What makes a good candidate?

Our highly competitive fellowship schemes attract and retain a diverse cohort of outstanding researchers, and support them to deliver their research ambitions. We recognise that exceptional researchers come from a diverse range of backgrounds and career paths and we embrace diversity across our research community.

Should you apply?

Before applying for a fellowship, please consider carefully the following questions:

  • Are you an independent researcher with a drive to lead and innovate?
  • Are they your ideas? Is the project your own?
  • What is novel about your project? Does it ask an important research question? Will answering this question push the boundaries of your research field?
  • What is the potential impact of the project? Both in terms of fundamental science/research and wider societal, economic and environmental impact
  • Are you able to demonstrate that you have the potential to become a research leader in your field?
  • Can you contribute to the university’s research vision of delivering research of excellent quality, attract external funding, increase the university’s research reputation, and deliver impact?

Our fellowships are able to support applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles. We also support applications from those wishing to work part-time in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities.

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What are the characteristics of a successful fellow?

Fellows represent all academic disciplines across the university, so it can be difficult to compare performance. The following give some indication of what we expect from our candidates:

  • We expect you to have a collegiate and inclusive approach to your research and institution and to be an ambassador for your science/research and your institution
  • You should have an excellent track record for your career stage and discipline
  • You should be actively seeking external funding in the form of personal fellowships and other research awards – candidates who have won external funding or hold an external fellowship will be considered to be particularly strong candidates
  • You should be able to demonstrate the independence of your research, or how the fellowship will enable you to establish this independence
  • You should show you are building your national and international profile (e.g. through attendance at high-profile conferences)
  • You should be able to articulate the value and importance of their research to a lay audience, articulating the potential impact (within and beyond academia) and why you are the person to deliver this.

As an organisation we are committed to the use of responsible metrics and are a signatory of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). Our assessment of proposals ensures that the scientific/research content of a paper is much more important than the publication metrics or identity of the journal in which it was published. In assessing the proposal, we will consider the value and impact of all research outputs, in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice.

Find out more about the experiences, expectations and quality of our current cohort by visiting the our fellows page. This provides blogs, Q&A and videos of what it’s like to be a fellow, what they hope to achieve, why they applied for the fellowship and what advice they’d give to someone starting out.

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Why is Nottingham the right place for me to do my research?

We are committed to career development of early career researchers, and if you conduct your research at Nottingham we will work with you to develop a bespoke plan for your development, working with a designated mentor to ensure you integrate appropriately into the university structure, allowing you take advantage of the following:

  • Our collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to research, making pro-active response to major research funding initiatives more efficient and easier to deliver
  • Our campuses in Malaysia and China reflecting our pioneering international outlook, alongside collaboration and knowledge exchange with worldwide international partners.
  • Our continuing investment in world-class facilities, infrastructure and digital systems to support research that is exceptional, and help remove the barriers to translating discovery into world-changing impact.


Like what you hear?

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