Research Fellowships

Information about the support available for Fellowship applications

The School of GeoSciences recognises the value and contribution of research staff as essential to delivering our high-quality research agenda. Maintaining our reputation for academic excellence is world-leading work, which is why we aim to recruit the best and brightest people to a range of roles each year.

Developing your Research Career: What we can do for you

The School of GeoSciences welcomes all applications from independent researchers and we are committed to offering a rewarding and realistic career path.

As a Research Fellow in the School of GeoSciences, you can expect the following support:

  1. You will join one of our three Research Institutes as a member of academic staff and will be line-managed directly by the Head of Institute.  All Institutes have active seminar series that are open to all members of staff.
  2. The School will take your training and development seriously, whether you wish to look to continue in academic life or wish to look to transfer your skills elsewhere, for example:
    1. The School offers workshops and courses on grant applications, dealing with the media, assessing and presenting the impact of research etc.
    2. The University offers support, for example through the Institute for Academic Development whose remit includes the development of researchers, University teachers, and a large number of free training opportunities.
    3. You will be provided with opportunities to gain skills and practical experience in teaching and curriculum design (within the terms of your specific Fellowship).
    4. The University and School provide support and encouragement for entrepreneurship for example through the School’s Business Development Executive, Edinburgh Innovation (EI) and our hosting of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). 
  3. Certain Independent Research Fellowships of around 4 to 5 years minimum length can be reviewed two years before the end of funding so that the school can assess whether or not to offer a continuing employment contract after the end of the fellowship.
  4. Fellowships of 2 years duration or longer that are externally funded to a salary at spine point 30-36, will normally be supplemented by the School to start at spine point 37 (with normal annual progression beyond this) in recognition of the competitive and prestigious nature of such Fellowships.
  5. Fellowships of 5 years or longer will be prioritized during applications for a studentship (Home/EU and £1,000 per annum RTSG), registered in the School of GeoSciences, in the annual studentship round managed by the School - subject to finding a high-quality applicant.  The School will support the Fellow in developing the project and provide appropriate supervision guidance and training.
  6. The School provides a high level of support in the management of grants including guidance on the various reporting and monitoring requirements.
  7. The School is committed to the highest standards of Equality and Diversity practice and is especially keen to support women in academia.   It holds the Athena SWAN Silver award.

Thinking of applying to work with us?

Register your interest

We welcome applications for Fellowships. To pursue one through GeoSciences at Edinburgh, first, check for any demand management that might be in place for the Fellowship scheme of your choosing because this can mean there are internal deadlines here that are long in advance of funder deadlines. If we are having to perform the selection of candidates in advance, then it should be listed on our demand management webpage. Contact the GeoSciences Research Support Office at and provide the following information so we can work out how best to support your application:

  1. The name and deadline of the funding scheme you are interested in, and whether or not you have applied to this funder before (this is just so we can gauge how much help you need with the funder application system).
  2. A forward/copy of an email or other short statement of support from the relevant Head of Research Institute, where they consent to support your application. This should be done in advance of contacting the Research Support Office and you should provide the Head of Institute with your CV and a 1-page project description, and a note of the fellowship scheme that you are interested in to help them assess you for their support.
  3. A name for a contact person here in GeoSciences. This is usually another academic here who is familiar with you or your research area and who can assist with your application.
  4. Please check in advance if your application requires a supporting statement from the Head of School. The GeoSciences Research Support Office can coordinate the production of these letters but it requires advance planning to fit with the busy schedule of the Head of School and sometimes needs organised weeks before a funder deadline.

You will also need to outline if there are any financial or resource obligations not covered by the funding scheme that the School would have to meet should your application be successful. If this is the case, all such applications require the approval of the Head of School and/or school management committee in advance of submitting to the sponsoring body. The management committee only meets monthly so it is important to build-in plenty of advance preparation time for your application and notification to the school of your intentions. The School would not normally provide financial support where 50% or similar matching funds are required but this is not completely ruled out.  If funds permit, or if the candidate is outstanding and the research is in an area of strategic importance, the Head of School may be prepared to consider an application.

Once you have notified the School

After you have made contact with the GeoSciences Research Support Office about your Fellowship application, it will be checked to make sure the school can support it, and from there you will be assisted in preparing an application. You will receive details about how this is done this after you have made contact.

What can we do after your application is submitted?

If you are applying to a scheme that has interviews or other assessments, it's important to let us know when you are invited to take part in them. We are keen to support candidates through things like mock panel interviews where experienced academics can provide constructive criticism and feedback to help you prepare.

It is also polite to let us know what the outcome of your application is (good or bad). We are not always notified by funders, and so it is often up to candidates to tell us if they have been successful or not.

What happens if I am rejected?

Unfortunately, this can happen, but it does not have to be the end of the road. You are welcome to apply again (if funder terms & conditions allow this) and/or apply to other funding streams. We do not see feedback or criticism of unsuccessful applications from funders but with your consent, if you are willing to share it, we can help you make other submissions and take care to address the feedback you were given.