Early career Fellowships in the Arts and Humanities

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities are keen to support outstanding candidates in a number of externally funded research fellowship schemes.

EDU - students in classroom

We welcome expressions of interest from high quality early-career candidates whose research interests align with those of academics in the Faculty, and who have checked their eligibility for the below schemes.

Research within the Faculty is vibrant, diverse and world-leading. We recognise the importance of supporting early-career researchers, so provide a range of help and advice with the development of proposals. There are also many opportunities for researcher development available to those who are successful in joining us.

As sustained support from the host institution is essential for each funding scheme, our advice in the first instance is to contact a potential mentor from one of the Faculty’s Departments with (i) an abstract of your proposed project and (ii) a short CV.

If you cannot yet identify a potential mentor, advice can be sought from the Departmental Directors of Research and Innovation (DDRIs), who can advise you as to how to proceed and best make use of the support available.

Fellowship schemes

Visiting Postdoctoral Application Bursary Scheme

The Faculty has opened the 2019 Visiting Postdoctoral Application Bursary scheme for external applicants who would like to apply through The University of Sheffield for UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships, Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowships, European Research Council (ERC) Starting and Consolidator grants, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships or Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships. (Please note the scheme does not support applicants for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships).

As these are major applications, potential external candidates should start planning their applications as early as possible and physically coming to Sheffield will help facilitate this process. Applicants with the strongest overall applications (track record, proposed project, fit with Sheffield), will be awarded bursaries.

If you are interested in applying, you must first check that you meet the eligibility criteria for the external funding scheme you are interested in apply to. Please contact the relevant funder if you have any queries about your eligibility for their schemes as the University cannot advise on this.

Successful applicants will be expected to commit to apply for one of these funding schemes through Sheffield. They will stay in Sheffield for up to three nights, and spend their time:

  • discussing their proposed project with relevant academic colleagues and the Research Development Team
  • presenting a seminar
  • redrafting their application in response to comments received, and obtaining further feedback on the revised application
  • engaging in any other activities Departments feel would be beneficial.

The ways in which Departments plan to make best use of the visit (for example to coincide with related research events or activities) will also feature in the assessment.

Eligible expenses will be travel costs, accommodation and subsistence, to a maximum of £600 for those coming from outside the UK, and £350 for those within the UK.

Payment will be for actual expenses only up to the maximum permissible sum. It is envisaged that around five awards will be made. All visits must be complete and expenses claimed by 31 July 2020.

How to apply 

The application process consists of a completed application form and a two-page CV.

Application materials are to be sent to Bron Ray at artsresearchhub@sheffield.ac.uk and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are all allocated.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application within a month of submission.

Download the application form (docx,15kb)

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships is a three year award made to an annual cohort of outstanding early career researchers in the humanities or social sciences.  This scheme provides funding to cover the costs of a 36 month fellowship at a host institution. The purpose of this award is to enable the award holder to pursue an independent research project, towards the completion of a significant piece of publishable research.

Amount Available: Support for salary of the Postdoctoral Fellow at full FEC plus up to £6,000 total research expenses and the time of the mentor for up to 36 hours (or the equivalent of 1 hour per month).

Applicants must be within 3 years of the award of their doctorate and they must not have a permanent academic post.

The competition for the Postdoctoral Fellowship is held in two stages. The Outline Stage is open for everyone within the eligibility criteria here (note this is for the 2019 round and the 2020 round should be checked when available, before applying). The Second Stage is invitation only.  You can only apply to this competition once, unless specifically invited to re-apply, so it is important to consider if this is the optimal time for any particular individual to apply.

Please contact the DDRI from the relevant department/school for further information.

Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship scheme

This scheme offers a unique opportunity for non-UK based scholars to come to Sheffield to complete a significant research project.

Applicants can come from any country in the world for up to two years under the supervision of an established academic as part of the European Fellowship strand.

The only criterion is that they must not have spent more than 12 months in the UK in the last three years.

The scheme has no thematic requirements, so applicants are welcome from all disciplines. Fellows are afforded a generous stipend and related research costs. More details can be found here.

European Research Council Starting Investigator Grant

ERC Starting grants are aimed at allowing potential grantees long-term, significant research funding in order to complete an extensive, ambitious research project. It supports up-and-coming research leaders from all disciplines who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders.

The scheme is for researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (or equivalent degree) and a research track record showing great promise.

Funding is available up to €1.5 million (in some circumstances up to €2 million) for projects of up to five years. The sole evaluation criterion is the excellence of the researcher and research proposal.

More details can be found here.

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science

This scheme supports postdoctoral researchers in health-related humanities and social sciences who do not hold established academic posts.

You can apply for a Research Fellowship if you’re a postdoctoral researcher who wants to carry out an extended period of research on your own project.

More details can be found here.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class.

This cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research and user environments including research councils' institutes and laboratories.

The FLF scheme welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants and individuals should use the person specification to assess and justify their suitability for the scheme.

Support of the institution will be a critical component of all fellowships which will enable the fellow to transition to or establish their research/innovation independence in any area supported by UKRI.

There will be six calls for these fellowships; two calls per year between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (financial years), typically awarding at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI's remit.

This is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit, with no ringfenced budgets for specific areas and no barriers to interdisciplinary or cross-sector research. The University will run an internal competition to select applicants for each funding round - please check back for details of the next round.

More details can be found here.

If you are interesting in applying to this scheme through the University of Sheffield, please express your interest by contacting the relevant DDRI.

UKRI require that host organisations must only submit their strongest applications and as such, the University is running an internal selection process for each round.

Current DDRIs



East Asian Studies


Languages and Cultures 



Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS)

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