Royal Society University Research Fellowships (URF)


This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK at an early stage of their career who have the potential to become leaders in their field. Applicants must not hold a permanent academic position, nor have previously held an independent research fellowship and must have between 3 and 8 years experience since your PhD at the close of the round. The scheme is open to applicants of all nationalities.
Funding is available for 5 years and includes the applicant's salary and funding torwards research expenses as outlined in the funder guidance/website.
Applications are submitted through the Royal Society's application portal - Flexigrant

Deadline and Timescales (2020)

  • The deadline for 2020 is 3rd September.
  • Send a one page outline, CV and publication list to the Facilitation Team for Departmental approval to apply by 29th June.
  • Send costing requests to Research Facilitators by 15th July.
  • Start application in Flexigrant by 22nd July. Give Research Facilitators access under the 'Research Support' Role (grants at Invite the appropriate Head of Sub-Department and your referees.
  • Send first draft of your application to Research Facilitators and your academic readers by 28th July.
  • Application to be completed by you by the 19th August to allow for internal approval.
  • Application to be submitted to Research Services by 27th August.

Guidance and useful information

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

Your appliction must contain a statement of support from both the Head of Department and two nominated referees. One should be someone who has worked closely with you and one should be external to your current research group. One should be from outside of your chosen host institution and should ideally be international.
Important: both referees (and the Head of Department) must sign in to Flexigrant to directly upload their statements of support, so you must make sure you've invited them from within the portal and that they are able to log in and complete the references at least a few days before the funder deadline. The portal will not allow your application to be sent through the mandatory institutional approval steps until all components are marked as complete.

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.