NERC Independent Research Fellowships

Overview

The Natural Environment Research Council offers Fellowships in areas including atmospheric and oceanic sciences and earth observation. The Independent Research Fellowship (IRF) scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists. Applicants are encouraged to hold the fellowship at an institution other than where they trained or are currently employed, and justifying your choice of institution is important.
Applicants must have submitted their PhD thesis by the time the fellowship interview would take place (usually the April following the closing date) and must have no more than 8 years full-time postdoctoral experience from the PhD award certificate date at the closing date of the scheme. Applicants must not have a permanent academic position and the scheme is open to applicants of any nationality.

Funding is offered for 5 years, including applicant's salary, and some research expenses.
Further guidance is available on NERC's webpages.
Applications must be submitted via Je-S.

Deadlines and Timescales (2020)

The deadline for 2020 has not been announced yet but is likely to be during the first week of October. The timetable below is based on that assumption - we will update the process dates if necessary when the call is opened.

  • 20th July - Send one page outline, CV and publications list to Research Facilitators to obtain Departmental approval to apply.
  • 12th August - Send costing requests and your draft JoR to Research Facilitators.
  • 18th August - Complete the Je-S text sections and Gantt chart to Research Facilitators.
  • 25th August - Send draft Case for Support to Academic Readers and Research Facilitators.
  • 14th Sept - Submit Je-S to Research Facilitators.
  • 21st Sept - RFs submit Je-S to Resarch Services.

Guidance and useful info

Once we know that you intend to apply we will be able to send you our internal guidance documents.

IMPORTANT: NERC are very strict about the formatting of your application. Please consult the guidance notes carefully and adhere to any formatting instructions, otherwise your application may be rejected without review.

You will require a letter of support from the Head of Department which will be written in collaboration with the local academic who is supporting your application.

The interview stage is an important part of the selection process so if you are invited for interview please notify the facilitation team and your local academic contacts as soon as possible so that mock interviews can be arranged in advance of the real interview.