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Applying for a Research Fellowship

Preparing applications for fellowship funding can seem like a daunting process. We will help you as much as we can, at every step.

1. How does your future research fit within the Department?

The first step is to get in touch with those research groups in the Department whom you would like to interact and work alongside. Where there is good synergy, we will invite you to give a research seminar, meet the people and explore further potential interactions within the Department and across the School of the Biological Sciences at Cambridge.

2. Identifying Funding Sources

We have plenty of experience in identifying funding schemes that are appropriate for you and your career stage.

Several UK and International schemes provide funding for the best early career researchers to set up their own independent research groups:

If you are currently completing or have recently obtained your PhD degree, you may wish to consider alternative Fellowship Schemes that act to bridge the gap between post-doctoral positions and the above Fellowships. These include: Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research fellowships, EU Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowships, EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships, HFSP Fellowships, Royal Society Newton Fellowships and Royal Commission of 1851. 

Many fellowship schemes, particularly the Daphne Jackson Fellowships, recognise career breaks and encourage a return into active research.

The Cambridge colleges also recruit Junior Research Fellows from time to time and Zoology is always delighted when post-docs wish to hold such fellowships in the department.  We currently have six such fellows (two women).  These positions are either stipendiary (with salary) or non-stipendiary.  These fellowships provide a modest salary, sometimes with accommodation, and ostensibly give independent status but they do not include any significant funds for research costs.  College JRFs are advertised on the university’s Job Opportunities page: 

3. Preparing Applications

Many of our academic staff have considerable expertise in writing and assessing fellowship applications, having either held these awards or served on the panels that assess and award them. You will be able to draw on this rich resource for guidance and feedback throughout the process, from the initial drafting to eventual honing of your proposal.

4. Interview coaching

For many fellowship schemes, the final selection is through an interview. The success of many of our Fellows has shown that the best way to prepare for these interviews is through mock interviews with Department of Zoology staff, who are experienced at sitting on fellowship and grant panels.