Postdoctoral Fellowships

The School of Physics and Astronomy welcomes applications from candidates interested in applying for personal fellowships at the University of Edinburgh.

Fellowship opportunities

To provide transparency and efficiency in the management of applications, the School operates an internal review process for the following fellowship opportunities:

  • UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships
  • Royal Society University Research Fellowships
  • STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowships
  • EPSRC Fellowships
  • Royal Astronomical Society Fellowships
  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships
  • Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships
  • Stephen Hawking Fellowships

Applications for other fellowship opportunities are welcome. Please contact relevant members of academic staff or the director-of-research [at] (Director of Research) directly to discuss prospective applications.  The School of Physics and Astronomy is committed to advancing equality and diversity, welcoming applications from everyone irrespective of gender, ethnic group or nationality. We particularly encourage applications from female and/or BAME candidates.

This autumn's outline deadlines are:  

  • Stephen Hawking Fellowship round 2:  4pm Monday 5th October 2020
  • UKRI Future Leader Fellowships round 6:  4pm Monday 19th October  2020

How to submit a preliminary application

If you would like the School to support your application for one or more of these fellowships, please submit  the following documentation to: fellowships-panel [at] You are strongly encouraged to develop your proposal with the active participation of a member of academic staff. Once outline  proposals are received academic supporters will be asked to submit a short e-mail  fellowships-panel [at]

Stephen Hawking Fellowships documentation

  • Confirmation of which research area the research fits into (see themes below)

  • CV  (2 pages – using the Stephen Hawking Fellowship Template)

  • Outline case for support (4 pages – A4, Arial or other Sans Serif font (min size 11) with 2cm margins on all sides) – this should address the Outline proposal assessment criteria (see below)

Related themes

Cosmology, General relativity, Quantum gravity, Classical gravity, String theory, Statistical physics, Nuclear physics, Particle physics, Particle astrophysics, Theoretical astronomy, Theoretical plasma physics, solar or planetary physics, Mathematical Physics, Condensed Matter physics, Theoretical quantum optics and information, Quantum fluids and solids, Cold atoms and molecules.

Outline proposal assessment criteria

Research Quality
  • Candidate presents an excellent research programme which is novel and timely.
  • Propose suitable methodology and the appropriate approach to achieving impact and public engagement.
  • Demonstrate ambition, adventure, transformative aspects or potential outcomes.
Research Importance
  • Candidate provides evidence of how the research will make a significant contribution to the research field.
  • Candidate articulates the strategic importance of the research and how it may contribute to the economic, social and cultural prosperity of the UK.
  • The potential outcomes arising from the research are identified and plans for maximising their impacts are proportionate, timely and credible.

UKRI Future Leader Fellowships documentation

  • PDF copy of the Outline form (see attached forms in .pdf and .doc formats at bottom of this page, School approval  section not required at this stage)
  • a draft two-page Case for Support (pdf)
  • applicant CV  and key publications (pdf)

A reminder of the current scheme objectives and requirements:

  • To develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK.  
  • To foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between disciplines, organisations and sectors. 
  • To provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators. 
  • To provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.
  • Significant support from the hosting organisation(s) is expected, including a tapered salary commitment from year 3 leading to an open-ended position during or at the end of the Fellowship. 

Further information on the fellowships

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships


 (expected) January 2021

 Eligibility  See rules
 Award value  Up to 1.5 million GBP
 Award duration  4-7 Years
 Nationality  Any (Tier 1 visa required)
Further information   UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships 

Royal Society University Research Fellowships


 3rd September 2020

 Eligibility  3-8 years post PhD 
 Award value

 See scheme notes

 Award duration  5+3 Years
 Nationality  Any (Tier 1 visa required)
Further information    Royal Society University Research Fellowships 

STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowships


 mid September

 Eligibility  See guidance 
 Award value

 £5k consumables +£2k/a travel

 Award duration  5 Years
 Nationality  Any (Tier 1 visa required)
Further information   STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowships 

EPSRC Early Career Fellowships


 early May, end of Sept, end of Dec

 Eligibility  PhD required
 Award value

 See guidance 

 Award duration  5 Years
 Nationality  Any (Tier 1 visa required)
Further information   EPSRC Early Career Fellowships

RAS Fellowships

Deadline (expected) 2021
Eligibility PhD required, up to 5 years postdoctoral experience
Award value See guidance
Award duration 3 years
Nationality Any (Tier 1 visa required)
Further information RAS Fellowships

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship

Deadline 9 September 2020
Eligibility must be moving from a different country
Award value See online
Award duration 1-2 years
Nationality Any nationality 
Further information Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship

Deadline 10th November 2020
Eligibility need for flexible support, PhD required, up to six years postdoctoral experience
Award value See link below: salary, research expenses, contribution to PhD student
Award duration 5  years
Nationality Any nationality 
Further information Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship 

Stephen Hawking Foundation

Deadline 18th November 2020
Eligibility See guidance
Award value See link below
Award duration 4  years
Nationality Any nationality 
Further information Stephen Hawking Foundation

Contact details

Application submission email address: fellowships-panel [at]

Contact for further information: director-of-research [at] (Director of Research, Prof Martin Evans).