Skip to main content


The Department has a long tradition of hosting independent research fellows, many of whom have gone on to independent academic careers either in Durham or entered industry. Informal enquiries about research fellowships should be made with individual members of academic staff or the Head of Department.

Schemes are listed below, along with an indication of typical application deadlines. Please check the scheme website itself for definitive information.


Deadline Info - please see individual grant websites for this year's dates.

Historic / Indicative Deadline info

Durham University Fellowships


Christopherson-Knott Fellowships (IAS)

An internal fellowship scheme for Durham staff.

Call for applications: October.

Deadline: November.

UK Fellowships


Royal Commission 1851 Research Fellowships

Closes: Monday 8th January 2024

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

For this scheme, the department can submit up to 2 proposals, so an internal selection procedure is set up for this, with an initial notification deadline of Friday 15th December 2023.

February 2024

Newton International Fellowships

Aimed at researchers wishing to build and maintain links with leading researchers in the UK.

Call opens: 17th January 2024

NERC Independent Research Fellowships

"The NERC Independent Research Fellowship (IRF) Scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving all fellows five years' support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes and to gain international recognition." -- NERC Website

Call opens: June.

Deadline: usually early October.

Royal Society University Research Fellowships

This scheme is for outstanding scientists 3-8 years post-PhD who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. Funding is for 5 years with a possibility to extend to 8.

Call opens: July.

Deadline: early September.

Outcome: following May.

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their research career who require a flexible working pattern due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues. Female candidates are particularly invited to apply.

Deadline: January, annualy.

Leverhulme Fellowships (50% funding for 3 years)

Three year Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers but with a proven record of research. It is anticipated that a Fellowship will lead to a more permanent academic position.

Next call opens: January

Closes: March.


1851 Fellowships (50% funding)

Three year fellowship intended to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise an opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation


Next call opens: October.

Deadline: February.


EPSRC Fellowships

Applicants are expected to hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience; however, there are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience or whether you hold (or do not hold) a permanent academic position.

No deadline. 

Ramsay Fellowships

British Ramsay Fellowships are awarded annually by the Ramsay Memorial Fellowships Trust to postdoctoral chemists in the early stages of their career, so that they may conduct original and independent research at universities in the United Kingdom.

Deadline: November.

STFC Rutherford fellowship

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships are intended for early career researchers who do not have an academic position.


Lindeman Trust Fellowships (for USA)

The Lindemann Trust Fellowships are awarded to graduates of exceptional promise in both the pure and applied physical sciences who have shown capacity for producing original research. Up to three grants a year worth $30,000 each for postdoctoral scientists to carry out research in the USA.

Opens: October.

Deadline: February.

EU Fellowships


ERC Starting Grant

ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams.

Please check ERC website.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships/Grants Please check ERC website