SAXS lab banner

Independent Research Fellowships in Science at Sheffield

Our programme of externally funded Independent Research Fellowships is designed to establish you as a research leader in an ambitious, vibrant and supportive environment.

We are an internationally leading Faculty of Science, with world-class research and facilities. Researchers work in a highly collegiate environment, shaped by an ethos of "science without boundaries".

Independent Research Fellows in Science at the University of Sheffield will benefit from the following package:

Independent Research Fellowships Open Day

Monday 15 April 2019

Candidates who are successful in the first application stages will be invited.

  • We offer long-term IRFs an academic position after their Fellowship
  • We support all long-term IRFs with a PhD student to kick-start their research portfolio
  • All IRFs are mentored during their application, during their fellowship and after progressing to a permanent contract
  • All IRFs join our independent College of Fellows, to give your community a strong and collective voice 

We accept informal applications all year, so get in touch with one of the contacts below to get the ball rolling on your application. You can also visit the Faculty of Science to discuss your fellowship in more detail at our first Independent Research Fellowships Open Day on Monday 15th April 2019.

Science at Sheffield: Themes and disciplines

We work better together.

The seven academic departments in the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Science are our powerhouse for training research scientists of the future. We house key interdisciplinary institutes and centres that bring together expertise and ambition to facilitate research at all levels. We have world-class facilities that underpin our work. We are outward facing, across the University and beyond, without boundaries to ideas and interactions.

Across Science at Sheffield, we have four strategic themes, from the fundamental to translational. These are drawn from our rich history of skills and experience, framed on our critical mass of excellent research that portrays our aspirations, acting collectively, to address grand challenges.

We welcome applications from across our entire research portfolio from departments, institutes and centres. Our strengths run from the level of individuals, through collectives, to areas of real critical mass.

In particular, we are prioritising the areas of Life in a Changing Environment, Nanomaterials, Lifespan Biology and Infectious Disease (with a focus on antimicrobial resistant pathogens). But our main priority is excellence – to see if you want to join us, get in touch.

Our deal for Independent Research Fellows

We value our Independent Research Fellows as the leaders of the future, so we're making a firm commitment to them from the outset.

Progression to Open Ended Contract
Fellows will be expected to progress to a lectureship (or higher grade), after externally awarded fellowships of greater than three years in duration.

Provision of PhD Studentship
If an externally funded fellowship of five years or more is awarded, then the Faculty of Science will provide a PhD studentship to enhance the research portfolio of the Fellow. The studentship will be a standard 3.5 year, home fees studentship with a stipend linked to that of the Research Councils, with £1,500 RTSG per annum to support student development.

Performance
Progression to an open-ended contract will be dependent on satisfactory performance. At the start of the Fellowship the relevant Head of Department will make it clear to the IRF what is expected of them, to transition to a lectureship. The requirements are equivalent to the Academic Career Pathway requirements of the appropriate grade. There is a formal review of progress 12 months before the end of the fellowship to ensure that the individual is performing at the expected level and are on track to progress to a lectureship.

Probation
Full formal academic probation that covers both teaching and research is required for all new academic appointments at the lecturer grade. This will not normally be undertaken during the period of the fellowship to allow the individual to focus on their research outputs. However, where appropriate, support will be provided to individuals to minimise the length of probation upon progression to a lectureship.

Career progression
We have a comprehensive package of training and career progression support to help you develop optimally as part of our academic community.

Your application: Apply and contact

If you are interested in developing your career here in Sheffield we want to hear from you. We offer a staged and comprehensive mentoring approach to make sure that you are helped to make the optimal fellowship application.

Making contact
We welcome informal contact all year round and in the first instance please contact either the relevant Head of Department or the Faculty of Science Director of Research and Innovation.

Faculty Director of Research and Innovation
Professor Simon Foster
s.foster@sheffield.ac.uk

Animal and Plant Sciences
Professor Rob Freckleton
hodaps@sheffield.ac.uk

Biomedical Science
Professor Kathryn Ayscough
hodbms@sheffield.ac.uk

Chemistry
Professor Graham Leggett
ch-hod@sheffield.ac.uk

Mathematics and Statistics
Professor Nick Monk
somas-hos@shef.ac.uk

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Professor Mike Williamson
hod.mbb@sheffield.ac.uk

Physics and Astronomy
Professor Paul Crowther
physics-hod@sheffield.ac.uk

Psychology
Professor Glenn Waller
g.waller@sheffield.ac.uk

Towards an application

Stage 0: Initial Contact – IRF applicants will appear both internally and externally. For internal applicants, potential candidates their existing mentors (supervisors) will involve respective Departmental Directors of Research and Innovation at an early stage to give support and guidance. If Expressions of Interest (EoIs) come from external candidates to any academics they will be passed on as above.

Stage 1: Initial sift – All prospective candidates should supply a CV and outline research plan (two A4 pages maximum). EoIs will be considered by the Departmental Research Committee. Strengths and weaknesses of candidates, as well as fit to Departmental and Faculty strategies will be considered. All candidates will receive written feedback, from the respective Head of Department, with an initial go / no go decision.

Stage 2: Decision to support an application – All progressing, potential candidates will be invited to Sheffield to give a research seminar and meet with appropriate academics, the Departmental Director of Research and Innovation, Head of Department and current fellows. The above processes will inform the decision as to whether to proceed with each candidate. Here again, written feedback from Heads of Departments will be given to unsuccessful candidates.

Stage 3: Mentoring towards an application – For all candidates that are chosen for progression an academic mentor will be assigned. These are the first port of call for advice and help with moving their application(s) forward. The mentor will have sufficient knowledge of the field to be of use and be willing to take on the role. The mentor will give feedback from Stage 2 in the first instance. All applications will be read by at least two academic members of staff to provide advice and help (to be coordinated by the mentor). The mentor will also remain in that role if the application is successful.

Stage 4: Official commitment for the application – All applications must be completed at least three weeks before the submission date. If any equipment is being requested as part of the fellowship then this must be notified at least two months before submission.

Good luck!

Fellowship schemes and funders

Researchers applying for fellowships in a science department at the University of Sheffield may be suitable for one or more of the following schemes. Please note that some schemes may be closed for applications, but are expected to reopen soon.

Scheme Funder Duration (months) Deadline Maximum award (£)
Enterprise fellowships BBSRC David Philips 60 Not specified
Discovery Fellowship BBSRC Discovery Fellowship 36 £300,000 (80% Fec)
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships British Academy 36 Not specified
Sponsored Fellowships Daphne Jackson Trust 24 Not specified
Regular Fellowships Daphne Jackson Trust 24 Not specified
Postdoctoral fellowships Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 36 Not specified (typically of order of approximately £500,000)
Early Career fellowships Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 60 Not specified (typically of order of approximately £1m)
Starter Grant European Research Council ≤60 €1,500,000
Consolidator Grant European Research Council ≤60 €2,000,000
Advanced Grant European Research Council ≤60 €2,500,000
Early Career Fellowships Leverhulme Trust 36 £93,000 for three years
Research Fellowships Leverhulme Trust 3–24 £55,000
Philip Leverhulme Prizes – specific subject areas Leverhulme Trust 24–36 £100,000
Research Leadership Awards Leverhulme Trust 48-60 £800,000 – £1,000,000
Fellowship for Women in Science L'Oréal-UNESCO 12 £15,000
Career Development Award (CDA): Transition to Independence Medical Research Council ≤60 Not specified
David Sainsbury Fellowship NC3Rs 36 Applicants can apply for a commensurate salary (as agreed by the host research organisation) and up to £30k per annum for other directly incurred research costs e.g. travel, consumables
Training Fellowships NC3Rs 24 Applicants can apply for a commensurate salary (as agreed by the host research organisation) and up to £15k per annum for other directly incurred research costs eg, travel, consumables
Independent Research Fellowships NERC 60 October each year Not specified
Research Fellowships in Science and Engineering Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 ≤36 7 February 2019 Value of grant would be approx £44,000 based on starting salary of £34,000 per year
Research Fellowship in the Built Environment Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 24 £50,000 per year
University Research Fellowship Royal Society 60 Approx £270,000
Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship Royal Society & Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 60 Approx £270,000
Rutherford International Fellowship Programme Science & Technology Facilities Council (through the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie COFUND scheme) 12-36 Not specified
Ernest Rutherford Fellowship STFC 60 Not specified
Sir Henry Dale Fellowship Wellcome Trust 60 Salary and Research Expenses
Research Career Development Fellowships Wellcome Trust 60 Salary and Research Expenses
Future Leader Fellowships UK Research and Innovation 48-84 Round 3: 2 April 2018 £1.2 m for the first four years

Research community: College of Fellows

Independent Research Fellows are the research leaders of the future, with a powerful voice.

College of Fellows
All IRFs become part of the Faculty of Science's College of Fellows (CoF). This is an independent body, headed by a current IRF. It allows IRFs to discuss all matters and act collectively through regular meetings, where experiences can be shared and new collaborations can be forged. The College of Fellows meets formally with the Faculty Director of Research and Innovation to discuss concerns or requests.

Open day: Monday 15 April 2019

We will be holding an Independent Research Fellows Open Day on Monday 15 April 2019, to welcome prospective fellows to the Faculty of Science. Candidates who make it through the initial stages of the application process will be invited.

The day will include an introductory session to orient attendees to our research portfolio, aspirations and what we can offer. Prospective fellows will then visit relevant academic departments, where they can speak to colleagues and current fellows, and see the opportunities that a career in Sheffield presents.

Sheffield and the region

Sheffield is England's fourth-largest city, with the wealth of facilities you would expect to find in a major city, yet it's compact, welcoming and accessible. It's a friendly city with a prosperous economy and relatively low cost of living, all of which makes for an excellent quality of life.

Learn more

A Remarkable Place to Work

We are the only university to feature in the Sunday Times 100 Best Not-for-Profit organisations to work for 2018. In our staff survey (2016) 94% of staff said they were proud to work for the University and 89% of our staff would recommend the University as an excellent place to work.

Learn more


Fellowship stories

We asked researchers in the Faculty of Science share their experiences of their independent research fellowships.

Dr Rebecca Corrigan

Royal Society and Wellcome Trust

Rebecca Corrigan

Dr Rebecca Corrigan was awarded a Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Research Fellowship. She is a molecular microbiologist in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and the Florey Institute, and is interested in the study of the cell-signalling and virulence mechanisms of the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

She said: "What attracted me to Sheffield is the remarkable mixture of biochemists, microbiologists, structural biologists, all working together in my department. This makes collaborations incredibly easy and so conducive to multidisciplinary research. The unique approach of the Florey Institute, which combines clinicians and researchers under one umbrella, was just the icing on the cake."

Visit Dr Rebecca Corrigan's profile

Dr Megan Freeth

Economic and Social Research Council
Leverhulme Trust

Megan Freeth

Dr Megan Freeth completed an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in the Department of Psychology at the University Sheffield. She came to Sheffield to establish new research collaborations, develop her eye-tracking research and learn to conduct electroencephalography (EEG) research under the guidance of Dr Elizabeth Milne.

During her fellowships Megan furthered understanding of the real world social attention processes in autism, investigated the role that autistic and social anxiety traits play in social attention mechanisms and also investigated the neural basis of attention. Following her fellowships Megan moved on to a permanent lectureship in the Department of Psychology.

Visit Dr Megan Freeth's profile