New NERC Fellowship Scheme

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has decided to streamline the provision of responsive mode Fellowships into a single scheme – the NERC Independent Research Fellowships (IRFs) – that will replace the previous schemes (Postdoctoral Fellowships and Advanced Fellowships).

The new scheme is designed to develop scientific leadership among the most promising early-career environmental scientists, by giving all Fellows five years’ support, which will allow them sufficient time to develop their research programmes, and to establish international recognition.

NERC IRFs are open to any nationality, and may be held in any area of the NERC remit, but the fellowship must be based at an eligible UK research organisation. Applicants may not have a permanent academic position in a university or equivalent organisation.

Applicants must expect to submit their PhD thesis before the fellowship interview would take place (April following the closing date) and, if successful, would not be able to take up the fellowship until the intent to award the PhD has been confirmed by the awarding university.

Applicants may have up to a maximum of eight years of full-time postdoctoral research experience between the PhD certificate date and the closing date of the fellowship competition to which they are applying. The eight-year window is based on full-time working. Where applicants have worked part-time or had research career breaks, the eight-year window would be extended accordingly.

Current NERC Postdoctoral Fellows may apply for a subsequent NERC IRF, provided that they meet the eligibility criteria.

The full eligibility requirements – including those related to the research topic, host institution and resubmission policy – are in the Research Grants & Fellowships Handbook.

For further information please visit the NERC website.