Early-career fellowships

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. 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: now open
The Faculty invites applications to its bursary scheme designed to support a visit from early career external applicants who would like to apply through Sheffield for Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowships, European Research Council (ERC) Starting and Consolidator grants, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships or Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships. (We expect Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowships to open in March 2017 with a deadline in September. The ERC’s Starting grants should open in July 2017 with a deadline in November, with their Consolidator grants expected to open in October 2017 with a deadline in February 2018. The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme should open in late summer with a deadline in early October and the Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships has preliminary deadlines of 6 July 2017 and 18 January 2018.)

As these are major applications, potential external candidates should start planning proposals as early as possible and in close consultation with Sheffield colleagues; 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 candidates will be expected to commit to apply for one of these funding schemes through Sheffield. You will stay in Sheffield for up to three nights, and spend your time 1) discussing your proposed project with relevant academic colleagues and the Research Development Team; 2) presenting a seminar; 3) redrafting your application in response to comments received, and obtaining further feedback on the revised application; and 4) 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 up to five awards will be made. All visits must be complete and expenses claimed by 31 July 2017.
The application process consists of: (i) a completed application form and (ii) a 2-page CV. Application materials are to be sent to Kerry McMahon by Friday 28 April. Applications received after this date will not be considered.


British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme (expected to open in late summer 2017, deadline in the autumn 2017)

This scheme allows potential Fellows time to devote to the completion of a significant piece of research, within the 3 year timeframe of the scheme. It is solely for applicants from the arts and humanities who are within 3 years of their PhD.
Applicants must be a UK or EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university. Awards cover the salary of the Fellow to work full-time on the Fellowship, small-scale research expenses (up to a maximum of £6,000), and other related costs.
The next round of the scheme is expected to launch in summer 2017 with a deadline in the autumn. More details, including updates on the upcoming launch, can be found here.

Leverhulme Trust Early-Career Fellowship scheme (open 1 January 2017, deadline 2 March 2017)

This scheme allows potential Fellows time to undertake a significant piece of publishable work, with the expectation that the Fellowship would lead to a more permanent academic position. Applicants, who can come from any discipline, are expected to have an established record of research, but must have had their doctoral viva not more than five years from the application closing date. Applicants must also either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or at the time of application must hold an academic position in the UK (e.g. fixed-term lectureship, fellowship).
Note: The Trust will contribute 50% of each Fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £24,000 per annum with the balance to be paid by the host institution. As such, an internal selection takes place every year for candidates. Details of the selection process will be advertised on this page in the weeks leading up to the scheme’s next launch.
If the scheme follows the same pattern as last year, we expect it to open next on 1 January 2017 with a deadline or 2 March 2017. More details can be found here. Find out more about the internal application process.

Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship scheme (expected to open in early 2017, deadline in the autumn 2017)

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 2 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 3 years.
The scheme has no thematic requirements, so applicants are welcome from all disciplines. Fellows are afforded a generous stipend and related research costs. This scheme is expected to open in early 2017 with a deadline in autumn 2016. More details can be found here.

European Research Council Starting Investigator Grant (open now, deadline 18 October)

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 5 years. The sole evaluation criterion is the excellence of the researcher and research proposal.
The next round is open now with a deadline of 18 October. More details can be found here.

ESRC Future Research Leader scheme (the ESRC are currently reviewing their early career researchers provision so future deadlines cannot be confirmed at present)

The scheme enables high-quality candidates from the social sciences time and support for developing excellent research projects over the 3 year duration of the Fellowship. An additional, related aim is to enable Fellows to acquire the necessary skills for becoming future leaders in their field. It is open to applicants from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of 4 years post-doctoral experience.
Funding covers salary and a range of related research costs. For those up to 2 years post PhD, the overall funding limit is £350k, (with the ESRC covering 80% of the Fellow’s salary), whilst for those who are 2-4 years post-PhD, the overall limit is £280k (with the ESRC covering 40% of the Fellow’s salary).
Note: Given the strong emphasis placed on the host institution, an internal selection of candidates takes place for those applying from Sheffield. As such, it is essential you contact your potential mentor as soon as possible so as to be made aware of the internal time-scales and processes for applying.
the ESRC are currently reviewing their early career researchers provision so future deadlines cannot be confirmed at present. More information can be found here.

Visiting Postdoctoral Application Bursary Scheme for BA Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme: now closed

The Faculty invites applications to a new bursary scheme designed to support a visit from early career external applicants who would like to apply through Sheffield for a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (Outline Stage). Please see the section above for further information about the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme.

The aim of the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme is to offer opportunities for outstanding early career researchers to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment which will develop their curriculum vitae and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship. The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research, which will be assisted by full membership of an academic community of established scholars working in similar fields.

As these are major applications, potential external candidates should start planning proposals as early as possible and in close consultation with Sheffield colleagues; 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 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship eligibility criteria. Please contact the British Academy if you have any queries about your eligibility for the Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme as the University cannot advise on this. Successful candidates will be expected to commit to applying for a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship through Sheffield. You will stay for up to three nights, and spend your time 1) discussing your proposed project with relevant academic colleagues and the Research Development Team 2) redrafting your application in response to comments received, and obtaining further feedback on the revised application; and 3) 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 £700 for those coming from outside the UK, and £500 for those within the UK. Payment will be for actual expenses only, up to the maximum permissible sum. It is envisaged that up to five awards will be made. The application process consists of: (i) a completed application form (download form) and (ii) a 2-page CV. Application materials are to be sent to Barry Dixon by Friday 3 June. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Current DDRIs

View all current DDRIs

Archaeology: Professor Caroline Jackson

English: Professor Joe Bray

HistoryProfessor Anthony Milton

Languages and CulturesProfessor Jan Windebank (26 Sept. 2016 - 4 Feb. 2017) / Professor Philip Swanson (6 Feb. 2017 - 10 June 2017)

Music: Dr Dorothy Ker

PhilosophyProfessor Jenny Saul (26 Sept. 2016 - 4 Feb. 2017) / Professor Stephen Laurence (6 Feb. 2017 - 10 June 2017)

Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS): Dr Katie Edwards

Find out more about Departments and Schools in the Faculty.