BBSRC Discovery Fellowship 2023 – Faculty of Science selection process


Key dates

  • Faculty selection process deadline: Monday 16 January 2023
  • Faculty selection panel meeting: Tuesday 24 January 2023
  • BBSRC deadline: early May 2023 TBC

About the scheme

The BBSRC Discovery Fellowship provides early career researchers with an independent source of funding on the pathway to scientific independence. The fellowship gives award holders the time and skills to run their own research group and have their own world-leading independent research theme. 

Applicants must provide strong evidence of working towards independent research and demonstrate an upward trajectory to pursue independent work within a host organisation. BBSRC will fund up to 15 fellowships per year. The full economic cost of the project can be up to £500,000 and awards are for three years. Funding can be used to support:

  • personal salary
  • travel and subsistence
  • training activities
  • research consumables

Who can apply?

You should be able to demonstrate appropriate and relevant research or innovation experience. This could be through:

  • Recent completion of a PhD or other higher qualification
  • You must also be able to evidence reasonable scientific and technical skills and competencies, in line with the ambitions of the Discovery Fellowships scheme
  • Applicants currently studying for a PhD are eligible if they are expecting to have passed their PhD viva before 30 November 2023
  • Holders of postdoctoral training fellowships such as the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions can apply. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin’s Fellows who meet the research experience eligibility requirement may also apply.

You should not hold, or have held:

  • an academic position at lecturer level (or the equivalent in an institution other than a university)
  • an equivalent competitive fellowship that allows you to establish an independent research group, and therefore independent researcher status.

The faculty selection process  

For the 2023 call, the Faculty of Science will support upto six candidates to submit a full application to the BBSRC. We are especially encouraging members of under-represented groups to apply to this scheme. The faculty will provide the following support:

  • A one year funded salary extension at the end of the fellowship
  • £12,000 contribution to Sheffield facilities costs

Before submitting to the faculty selection process, candidates are required to seek the support of the department or research cluster where they would like to undertake the fellowship. Please contact the relevant DDRI's to discuss your application; 

Following this, all potential candidates will be required to submit the following documents to Claire Mangham, Faculty Research Growth Officer ( by 5pm Monday 16 January 2023.  

  • A two-page fellowship proposal – an outline of the proposed research, including why Sheffield is the right environment to host your fellowship
  • An outline of your career development plan (no more than one side of A4)
  • A narrative CV (using the attached template and guidance)
  • Host PI Statement - this should demonstrate evidence of support for the candidate (support for their career development, training and mentoring)

The BBSRC Discovery Fellowship scheme is highly competitive with around a 10% success rate.  All candidates who express an interest in applying to this scheme and are not successful in the faculty selection process will be given feedback and supported to identify other funding opportunities.  

Further details on the call are here. Please note this link is to the 2022 call, and will be updated when 2023 call details become available.

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