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Department of Chemistry

 

The Department of Chemistry is keen to support early career researchers who wish to apply for research fellowships that will help them to establish themselves as independent researchers.

As pressure on space and resources means that we cannot support everyone who wishes to apply, we use a preliminary selection process to decide which applications will be approved for submission to the sponsor. 

We divide fellowships into two types: senior and junior fellowships.

Senior fellowships

These fellowships usually require at least three years of post-doctoral experience, where the sponsor provides funds for the fellow's salary and a research grant that allows the appointment of a post-doc or PhD student that will form the nucleus of an independent research group. This category includes Royal Society University Research Fellows, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellows, BBSRC David Phillips Fellows, EPSRC Early Career Fellows, NERC Independent Fellows, MRC Career Development Fellows, Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellows, and equivalents.

Because of the space requirements for this type of fellowship, the Department operates a strict selection process. Potential applicants must submit an expression of interest (EoI) well before a sponsor's published deadline. EoIs will be considered by a Department-wide panel which meets twice per year. The panel will decide whether the application can go forward.

The EoI must include:

  1. CV and publications list
  2. Research proposal (up to 4 pages)
  3. Statement of the resources that will be required (space, staff, equipment, facilities, consumables)
  4. Cover letter saying why the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge is the best suited to your proposed research, and indicating which fellowship scheme(s) you wish to apply for.

EoIs must be submitted by email to Dr Howard Jones (hrnj1@cam.ac.uk) by December 31st for the January panel meeting or by June 30th for the July panel meeting. Only one EoI is needed in each application round regardless of the number of schemes you wish to be considered for, unless you propose significantly different projects for each sponsor. Applicants are responsible for checking both their eligibility for each fellowship scheme, and sponsor deadlines so that they can determine when to submit their EoI. In each round, following an initial pre-selection based on the EoIs received, applicants are likely to be called for interview. We aim to complete selection of candidates within 4 weeks of the EoI deadline.

Junior fellowships

These fellowships are usually a first or second post-doctoral position, where the fellow is tied to an existing research group, directly supervised by one of our academic staff, and funds provide only the fellow's salary and research costs. This category includes EC Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellows, BBSRC Discovery Fellows, EPSRC Post-Doctoral Fellows, MRC Skills Development Fellows, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellows, Royal Society Newton International Fellows, Leverhulme Early Career Fellows, Cambridge College Research Fellowships, and their equivalents.

A much lighter touch is adopted. Applications do not go to a Department panel, but applicants must contact potential supervisors to discuss their proposal, and a member of academic staff must agree to act as supervisor before the application can be approved for submission to a sponsor. Research interests of all academic staff can be found here on the Department of Chemistry website.

Regardless of the type of fellowship, the Department's Grants Office must be contacted (chgrants@hermes.cam.ac.uk) as soon as possible after approval for submission has been given, so that a full financial costing can be prepared. All grant applications must be completely ready for submission to the sponsor no later than 5 working days before the sponsor's published deadline. This is to allow sufficient time for the application to be formally approved by the Department and University central administration before submission to the sponsor.