June-2020. Their funded studentship must have ended no earlier than 30-June-2020. The award requires the Fellow to have submitted their thesis prior to the start of the award. Candidates who have not yet submitted their thesis at the time of application are still eligible, but they must have submitted their thesis prior to the Fellowship start date, and the supervisor’s letter of support must clearly state the expected submission date. Where the viva exam has not taken place before the start of the Fellowship, the outcome must be an outright pass or pass with minor corrections otherwise the Fellowship offer will be withdrawn. If minor corrections are required, they must be done outside of the time allocated for the Fellowship. Previously unsuccessful candidates may only reapply by invitation.

Funding availability

Duration:
The difficult decision has been taken to reduce the duration of the Doctoral Prize Fellowship to 1 year in first instance, in line with the EPSRC's priorities for adjusting funding to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The awards will initially be for a period of up to 1 year. Further extension up to an additional 12 months may be awarded depending on progress and funding availability.
Fellowships are generally expected to be undertaken on a full-time basis without breaks (EPSRC Doctoral Prize fellows who wish to request an exception to this should contact the BEAMS Doctoral Training Manager well in advance of submitting applications for change as prior funder consent needs to be sought).

Salary:
As newly qualified Postdoctoral Researchers, Fellows will be appointed to Grade 7 point 29 on the UCL salary scale.

Other included costs:
Non-salary costs are available for research expenses (e.g. facilities use, consumables), travel (e.g. visits to collaborators, conferences), and outreach activities (e.g. public engagement, knowledge transfer). A guide figure for non-salary costs is £10k per annum (p.a.). However, as the requested costs should be appropriate to the proposed project, some related costs would be expected to be below £10k p.a. and higher costs can be given when justified.
Post-doctoral Fellowships are awarded on a non-fEC basis (i.e. only directly-incurred costs are eligible. Estates/infrastructure/indirect costs are excluded). Candidates who are successful at the interview stage will need to work with their host department to produce a worktribe costing for final approval of non-salary costs.

Application timeline

Closing date: 14:00 27-July-2021
Shortlisted candidates invited to interview: 06-August-2021
Interviews: 12-August-2021
Successful candidates notified: 13-August-2021

How to apply

All applications must be submitted online. The deadline for submission is 14:00 on 27-July-2021. Late, incomplete, or incorrect format applications will not be reviewed. All applicants should be in contact with their proposed host department early in the application process to discuss how they can support you and any local departmental timelines/deadlines.
Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 06-Aug-2021 of their invitation to interview. Interviews are expected to be held on 12-Aug-2021. Interviews will be held online using MS Teams. Candidates will be asked to give a brief presentation which will be followed by questions from the panel. Please indicate when you apply whether you will require any special arrangements for the interview (via the monitoring data collection form).

The shortlisting and interview panels consist of academics from accross the EPSRC remit. All applicants should ensure their applications are written to be accessible to a general scientific audience, and avoiding subject specific technical acronyms and jargon.

Each application requires 2 online form submissions:

  1. Monitoring Data form - must be submitted by the applicant
  2. Application document submission form - Due to the limitations of microsoft forms, this must be submitted by someone with a current UCL email address; current UCL students can complete it themselves, external applicants will need support from their proposed host department.

The information required for the monitoring data form is shown below.

All 3 application documents must be completed using the templates provided on this webpage. They must be saved in docx (word) file format and named according to the formats shown:

  • Application form - must be completed by the applicant; filename format: firstName_lastName_appForm.docx
  • Referee form - must be completed by your primary/principal doctoral supervisor and must clearly state the expected or actual thesis submission date; filename format: firstName_lastName_ref.docx
  • HoD support form - must be completed by the Head (HoD) of the proposed UCL host department (or a suitable delegate where the HoD is conflicted); filename format: firstName_lastName_hod.docx

No other documents can be submitted. This includes traditional CVs - the application form contains a standardised CV template section which must be completed instead.

The other information required for application document submission form is shown below.

Important note for external applicants

Due to the limitations of microsoft forms, the application document submission form must be completed by someone with a current UCL email address. External applicants will need to request support from their proposed UCL host department and should ensure they contact the department early in the application process to discuss how they can support you and any local departmental timelines/deadlines. It is essential to provide all the additional information required for the online submission form (shown below) so that your proposed host department can easily complete the form on your behalf. It is your responsibility to ensure the application documents are saved in docx (word) format with the filenames in the format shown above. Departments will have internal deadlines by which they require the information and completed documents to allow them to complete the online submission on your behalf - check with your proposed host department.

Application document templates to download

Application form:

 

Referee form:

 

HoD form:

 

Information for UCL department staff

  • The HoD form needs to be completed by the Head of the proposed host department. Where the HoD is conflicted, a suitable delegate should complete it. The completed form must be saved in docx (word) format.
  • External applicants will need support to complete the online application document submission form (it requires a UCL login to access; this is unavoidable due to the limitations of microsoft forms). The applicant must provide the department with all the information required (listed below) and the documents (including ensuring they are saved in docx (word) file format and renamed where necessary to the filename formats shown above) in time for the form to be completed before the deadline. Departments should communicate any local departmental timelines/deadlines to applicants who wish to be hosted by them
  • Current UCL student applicants can complete the online application document submission form themselves (using their UCL account), however the department can choose to do this on behalf of the candidate. Departments who wish to do this should ensure they communicate this and any local departmental timelines/deadlines to applicants who wish to be hosted by them

Information required to complete the online application document submission form

  • Applicant name and email address (if the form is completed by UCL staff on behalf of an applicant; the form will automatically record this for applicants who are current UCL students)
  • Proposed UCL host faculty and department
  • EPSRC theme of the proposed project (Descriptions of the themes are available on EPSRC's website)
  • Requirement for a certificate of sponsorship to work in the UK (Yes/No)
  • Type of EPSRC funded doctoral studentship held (choose from: CDT, CDT Incorporated, DTP, DTP-CASE, I-CASE)
  • EPSRC grant reference for doctoral studentship (All grant references begin with EP/; your CDT or department PGR administrator can find this in your Je-S record)
  • Doctoral study Institution (If you are in a multi-partner CDT/program this should be the institution which will award your doctoral degree)
  • Expected or actual date of thesis submission (This is the date of the initial thesis submission for examination, not the submission of the final post-viva copy)
  • Dates of viva examination and doctoral degree award (if applicable)
  • The 3 competed template documents as docx (word) files with the correct format of filename as shown above

Monitoring Data

Please note, for all successful candidates awarded a Fellowship, this data needs to be reported to EPSRC. Please review their data policy. D1 to D3 need to be reported for each individual awarded Fellow. D4 to D6 will be reported as aggregated data for all Fellows funded from the grant.
For all candidates, anonymised aggregate data will be retained for internal monitoring of the scheme.

D1: Name
D2: ORCID ID (if applicable)     [your 16 digit ORCID ID (number only) in the format XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX]
D3: HUSID / HESA ID     [your 13 digit HUSID (also known as HESA ID). For UCL students, this can be found in your Portico record – shown as "HESA student ID". Candidates from other universities should ask their university how to find it]
D4: Gender
D5: Nationality
D6: Ethnicity

Online forms

Monitoring data form: https://rebrand.ly/docprizemon

Application document submission form: https://rebrand.ly/docprizeapp