UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


AXA Research Fellowship: Call for Applications for UCL Shortlisting 2016/17

9 October 2016

UCL triage application deadline: 27th October 2016 AXA full application deadline: 6th December 2016 The 2016-17 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 2 candidates to apply for this scheme in December 2016 (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 amount is one hundred and thirty thousand euros (€130,000) for a duration of twenty-four (24) months.  This year, UCL is looking to put forward proposal(s) for research under the themes listed at the end of this page. Key details of the scheme and key dates can be found here. 

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 3 years preceding the December 2016.

Format of initial proposals to the UCL triage

Proposals for the UCL triage should consist of:

  • 200 character project title
  • 2000 character (including spaces)  synopsis of the proposed research 
  • 0.5 page career statement.
  • 2 page CV (including 0.5 pages of the candidate's most relevant publications)

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. Note that the candidate(s) who get through the UCL triage will have to expand this to a longer application, as described in the full guidelines.

The application should be accompanied with

  • Support statement from your host department HoD (see wording at end of page), either signed by or emailed directly from them
  • Candidate declaration that they (1) would be committed to taking up the fellowship at UCL (2) are eligible to apply according to the AXA guidelines (3) have the backing of their host department and (4) would be able to produce a high quality proposal for the AXA full application deadline of 6 December 2016

No additional materials or sections will be accepted as part of the application.

Closing date

Applications should be sent to irdr-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk  with the subject line, "AXA fellowship application" by midday on Thursday 27th October. 

Selection process and criteria

Based on the applications received, decisions regarding which candidates UCL puts forward will be made by a multi disciplinary panel convened by the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction. Candidates will be informed of the decision by 3rd November, allowing over a month for preliminary applications to be built up to a full application before submission to AXA. The criteria that will be applied are the same as those applied by AXA, described in full detail on p6-7 of the full AXA call.

Note that for the internal UCL triage, we will pay particular attention to the applicant profile, since the research proposal will not be fully formed at this stage.

Academic excellence and a proven track record in accordance with the stage of the candidate's career.

Demonstrated expertise relevant to the research proposed.

Personal commitment.

Potential for independence of research.

Internationally mobile candidates presented by institutions located in focus countries (past, present or planned mobility is mandatory for non-focus country candidates). 

Communication skills as assessed by non-academic AXA experts, and demonstrated through interactions with a non-academic audience (interviews with media, presentations in conferences with a broad public etc.). 

Further information

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 for UCL applications for the AXA research fellowship

The following list of topics has been validated by the AXA Research Fund Advisory Board. Only research projects with justified relevance to this list will be considered for funding.

Environmental Risks

· Climate change.

· Natural hazards & disaster risk reduction.

Life Risks

· Ageing, dependency and long-term care.

· Public Health & healthcare systems.

Socio-economic Risks

· Insurance and its influence on the Macroeconomic environment.

· Geopolitics and the dynamics of international relations.

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution"

· The technological revolution's Social & economic impact (Medical digitization, Health innovation, Energy transition, Finance, Internet of Things, Social Networks…).

· Tools and novel approaches to scientific modelling (Bioinformatics, Data Science…).

HoD support statement

I hereby confirm that if this candidate wins the AXA research fund fellowship:

  • On award of 130,000 euro fellowship from AXA, our department will be able to pay full time salary costs and research expenses to the AXA fellow for 18-24 months
  • I understand that the award cannot be used towards administrative or infrastructural costs
  • We will adhere to the grant and agreement terms and conditions, as outlined on p11-14 of the application guidelines