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

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 Individual Fellowships, European Research Council (ERC) Starting and Consolidator grants, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships, Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships or UKRI future leader fellowships.

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 2019.

How to apply 

The application process consists of:

  1. a completed application form     and
  2. a two-page CV

Download the application form here 

Application materials are to be sent to k.l.mcmahon@sheffield.ac.uk by Friday 26 April 2019. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme

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.
More details, including updates on the upcoming launch, can be found here.

Leverhulme Trust Early-Career Fellowship scheme

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 £25,000 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.
More details can be found here. Find out more about the internal application process.

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 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. 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 5 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. The 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

View all current DDRIs

Archaeology:  Professor Paul Halstead
English: Professor Andrew Smith
History: Dr Siobhan Lambert-Hurley (Semester 1) / Prof Julia Hillner (Semester 2)
Languages and Cultures: Professor Neil Bermel 
Music: Dr Dorothy Ker
Philosophy: Professor Stephen Laurence
Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS): Dr Meredith Warren
Find out more about Departments and Schools in the Faculty.