UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy


Research Fellowships

We are keen to support a limited number of strong candidates in applying for Research Fellowships. If your profile and interests match our activities, we would be very interested to hear from you.


To allow time for both preparation and proper costing of the proposal, we recommend you get in touch with the relevant staff members listed below (either the Head of Department or the Head of Resarch Group) at least 2 months before the funder deadline (please check the dates specified in the Fellowship Timetable).  All Fellowship proposals will be subject to a critical review by a member of academic staff as part of the submission process.

**Fellowship Timetable and Guidelines 2023/24**

To apply

The best initial approach is to contact either the Head of Department or the Head of the Research Group where your interest lies.   


Each Fellowship scheme has a different deadline and the dates often vary from year to year - please check the latest Fellowship Timetable which has up to date information on internal deadlines, and links to the funder guidance.

Pay Scales

You will need to agree your pay scale with your departmental sponsor.  The lowest grade a Fellow can be costed at is Grade 7, Point 29. This is the starting salary for a newly qualified PDRA, and it is normal that there is an additional spine point for every year of postdoctoral experience you have.  So for a Fellow with one year of postdoctoral experience at the beginning of the Fellowship it will be grade 7, point 30.  UCL pay scales can be found at - Pay Scales


  • EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowships: Aimed at researchers with at least four years of postdoctoral experience, limited to topics in energy, mathematical sciences, synthetic biology and Stephen Hawking areas of research. There are now two submission points in the year, we expect these to be March and September. 
  • Open / Open Plus Fellowships: Aimed at all career stages beyond postdoctoral level and include researchers who are close to their first academic appointment, leading in an area of technical development, or are a highly experienced researcher. Proposals can focus on any topic in the EPSRC portfolio. There are now two submission points in the year, we expect these to be March and September. 
  • EPSRC Doctoral Prize: 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. Deadlines vary throughout the year.

Royal Society

  • University Research Fellowships: The University Research Fellowships scheme aims to provide outstanding scientists, who should have the potential to become leaders in their chosen field, with the opportunity to build an independent research career. Deadline is normally annually in September.
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships: The Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship scheme supports excellent scientists and engineers at an early stage of their career. The Royal Society invites in particular female candidates to apply for an opportunity that is designed to help successful candidates to progress to permanent academic positions in the UK. Deadline is normally annually in late October/early November
  • Newton International Fellowships: These fellowships are for non-UK scientists who are at an early stage of their research career and wish to conduct research in the UK. Deadline is normally annually in March.


  • The Ernest Rutherford Fellowship enables early career researchers with clear leadership potential to establish a strong, independent research programme. Deadline is normally annually in September.


  • Future Leaders fellowship: This fellowship is open to researchers and/or innovators with outstanding potential, who are transitioning to or establishing independence. There is an internal selection process at UCL for this fellowship, as applications are capped per institution. Please contact the HoD or appropriate Head of Group for further details.

Other Fellowships

  • EC Marie Curie Postdoctoral fellowships: The Postdoctoral Fellowships action targets researchers holding a PhD who wish to carry out their research activities abroad, acquire new skills and develop their careers. PFs help researchers gain experience in other countries, disciplines and non-academic sectors. Deadline is normally annually in September.
  • Royal Commission for Exhibition of 1851 fellowships: The scheme of 1851 Research Fellowships is intended to give a few PhD level scientists or engineers of outstanding promise the opportunity for conducting research for a further period. Deadline is normally annually in January,
  • Royal Astronomical Society fellowships: The  RAS Research Fellowships and Norman Lockyer Fellowships are aimed at promising young scientists, to allow them be employed as Research Fellows at UK universities. Each scheme is open every three years, and the deadline is normally in October.

Please note that the department is not able to support applications to the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at this current time.