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Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research

The School of Arts and Humanities and the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Studying at Cambridge

 

For Early Career Researchers

Further information is available in the Brief Guide to Fellowships and Funding for Early Career Researchers and Postdocs.

 

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

Funding: The Trust will contribute 50% of each fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £24,000 per annum, with the balance to be paid by the host institution. Given the prestige of the awards, each fellow may request annual research expenses of up to £6,000 to further his or her research activities.

Duration: Three years (may be held part-time)

Disciplines: All Disciplines

Purpose: 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. Fellowships can be held at universities or at other institutions of higher education in the UK.

Eligibility: Applications are invited from those with a doctorate who had their doctoral viva not more than 4 years before the application closing date. Career breaks will be taken into account. They may not currently hold, or have already held, a full-time established (i.e. permanent) academic position in a UK university or comparable institution in the UK or a fellowship for independent research of equivalent duration to the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. This would exclude current holders of British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships or Junior Research Fellowships of three years duration, for example.

Timetable: Annual deadline in early March of each year. Application materials can be accessed from the Trust’s website from January. The Trust will report results to applicants by the end of May.

For Cambridge-based applications, there is a pre-selection competition run by the Isaac Newton Trust, which provides the match funding for successful applicants. You must apply to the Newton Trust before submitting your application to the Leverhulme Trust, and you need to secure the support of a host department before approaching the Newton Trust. The Newton Trust deadline for applications is in January and potential applicants are strongly advised to check details with the Newton Trust directly.

Number of fellowships: There are approximately 100 fellowships available each year.

Scheme website

 

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

Funding: Around £250,000 at 80 per cent full economic cost (fEC) for research expenses and salary.

Duration: Three years

Discipline: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Purpose: This scheme is designed to enable outstanding early career researchers to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment, which will develop their CV and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship. Applicants are expected to be at an early stage of their academic career.

Eligibility: Applicants must be within three years of the award of their doctorate.

Timetable: Annual Competition with deadline for submission of outline proposals in early October. Results of outline stage expected in January (invitation to submit full application) for research beginning on or after 1 September. Please check the website for the yearly deadlines.

For Cambridge-based applications, there is a pre-selection competition with a deadline in August/September. Please ask for guidance in your respective Department. 

Number of fellowships: Up to 45 awards to be made for research starting in 2014.

Scheme website

 

 

British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award

The British Academy’s new Rising Star Engagement Awards (BARSEA) enables established early career scholars to actively engage in the work of the Academy and to enhance their own skills and career development through the organisation of events, training, and mentoring activities for a wide range of other early career researchers. This scheme is NOT an offer to enable a scholar to undertake research.

Applications are invited from early career scholars within 10 years of the award of their doctorate, and ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom. Candidates must also be able to demonstrate their academic credentials to be leaders in research through suitable marks of esteem awarded prior to the submission of the application. Please note, applicants are required to have a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) champion their candidacy. The FBA Champion’s support is an endorsement of both the applicant and the proposed project. The Academy is unable to assist applicants in procuring an FBA Champion.

Eligible costs include travel, accommodation and subsistence; organisation of conferences, workshops whether academic or non-academic. Approximately 30 awards will be made per annum.

Scheme website

 

AHRC Leadership Fellows Scheme – route for early career researchers

Discipline: Arts and Humanities

Timetable: No deadline

Funding and Duration: between £50,000 and £250,000 at full economic costing for 6-24 months with about 30 awards for ECRs. Flexible time arrangements are possible but the PI cannot commit less than 50 percent of their time at any point during the fellowship and only request up to 100 percent of time for up to 12 months and has to make a part-time arrangement for the remaining time.

Eligibility: At the time of application, applicants must

  • have been employed by the submitting University for at least one year
  • have a contract that lasts beyond the end of the proposed fellowship activities
  • have at least two years of post-doctoral experience;
  • and be within eight years of the award of your PhD or equivalent professional training or be within six years of your first academic appointment (either full-time or part-time which lists research and/or teaching as the primary function).

Career breaks such as maternity leave will be taken into account.

In effect this means in most cases that you will already be on a permanent contract at the University. If you would like to discuss your eligibility please contact the Research Facilitator for UK-funding, Daniel Wunderlich.

Purpose:

The aims of the Leadership Scheme are for researchers:

  • to develop their capabilities as research leaders,
  • to carry out excellent individual research which has the potential to generate a transformative impact on their discipline, and which is of exceptional intellectual scope and importance,
  • to develop and undertake innovative and collaborative leadership activities which are connected to their research and which will result in benefits from their own discipline(s) and beyond,
  • to sustain and enhance research capacity in areas which may currently be under-supported for a variety of reason.

Early Career Fellowships are aimed at supporting applicants in taking forward new avenues of research which they have developed since completion of their PhD, or to pursue new research directions which have evolved from their PhD research. They are not designed, though, to write up doctoral theses for publication.

Strong evidence of institutional support for the proposed fellow’s career and leadership development before, during and after the award is required from the university. This refers for example to evidence of commitment to past, present and future support, leadership development programme, sabbaticals, PhD studentships, support for knowledge exchange and networking, nomination for prizes, etc.

Scheme website

 

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships - 'Medical Humanities' and 'Society and Ethics'

Discipline: The Wellcome Trust funds research in the humanities and social sciences particularly in relation to the areas Medical Humanities and Society and Ethics. You can find a presentation of the Wellcome Trust at the University of Cambridge about these funding areas in July 2013 by following this link. Please also read the Wellcome Trust Strategic Plan for further information.

Purpose: To support researchers at all stages of their career to conduct a period of research.

Eligibility: Applicants must not be in an established academic post (i.e. not be in an open-ended contract) and must hold a PhD.

Duration and Funding: Up to 3 years full-time (under exceptional circumstances also part-time) providing research expenses and a salary (plus employer's contributions)

Timetable: Biannual Competition with deadline for submission of outline proposals in late June and early December. Deadlines for full applications are in early August and early February respectively. Please check the website for the yearly deadlines.

Number of Fellowships: around 12 awards per annum

Society and ethics scheme website

Medical humanities scheme website

 

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

View more information 

 

Gerda Henkel Foundation: Research Scholarships

View more information on Gerda Henkel schemes

 

Early Career Fellowship (Independent Social Research Foundation)

Purpose: The awards are intended as providing full relief from all teaching duties and all associated academic administration for a period of (up to) one year; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent.

Eligibility: Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply – applicants should be within 10 years of PhD award, and they will normally have a permanent appointment at an institution of higher education and research. Career breaks may be taken into account.

Duration and costing: The amount of an award depends on the nature of the work proposed and individual circumstances – the ISRF expects applications for grants up to a maximum of £50,000 sterling to buy-out the cost of all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution for up to 12 months. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis.

Number of Awards: about 6 awards per annum.

Scheme Website http://isrf.org/funding-opportunities/grant-competitions/#ECF

 

Independent Scholar Fellowships (Independent Social Research Foundation)

Purpose: The awards are intended as providing a stipend to allow applicants full or partial relief from non-academic duties for a period of (up to) one year; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent.  The research proposed may include, but is not confined to: initiation of a project or of research level work intended to draw on or contribute to one of the professions, completion of a project, or preparation of an article or monograph for publication, based on existing work.

Eligibility: Independent scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply, and they will normally not hold an appointment, temporary or permanent, at an institution of higher education and research. Normally applicants will hold a PhD. Applications will be considered from those who hold part-time posts within academia and seek support for research carried out outside of their contracted hours.The awards are not intended to support newly qualified scholars entering the post-doctoral stage.

Duration and Costing: The amount of an award depends on the nature of the work proposed and individual circumstances – the ISRF expects applications for grants up to a maximum of £25,000. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses will be considered. Reasonable childcare or other domestic costs may be considered. Usually up to 12 months duration.

Number of Awards: around six per annum.

Scheme website

 

Wellcome Trust University Awards

The Wellcome Trust funds research in the humanities and social sciences particularly in relation to the areas Medical Humanities and Society and Ethics. You can find a presentation of the Wellcome Trust at the University of Cambridge about these funding areas in July 2013 by following this link. Please also read the Wellcome Trust Strategic Plan for further information.

Purpose: To create/finance newly established positions for unestablished staff to take on permanent lectureships (see note below!.

Duration and Costing: Up to 5 years full-time providing full salary and research expenses over three years and a decreasing salary contribution of 50% in the fourth and 25% in the fifth year.

Eligibility: Applicants must not be in an established academic post (i.e. not be in an open-ended contract), must hold a PhD and must be nominated by their Head of Department or Faculty.

Given that the individual would be guaranteed a UTO post in five years' time the relevant Faculty needs to be in a position to:

a)      Identify a UTO which will be vacant in five years or less for suppression

b)      Source some non-recurrent funding to fill in for the tapering WT income if necessary;

c)       Decide that they wish the post to be filled in this field;

d)      Decide that the individual is and would be the strongest candidate for the Office.

The University Awards would be an attractive option if they enabled a Faculty to launch something earlier than it might otherwise have done, and if the individual was unambiguously stellar.

Timetable: Outline applications mid-July and full applications on invitation in late September.

Medical humanities scheme website 

Society and ethics scheme website