Externally funded Fellowships – all you need to know and more

fellowshipsWhat a Fellowship can offer

Fellowship Schemes are generally designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising scientists, by giving fellows x years’ support. Early career fellowships enable sufficient time for the fellow to develop their research plans and to gain international recognition. Many funders offer fellowship networking and training activities, working with host institutions, to support the development of future leaders in the funders remit. Established career fellows need a strong vision for the research proposed and the team delivering it. Most funders will provide greater support as the expectation is that ‘world-leading’ individuals will deliver high quality research. All fellowships are there to develop the next generation of researchers.

Dependent on the stage of career, most fellows will gain greater leadership and communication skills; act as ambassador and advocate for their research field; develop a research team around them, which should lead to greater research income; and build a reputation that will attract other top academics to join BU.

Applying for a Fellowship

The majority of fellowships awarded by external funders will provide the fellow with funding to concentrate on research, which can mean significantly reducing the fellows teaching load from 50% up to 100% of their time. Therefore, it is vital that any potential BU applicants discuss their plans with their Head of Department, Deputy Dean for Research and Professional Practice or Dean of Faculty before starting the BU application process. Applicants will need to provide their Faculty with details on how an awarded fellowship will affect their current workload, if any time will be spent away from the university, and whether any additional staff will need to be employed as part of the fellowship, including replacement teaching for the applicant.

Any applications that are given the initial go ahead by the Faculty will still need to go through the normal submission process at BU. Therefore, applicants will need to discuss with their RKEO Funding Development Officer their intention to bid for a fellowship as soon as they have agreement to apply from the Faculty.

What to apply for

There are many different fellowship opportunities available for all stages of an academic career.  A comprehensive list of these can be found here, which is also on the ‘Research Funders’ Guide’ under ‘Research Toolkit’ in the main menu bar.

If you wish to discuss with RKEO your research plans and/or the benefits of a fellowship then please contact your RKEO Research Facilitator in the first instance.