UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Call for UCL Applications for AXA Research Fund post-doctoral Fellowships

19 October 2015

The 2015 AXA Research Fund (ARF) Post-doctoral Research Fellowship Scheme will open in late November.

AXA Research Fund This year UCL will be allowed to put forward up to 4 candidates to apply for this scheme (exact number TBC in mid-November). In anticipation of receiving a quota and of there being more interested candidates than allocated places, we are now inviting proposals from candidates wishing to be put forward by UCL. Research proposals should focus on a better understanding of risk (where the word risk is connected to phenomena that are perceived - or yet to be perceived - as hazards or threats and which must be identified and measured for frequency and impact.)

About the scheme

Each year, the AXA Research Fund offers twenty-five (25) Post-Doctoral Fellowships to outstanding researchers. Each grant amounts one hundred and thirty thousand euros (€130,000) for duration of twenty-four (24) months.  This year, UCL is looking to put forward proposals for research under the themes listed at the end of this page. Key details of the scheme and key dates can be found here: https://www.axa-research.org/post-doctoral-fellowships

A Post-Doctoral Fellow can be presented through one institution only and must not be holding a permanent academic position. The candidate must have been awarded his/her first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) before the beginning of their Post-Doctoral grant and within the 5 years preceding the December 2015.

Format of proposals

Proposals should be in the same format as that requested by AXA at Stage One. They should consist of:

  • 1.5 page synopsis of the proposed research (plus space for references);
  • 2 page CV (plus 0.5 pages of the candidate's most relevant publications)
  • 1 page career statement.

All documents should be collated together into one PDF document. Please use 11pt font, with margins >2cm all around. The structure and contents of the proposal and CV are entirely up to the candidate, but you are encouraged to consider the criteria for selection (below).

Closing date

Applications should be sent to irdr-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk  with the subject line, "AXA fellowship application" by 5pm on Thursday 12th November. The Head of Department who will be hosting the fellowship should be copied on the email.

Selection process and criteria

Based on the applications received, decisions regarding which candidates UCL puts forward will be made by a panel convened by the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. Candidates will be informed of the decision by the end of November, allowing two weeks for preliminary applications to be finalised before submission to AXA. The criteria that will be applied are the same as those applied by AXA:

  • Fit to AXA scheme and UCL prioritised themes of the scheme (both fit to suitable area of risk as listed below and career stage <5 years from PhD)
  • Academic excellence of the candidate
  • International exposure of the candidate (ideally this should mean change of country for this fellowship, previous international mobility, or justification for a decision not to relocate internationally)
  • Relevance of the host laboratory to the research project
  • Innovative nature and originality of the project
  • Feasibility of the project (management and planning, and budget)

All applicants must confirm in the email (copied to their Head of Department) that they:

  • would be committed to taking up the fellowship at UCL
  • are eligible to apply according to the AXA guidelines
  • have the backing of the relevant department
  • would be able to produce a high quality proposal for the AXA preliminary application deadline of 14 December 2015 and the AXA full application deadline of 21st March 2015, if invited

Further information

For queries regarding the scheme itself, please first consult the ARF FAQ: http://www.axa-research.org/faq-post-doctoral-fellowship. For further information about the shortlisting process, please contact Dr Rosanna Smith, Deputy Director of UCL IRDR, rosanna.smith@ucl.ac.uk. Applications should be submitted to irdr-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk  with the subject line, "AXA fellowship application".

Research Themes

We are seeking applications for research fellowships within the following research themes:

Environmental risks

  • Climate change, from glacier retreat to sea-level rise.
  • Natural hazards, from earth hazards to atmospheric and space-weather phenomena

Life Risks

  • Biomedical risks, from the analysis and evolution of infectious diseases and pandemics, to exposure to new technologies.

Socio-economic risks

  • Geopolitical risks, eg. access to natural resources, international and civil conflicts, political upheavals, international security.

Applications should tackle one of the eligible research fields relying on several of the following approaches:

  • Risk identification and definition
  • Risk assessment and measure
  • Risk modelling
  • Risk mitigation
  • Decision-making processes when facing risks
  • Risk prevention