UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


FAQs for applicants

FAQs for applicants

What is the aim of an Excellence Fellowship?

UCL's Excellence Fellowship Programme seeks to recruit the highest calibre early career researchers from leading international institutions, supporting them to establish their independent career and become the outstanding research leaders of the future.

What fellowships are available in 2017?

[Please note, the 2017 recruitment round is now closed] Three fellowship posts are available across the School of Life and Medical Sciences, which comprises the Faculties of Brain Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Sciences and Population Health Sciences. Applications are welcome from clinical and non-clinical researchers in disciplines across the life and biomedical sciences, including clinical, applied and population health science.

What is a UCL Sponsor and how do I get one?

Applicants must identify a Group Leader or Head of Research Department or Division/Institute who will sponsor their application for an Excellence Fellowship. A sponsor is required to assure the selection panel that the candidate, if appointed, will be welcomed into the host department as an independent researcher. As such, candidates must contact and discuss their application with the potential sponsor prior to submission, and the sponsor must provide a letter of support as part of the candidate's application.

The Sponsor should be an academic within SLMS whose research interests are the closest match to those of the candidate.

Sponsors may be UCL academics who are existing professional contacts of the candidate. Alternatively, candidates can use UCL's Research Portal http://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/ and SLMS webpages http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slms to find the contact details of academics and Research Departments/Divisions/Institutes in their research area.

Candidates will need to contact potential sponsors normally via email to obtain their support. This should be done at an early stage in the application process as applications without sponsorship will not be considered for shortlisting.

You will need to get a support letter signed by your sponsor that confirms the appropriate space and resources will be provided to you during your fellowship. This must be co-signed by the appropriate Divisional/Institute Director. 

Can the Sponsor / Excellence Fellowship be based anywhere in UCL?

Excellence Fellowship posts are available only in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS), and as such the lead Sponsor must be based in a SLMS Division or Institute. The Fellow will be appointed in, and based primarily in, the Division / Institute of the Lead Sponsor.

It is possible to obtain an additional sponsor, for example where the research programme spans disciplines. Additional sponsors can be based anywhere in UCL, and must provide a letter of support, as per the lead sponsor, in the application.

I am proposing an interdisciplinary research programme. Can I apply?

Yes. Candidates wishing to work in interdisciplinary fields are encouraged to apply and may be jointly sponsored by more than one UCL academic. However, appointments can only be made within the School of Life and Medical Sciences and as such Fellows will need to be based within this UCL School.

What is the duration of the appointment?

Excellence Fellows are funded for three years in the first instance. Excellence Fellows are expected to apply for externally-funded fellowships or personal awards during the tenure of this post.

What funding is provided for the post?

Excellence Fellows will receive three year's salary funding.

Excellence Fellows will receive an additional £50k to be used freely to support his/her research throughout the fellowship. Candidates who obtain an externally funded fellowship prior to, or during, the tenure of their Excellence Fellowship will also receive a supplementary research fund, to a maximum of £50k. The supplement will be a percentage of the salary budget received by UCL and will depend upon the date during the Excellence Fellowship that the external funding is activated.

Fellows will be supported in applying for this within the first two years of appointment. Funds may originate from government, charities or the commercial sector.

What is the typical starting salary?

Posts will be offered at UCL Grade 8 (£42,304 - £49,904 per annum) inclusive of London allowance and depending on experience. Clinician applicants will be appointed on the appropriate equivalent clinical pay scale - please refer to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/ca/clin_acad1.php

When would a Fellowship start if I were awarded one?

This is agreed between the successful candidate and the host Division/Institute; this will normally be within 6 months of the interview. Note that interviews for the 2017 recruitment round are scheduled for 30 June 2017.

Will I have the opportunity to supervise a PhD student?

Successful applicants will be eligible to co-supervise a PhD student with their UCL sponsor. No additional funding will be available for this through the Excellence Fellowship, but Fellows will be eligible to apply with their sponsor to relevant studentship programmes within UCL.

How do I apply?

What you will need:

  • Guidance document (right)
  • A sponsor at UCL (see guidance for details)
  • A covering letter explaining why you are applying for this fellowship and outlining career goals, plans for future funding applications and justification for applying to UCL (maximum one A4 side)
  • A research proposal outlining the planned research, with emphasis on vision and ambition (maximum two A4 sides, no less than Arial pt 11 font, references can be on a separate page). Should it be relevant to your research programme, please include an additional brief section (150 word maximum) on any likely health, technology or other possible impacts from your research. 
  • Your CV (maximum three A4 sides) plus full publication list. (Publications do not count towards the three page limit).
  • A letter of support from the UCL Sponsor(s) (maximum one A4 side). The letter must confirm and detail the space and resources that will be provided. If your contact at UCL is not a Head of Research Department or Division/Institute Director, their support letter must be co-signed by the relevant Head of Research Department and Division/Institute Director as proof that they all have reviewed and approved the provision of space and resources.
  • A completed application form (Word), downloaded from the job vacancy page. 

How to apply

  1. Read the guidance documentation (right) and FAQs in full.
  2. Enter the UCL's online recruitment system. Search for the vacancy (using "Excellence Fellowship" or Job Ref # 1635504) and click on the job title.
  3. From near the bottom of the job vacancy page, download the application form (Word).
  4. Complete the information required in the online application.
  5. Upload your CV in the "upload CV" section.
  6. Prepare and upload "Supporting Documents" (see above for details). 
  7. Compile the following documents into a single pdf document:
  • The completed application form (see point 3 above)
  • Covering letter
  • Research proposal 
  • Letter of support from the UCL Sponsor(s)

  8. Check you application and submit

Deadline (CLOSED): 

10th May, 2017 (11pm). 

Start your application early, as you will need to obtain support from a SLMS sponsor prior to the application deadline.

Review process 

Shortlisting: Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted for interview based on the criteria in the job description and person specification. Outcomes of shortlisting will be made available in early June. Please note that due to the large volume of applications, we are unable to provide detailed feedback to applicants. 

Interviews: For invited candidates, interviews will be held on 30th June. We are unable to accommodate remote interviews; therefore, please do keep this date clear.