Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a query about your application, please check this page first as we will list answers to the most common questions.

I have a technical question about my application form, who should I contact?

If you have omitted something or made a mistake with your application , it may be that our systems team can 'unsubmit' your application and allow you to make any amendments yourself. You can contact the HR Business Systems team via the link below. Please remember to quote the vacancy reference number you applied for and your applicant number. 

HR Business Systems

Contact details

We receive a large amount of queries every day so, wherever possible, check your application thoroughly and don't leave your submission until the last day. Please submit all required documentation:

  • a complete application form
  • project proposal (5 pages max)
  • curriculum vitae and list of publications
  • letter of support from a supervisor at the University of Edinburgh
  • letter of support from a private sector partner
  • an ethical issues form

I’m a UK national – can I apply?

The answer depends on where you have been working recently, rather than on your nationality. If you have worked in the UK for no more than 12 months in the past three years, then you are eligible to apply for a fellowship.

I’m a non-EU Citizen – can I apply?

Yes – the scheme is open to applicants from any country or nationality, so long as you’ve got a PhD or equivalent research experience and so long as you’ve not worked in the UK for more than 12 months in the past 3 years. If you are from outside the EU and are offered a fellowship, you will need to apply for a visa to work in the UK. This is likely to be through the UK’s Tier 2 visa route. We can help you with this process when the time comes.

I’ve had a career break – does that affect the eligibility criteria for applying for a Fellowship?

If you have had a career break (defined by the EC as not having been active in research for at least 12 months immediately prior to the application deadline), then a slightly different mobility criterion can be used which may enable some people to apply. In this case, you must not have resided or carried out the main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 36 months in the 5 years immediately prior to the application deadline.

What date will be used when you are looking at the eligibility criteria for a fellowship?

We will take the closing date for fellowship applications (31 October 2019) as the date on which the eligibility criteria need to be fulfilled. This includes the need to have a PhD or four years equivalent research experience, and the need to have not worked in the UK for more than 12 months in the past 3 years.

What does ‘four years equivalent research experience’ mean?

In order to be eligible for a fellowship, applicants must either have been awarded a PhD or have four years equivalent (full-time) research experience. The standard definition regarding equivalent research experience used by Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions is:

Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.

How many Fellowships are available?

There will be three rounds of vacancies with five fellowships advertised in the first round (August and September 2018), ten fellowships advertised in the second round (February and March 2019) with a further ten fellowships advertised in the third round of August and September 2019). This means there will be 25 fellowships available in total.

What subject can my research project investigate?

We welcome applications from researchers of any subject that is relevant to one of the key themes. The key themes are Business and Financial Services, Creative Industries, Data Science, Energy and Marine Energy, Food and Beverages, Life and Medical Sciences

These are purposefully multidisciplinary and we look forward to seeing a variety of subjects within them.

Who will be my supervisor?

You are required to secure the support of a potential academic supervisor committed before you submit your proposal for the TRAIN@Ed fellowship. This will be an established academic at the University of Edinburgh, whose research interests align with your own. Please get in touch to discuss finding a supervisor.

What format/detail should be included in my research proposal?

Please note that there is a template available on this website for the content and format of the outline of your proposed research and other activities. This format corresponds to the areas that will guide reviewers in their evaluation of the proposal.

Should I submit references/letters of reference with my application?

No. Applicants are required to provide only the name and contact details of their referees when applying. Letters of Reference do not need to be submitted before the vacancy closing date. The University of Edinburgh will contact referees and provide all the information required to submit references at shortlist stage.  

My research interests fall into different theme areas, how many applications should I submit?

We welcome applications from a wide variety of disciplines and research areas relevant to our themes. If you would like to propose an interdisciplinary research activity involving different theme areas, it is suggested submitting a separate application to each of these areas. Please note that if you are interested in more than one theme the system will only allow you to make one application per theme. The system does allow you to copy a previous application and make amendments as necessary. You should mention that you are applying to more than one area with an interdisciplinary programme in your supporting statement.

Are the supporting statement' and 'research proposal' different documents?

The supporting statement and the outline of your proposed research activity are two separate documents.

The personal/supporting statement is the cover letter of your application and when applying online you can either type it in the box available on our application system or upload it to the system as an attachment in the 'Applicant Document' section. The research proposal is your suggested research activity outline. A suggested template for this is available on the webpage.

Regarding the length of the supporting statement, this is the same as a cover letter. It is advised to keep it short and succinct. Please note that if you type your supporting statement directly into the box on the online system, the length is limited to 4000 characters.  

I have a question about the area I wish to research...

If your question is subject specific you may find it most helpful to get in touch with the University contacts for the subject areas of your interest. Contact details will be displayed at the top of each TRAIN@Ed Fellowship advert.  

Should I attach writing samples, references, examples of my work?

The online system allows you to submit additional documents with your application. Our advice is to keep your additional documents to a minimum.