Research Fellowships in Medical Humanities and Social Science

This scheme supports postdoctoral researchers in health-related humanities and social sciences who do not hold established academic posts.

Who can apply

You can apply for a Research Fellowship if you’re a postdoctoral researcher who wants to carry out an extended period of research on your own project.

You must not have a permanent contract, or a contract that will last longer than this fellowship.

You should also:

  • be based (or planning to be based) in the UK, Republic of Ireland or a low- or middle-income country
  • have sponsorship from an eligible host organisation.

In most cases, applicants should have been awarded a PhD before they apply.

What we're looking for

We will assess:

  • the significance and originality of your proposed research
  • the suitability and relevance of your approach to your research topic
  • your previous research contributions eg publications, conference papers, public engagement and policy-related work
  • the suitability of the host organisation for your research and for developing your independent career.

We consider applications from researchers in the early stages of their careers as well as more established researchers. We’ll consider the suitability of your previous research contributions according to your career stage and experience.

If you’ve been away from research (eg for a career break, parental leave or long-term sick leave), we’ll take this into account when we consider your application.

Most successful applicants will be pursuing university research careers. But we also encourage researchers who want to follow health-related research careers elsewhere. 

We encourage you to check that your application is competitive by discussing your project with:

  • your intended supervisor
  • researchers in relevant health-related fields
  • the research office at your host organisation.

Your supervisor and other researchers

Your supervisor and other researchers will give you advice about the intellectual quality and importance of your project. They will also help you to decide whether it’s the right time for you to apply.

Your research office

Contact your research office as early as possible in the application process. The research office at your host organisation should give you advice about how to design your project, including the budget. The research office should also tell you what information your host organisation needs from you to support your proposal.

What's expected of your host organisation

You must have an eligible sponsoring organisation that will administer your fellowship for the full duration of the award.

You should give careful thought to your choice of sponsor and supervisor or research mentor; they should have strong track records in research, training and mentorship.

If you have a multi-site or multi-method project, you may need more than one supervisor or research mentor. You should make it clear on your application form how you will all work together.

Your sponsor can also be your supervisor or research mentor.


Your sponsor should be in a position to guarantee you space and facilities for the full period of the fellowship. The sponsor must:

  • be based at an eligible sponsoring organisation that will administer your fellowship for the full duration of the award
  • hold an established post.

Supervisor or research mentor

Your supervisor or research mentor should:

  • provide support and advice during the application process and the period of the award
  • be committed to helping you achieve your career aspirations.

What we offer

A Research Fellowship is for up to three years, or you can hold it part-time over a longer period.

An award will not usually be above £275,000. Support includes:

  • a basic salary (determined by your host institution)
  • personal removal expenses
  • research expenses

During your fellowship, you can apply for public engagement funds to involve the public in your research and inspire learning.

What we don’t offer

We don't provide funds for directly allocated or indirect costs unless they're included on this page.


We consider applications twice a year. You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.

January 2019 round

  • Preliminary application deadline 11 January 2019, 17:00 GMT
  • Full application deadline 28 March 2019, 17:00 GMT
  • Shortlisting May 2019
  • Interviews July 2019

July 2019 round

  • Preliminary application deadline 2 July 2019, 17:00 BST
  • Full application deadline 12 September 2019, 17:00 BST
  • Shortlisting October 2019
  • Interviews January 2020
Application date
Up to 3 years
Social sciences