Programs in the United Kingdom: Post-doctoral

The Heatley-Payne Exchange Program for Early-Career Scientists is an exchange program intended for post-doctoral researchers from the U.S. looking to switch places with a lead researcher from the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) or the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The U.S. winner for this year will attend the SGM’s Annual Spring Meeting where he/she will have the opportunity to present his/her work during the appropriate scientific session. Candidates must have received their PhD within the last 5 years. Exchange program lasts up to 3 weeks.

Agencies involved: Society for General Microbiology (SGM) and American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Key Dates: Annual application deadline November 15 for the following year.


STFC Fellowships are awarded to researchers looking to pursue careers in research and development. Candidates must not hold a permanent academic position, but must hold PhD or equivalent, and at least 5 years of research experience.

Agencies involved: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE)                                                                               

Key dates: Application process has closed. Check website for updated information.


RAEng Research Fellowships are given to post-graduate and post-doctoral scientists of engineering looking to further their career through academic research in the UK. Candidates must have at least 3 years of post-doctoral research experience. Program runs for up to 5 years.

Agencies involved: The Royal Academy of Engineering

Key dates: Application is now closed. Check website for updated information. 


David Phillips Fellowships are open to independent researchers for periods of up to 5 years. Candidates must have at least 3 years of post-doctoral research experience.

Agencies involved: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Key dates: Application deadline is November 5, 2014.


The NERC Independent Research Fellowship is designed for early-career environmental scientists for periods of up to 5 years.

Agencies involved: National Environment Research Council (NERC)

Key dates: Application deadline is October 1, 2014.


The EPSRC wants to develop the next generation of scientists at the post-doctoral, early career and established career levels across the world. To that end, the EPSRC has designed a fellowship for scientists of any experience level. Candidates must hold a PhD or have equivalent research experience. Fellowships can be held at any UK university or similar Higher Education Institution (HEI) that is eligible for Research Council funding, however they cannot be held at Research Council Institutes.

Agencies involved: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Key dates: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Check website for additional information.


The International Exchanges Scheme is awarded to scientists in the UK looking to travel in order to conduct cooperative research with an international partner. Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent. Program can run for the length of the applicant’s choosing: 3 months, 1 year, or 2 years.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society, The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation

Key dates: The next rounds are currently open for applications and will close on October 21, 2014.


The Royal Society Mullard Award is given to scientists showing promise of future contribution to UK national prosperity. Winners are chosen by nomination. Direct applications not accepted.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society

Key Dates: The 2014 call for nominations has closed. Check website for updated information.


The mercer prize scheme is for scientists whose research has been commercially exploited for significant wealth generation or societal benefit in the UK. The award is open to any post-doctoral researcher in academic organisations, research institutes or any other research and technology organization. Nominations for are invited from all Fellows of the Society, Society research award holders, research institutions and industry. Self-nominations are allowed.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society

Key Dates: This program is currently closed to applications. Check website for updated information.


The Brian Mercer Award for Innovation is intended for scientists who wish to develop an already proven concept or prototype into a near-market product ready for commercial exploitation.  The award allows advanced scientists to explore the option of marketing their innovation before securing capital investment. Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent, and must hold a permanent position at a university or NGO in the UK. The scheme covers natural sciences, excluding medical devices.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society

Key Dates: This application scheme is currently closed. Check website for updated information.


The Paul Instrument Fund is given to scientists for the development of a novel instrument to measure phenomena within the physical sciences. Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent. Program runs for up to 3 years.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society

Key Dates: This program is currently closed for applications. Check website for updated information.


The Royal Society Industry Fellowship is awarded to academic of any experience level looking to complete collaborative projects with UK scientists from within a specific industry. Candidates must hold PhD or equivalent, and hold a permanent position at a university or NGO in the UK.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, Rolls-Royce, and British Petroleum (BP)

Key Dates: This program is currently closed. Check website for updated information.


The Brian Mercer Feasibility Award scheme is for scientists who wish to investigate the feasibility of commercializing an aspect of their research. The award allows advanced scientists to explore the option of marketing their innovation before securing capital investment. Candidates must hold a PhD or equivalent, and must hold a permanent position at a university or NGO in the UK. The scheme covers electrotechnology and biomedical sciences.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society

Key Dates: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


The Newton International Fellowship was developed with the intent of building collaborative international efforts with the UK in the fields of research and development. The fellowship is open to early-stage researchers seeking support for 2 years of study at UK institutions. Applications are made jointly by applicant and applicants proposed UK Sponsor.

Agencies involved: The British Academy, The Royal Society

Key Dates: Application for January 2015 fellowship has closed. Check website for updated information.


The Sir Henry Dale Fellowship is awarded to post-doctoral scientists looking to develop international experience at research centers in the UK. Focus of study tends toward clinical and public health. Candidate must have received PhD within 7 years of application, and must have some experience working in the UK.

Agencies involved: The Royal Society, The Wellcome Trust

Key Dates: Application deadline for this fellowship has passed. Check website for updated information. 


Marshall Sherfield Fellowship is awarded to scientific researchers looking to advance professionally while contributing to the industry of science and engineering in the UK. Candidates must hold a PhD.

Agencies involved: Marshall Sherfield Fellowship Foundation and the Marshall Commission

Key Dates: Application for the 2015 fellowship is November 10, 2014.