Research Councils UK Research Councils UK
Return to the Homepage What's new on the Research Councils UK website Research Councils UK Executive Group: business, workplan, meetings, reports About Research Councils UK - its function and purpose Contact us Joint Research Council activities and services Links to related websites
Academic Fellowship Scheme - click to return to home page

One of the recommendations of the 2002 Report "SET for Success" was that, in order to address the issues surrounding contract research staff, a new Academic Fellowship scheme should be developed. This recommendation was supported in the Government’s strategy for science, engineering and technology, "Investing in Innovation", published in July 2002. Specifically, the Government provided funds to create up to 1,000 new academic fellowships (200 a year, each lasting five years).

The scheme was developed by a working group comprising members from the AHRB, the six grant-awarding research councils, the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust, chaired by the OST. HEIs and other stakeholders were invited to respond to a consultation outlining the proposed implementation of the academic fellowship scheme. A response to the consultation that outlines how the scheme has been developed to accommodate respondents' comments is available

Operation of the Scheme

The primary aim of the RCUK Academic Fellowship scheme is to provide contract research staff with more attractive and stable paths into academia. With this in mind, the five-year fellowships will be subject to the HEI guaranteeing a permanent, academic position following the end of the award. This permanent post will of course be subject to the successful completion of a probationary period, but must be appropriate to the career path of the individual fellow. Training provision towards an academic position must be provided by the HEI and the Fellow must undertake outreach to schools. Annual performance appraisals and personal development advice should be provided to the Fellows.

Details of the outcome of the first round of applications (2004/05 and 2005/06) are available below. Applications for the second round (2006/07 and 2007/08) have now closed. Applications identify, in rank order, priority areas for support of Academic Fellows over the next two years. A single assessment panel will be constituted to consider where the awards should be allocated. HEIs in receipt of awards will be expected to advertise the posts in open competition and in accordance with current employment laws. Information regarding the recipients of the awards should be provided to EPSRC as they are appointed. The release of the second year’s tranche of funding will be dependant upon a satisfactory report of progress in the first year. The scheme will be administered by EPSRC on behalf of all the Research Councils.

Applications are welcome in all areas covered by the research councils.

Award recipients should have a PhD or be of postdoctoral standing. Each five-year award is worth £125,000 in total and funds will be provided to the HEI in equal instalments across the duration of the award. The funding of £125,000 is not intended to cover the full cost of the fellowship over the period of the award. The funds may be used in a flexible way (within certain limits which will be defined in detailed terms and conditions) across the award to best support the individual fellow. The proposed profile of how the funds will be used and the anticipated source of supporting funds must be considered by the HEI before appointing a Fellow, and is the responsibility of the employing organisation.

The RCUK Academic Fellowship scheme will be monitored in its first few years to ensure that the main aims and objectives are being met, and where there concerns that this is not the case, adjustments may be made.

Report of the RCUK Academic Fellowship Scheme

A report created from the result of a study of data from HEIs awarded Fellowships was published on 27 July 2006, you can download it here.Download a copy of the report: PDF, 79KB

Outcome of the First Round

A News Release was issued on 17 August 2004 describing the outcome of the first round and some statistics are available below:

Outcome of the Second Round

A News Release was issued on 26 April 2006 describing the outcome of the second round and some statistics are available below:

RCUK Academic Fellowship Applications and Further Information

The application form and guidance notes for the scheme are available together with RCUK Academic Fellowship Information and a description of ‘What is an RCUK Academic Fellow’.

For all enquiries about RCUK Academic Fellowships, please contact:

Rosie Beales
RCUK Academic Fellowship Coordinator
Telephone: 01793 444159


 |  Reviewed:  27/07/2006 10:46:41  |  Contact  |  Freedom of Information