Royal Society University Research Fellowship 2023 | APPLY NOW

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Applications are invited for the Royal Society University Research Fellowship 2023. This scheme is for outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field.

These long term fellowships provide the opportunity and freedom to build an independent research career in the UK or Republic of Ireland and pursue cutting-edge scientific research.

Until this point, the University Research Fellowship (URF) has been a five year fellowship, with the option to apply for a three year extension. From the current round onwards, applicants will have the opportunity to submit a research proposal and costs for an eight-year fellowship.

Costs for years six to eight will be subject to satisfactory progress and completion of a mid-fellowship checkpoint review at the start of year four. In addition to the change regarding the duration of the fellowships, the award value has also been updated with respect to previous rounds.

About the Program

  • The Royal Society introduced the University Research Fellowship (URF) scheme in 1983 to support the most promising early career postdoctoral scientists to build independent research careers and give them the freedom to pursue innovative and often transformative scientific research.

Aims of the Scheme

  • The University Research Fellowship (URF) programme aims to support the next generation of research leaders undertaking cutting-edge research. Those appointed are therefore expected to be very strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships. 
  • The objectives of the URF programme are to enable outstanding early career scientists, with the potential to become leaders in their field, to:
  • Build an independent research career at a UK university or research institution.
  • Gain the freedom, time, and long-term flexible support to pursue high-quality and innovative lines of scientific research.
  • Develop as research leaders by offering tailored high-quality professional development, networking and engagement opportunities. 


The scheme provides:

  • Research Fellow’s salary: 80% of the basic salary costs up to £41,675 in the first year, estates costs and indirect costs
  • Contribution to research expenses of £90,000 per annum

Royal Society University Research Fellowship Dates 2022

  • Opening date Tuesday, 12 July 2022
  • Closing Date Tuesday, 06 September 2022, 3:00 PM (UK Time)
  • Interviews for shortlisted applicants Week commencing Monday, 28 March 2023
  • Expected results End of May 2023

Royal Society University Research Fellowship Eligibility Criteria 2022

  • This scheme is open to:
  • Early career, postdoctoral researchers with between three to eight years of actual research experience since their PhD (i.e. date on which the degree was approved by the board of graduate studies) by the closing date of the round. Career breaks will be taken into consideration (for more details – https://royalsociety.org/).
  •  Applicants of all nationalities.
  • Note: University Research Fellows requiring a visa to work in the UK are eligible to apply for a Global Talent Visa under the fast-track process of endorsement. Other visa categories are available. In line with the highly prestigious nature of a University Research Fellowship, the Global Talent visa is designed for people who are recognised as leaders and potential leaders in their field. Further details can be found on the Royal Society’s website (royalsociety.org/global-talent-visa).

Royal Society University Research Fellowship Application Process 2022

  • Applications can only be submitted online using the Royal Society’s Grants management system (FlexiGrant®) via https://grants.royalsociety.org.
  • Further information about the Grants management system can be found at https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/flexi-grant/.
  • If you have not previously used Flexi-Grant®, please follow the registration process from the Flexi-Grant® homepage. Paper-based applications will not be accepted.
  • Before completing the online form, all applicants should check that they comply with the eligibility requirements and ensure all necessary information is presented in the application.

Value of Funding and Support Provided

  • Research Fellow’s salary: The Society will cover 80% of the research fellow’s salary costs, directly allocated costs (including estate costs), and indirect costs under the full economic costing model. URFs are expected to establish their independent research career and as such, the basic salary requested should be at a level commensurate with your skills, responsibilities, expertise and experience. It is expected that the requested basic salary for the first year will be comparable to academic staff at an equivalent career stage such as an early stage lecturer; up to a maximum of £41,340.00 per annum.
  • An annual spine point increase of 3% may be applied to the basic salary and oncosts. The Society will apply an inflationary increase to the salary, indirect and estates costs of successful awards, which will be determined by the HM Treasury GDP deflator. Should the university wish to supplement the basic salary provided by the Society it is free to do so at its own discretion.
  • The University Research Fellowship is highly flexible. It can be held part-time (up to 0.6 FTE), and sabbaticals and secondments can be accommodated. There is also provision for maternity, paternity, shared parental leave, adoptive or extended sick leave (royalsociety.org/leave-policy).
  • Research expenses: Contribution to research expenses (£13,000 in year one and £11,000 per year thereafter). Details of eligible costs are included in the Application Guidance Notes.

For more details and apply please visit the official website


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