How to Apply Royal Society University Research Fellowship 2024 (Up to £1.83 million)

How to Apply Royal Society University Research Fellowship 2024 | The Royal Society University Research Fellowship 2024 portal are now open, This scheme is for outstanding scientists who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. These long term fellowships provide the opportunity and freedom to build an independent research career in the UK or Republic of Ireland and pursue cutting-edge scientific research. Read through

About the Royal Society University Research Fellowship

The University Research Fellowship (URF) programme aims to support the next generation of research leaders to undertake cutting-edge research. The objectives of the URF programme are to enable outstanding early career scientists with the potential to become leaders in their field to:

  • Build an independent research career at a UK university or research institution
  • Gain the freedom, time, and long-term flexible support to pursue high-quality and innovative lines of scientific research
  • Develop as research leaders by offering tailored high-quality professional development, networking and engagement opportunities.

Fellowships are for eight years, with years six to eight being subject to satisfactory progress demonstrated in a mid-fellowship review at year four.

The Royal Society recognises that diversity is essential for delivering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and wants to encourage applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity.

They regularly review and revise policies and processes to embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles in all aspects of the grant making process and ensure all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per the assessment criteria.

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Benefits for Royal Society University Research Fellowship

The scheme provides:

Applicants can apply for up to a maximum of £1.83 million over eight years.

Funds can cover:

  • Contribution to the award holder’s salary
  • Indirect and estate costs
  • Equipment costs and research expenses including consumables, travel, etc.
  • Contribution towards research assistance salary and associated indirect and estate costs
  • Support for a new four-year PhD studentship(s)
  • Relocation and visa costs for the applicants and their dependants (partner and children). The total grant cap may be exceeded in order to cover relocation/visa costs if this is well justified in the application.

They also provide flexibility to accommodate personal circumstances including part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments. There is provision for maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoptive or extended sick leave, as well as financial support for childcare costs that arise from attending conferences and research visits.

Royal Society Research Fellows also have the opportunity to access a range of career development and engagement opportunities including training on leadership, science communication and public engagement, and activities coordinated by their science policy and schools engagement teams


This scheme is for you if:

  • You have between three and eight years of research experience, excluding career breaks, since the award of your PhD by the closing date of the round; please refer to the scheme notes for further detail about the review of career breaks
  • You do not hold a permanent post (including proleptic appointment) in a university or not-for-profit research organisation
  • You do not hold, or have not previously held, an equivalent fellowship that provides an opportunity to establish an independent research group and therefore independent researcher status
  • Your research is within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research and biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society.
  • Applicants can be of any nationality and those requiring a visa are eligible to apply for a Global Talent Visa under the fast-track process of endorsement.

Application Process:

Assessment of your application will be overseen by one of our five Research Appointment Panels (Standing Committees) based on your research area:

  • Astronomy, cosmology, physics, earth sciences, environmental physical sciences & geosciences
  • Chemistry and engineering
  • Pure and applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, communications and computer engineering; the mathematical aspects of astronomy, physics, cosmology, gravitation, theoretical physics
  • Molecular and cellular biology, zoology, plant sciences and physiology
  • Biomedical Sciences

Application Timeline:

Open date:

Close date:

Decision by:

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