Edinburgh Scientific Academic Track

Funding Opportunities

The following list of potential funding opportunities is not exhaustive and researchers are urged to be proactive in consulting other funding information sources and in seeking advice from senior research colleagues and research support staff.

Undergraduate in biomedical lab

Potential funding opportunities

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funds research in:

  • plants (the principal public funder of plant science in the UK)
  • microbes
  • animals (including humans); and
  • tools and technology underpinning biological research.

Research is funded from the level of molecules and cells, to tissues, whole organisms, populations and landscapes.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council website


Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funding covers a wide range of activity, from basic research to late phase clinical trials. This includes drug discovery, basic cell biology, clinical trials, public health, biomarker research and more.

Cancer Research UK website


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council website


European Research Council

ERC funding schemes are open to leading researchers of any nationality or age who wish to carry out their research within an EU member state or associated country. For overview and more details click here (link: http://erc.europa.eu/funding-and-grants/funding-schemes).


Medical Research Council

The UK Medical Research Council (MRC) supports research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals, in MRC units, centres and institutes in the UK, and in MRC units in Africa.

Medical Research Council website



Wellcome offers a range of fellowships, including Basic biomedical fellowships and clinical fellowships, and investigator awards.

Wellcome website


Some independent funding opportunities for Postdoctoral candidates

BBSRC Future Leader Fellowships

A Future Leader Fellowship (FLF) will provide support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. The FLF will support the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders. As such FLFs represent part of our commitment to the supply of highly skilled professional scientists to the UK. Aimed at early career researchers who want to conduct their own independent research within a host laboratory. Applicants will have demonstrated high potential and have no more than five years of postdoctoral research experience. The call is also open to current PhD students who are expected to have completed their PhD viva exam prior to announcement of the awarded FLFs. Proposals can be submitted in any area of science within BBSRC remit.

BBSRC Future Leader Fellowship website


BBSRC Discovery Fellowships

This will support your first steps into independent research and gain leadership skills.   Proposals must be within the remit of the BBSRC and that fit with BBSRC strategic priorities.  Candidates must have potential to become a future research leader, with to conduct own independent research with a host lab and wish to gain leadership skills.  

BBSRC Discovery Fellowship website


Canon Foundation in Europe Research Fellowships

Annually, the Canon Foundation in Europe grants up to 15 Fellowships to highly qualified European and Japanese researchers in all fields. European nationals should have permanent citizenship in the country. Candidates are required to have obtained at least a Master's degree within the previous ten years. Exceptional candidates who obtained their qualification more than ten years prior to application will also be considered. Such candidates are required to provide further supporting information in their application. The European Fellowship holders pursue a period of research in Japan whereas the Japanese Fellows do their research at host institutions in Europe. The Fellowships are awarded for periods of minimum three months and maximum one year. The Fellowships are awarded regardless of discipline and existing employment positions.

Canon Foundation website


EMBO Long Term Fellowships

EMBO Long Term Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to two years and support post-doctoral research visits to laboratories throughout Europe and the world. International exchange is a key feature in the application process.

EMBO website


Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowships (funding frontier research into complex biological systems)

Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellowships (HFSP) fellowships are for three years. Fellows may choose to stay for up to three years in the host country or use the last year of their fellowship to return to their home country or to move to another HFSPO member country.

Long-Term Fellowships (LTF) are for applicants with a Ph.D. in a biological discipline, who will broaden their expertise by proposing a project in the life sciences which is significantly different from their previous Ph.D. or postdoctoral work.

Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (CDF) are for applicants with a Ph.D. from outside the life sciences (e.g. in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or computer sciences), who have had limited exposure to biology during their previous training.

Human Frontier Science Program website


L’Oreal Fellowships for women in science The L'Oréal International Fellowships

These Fellowships help young female scientists from around the world to take up research positions in other countries, allowing them to pursue their research in some of the world's most prestigious laboratories. There are 15 Fellowships given out each year to support tomorrow's faces of science.

The L'Oréal National Fellowships

The National Fellowships, such as the For Women in Science UK & Ireland programme, are run in 46 countries around the world. Each National Fellowship helps female scientists at a critical point in their career to continue to pursue their research with flexible financial aid.

The L'Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science

The L'Oréal UK & Ireland Fellowships For Women in Science were launched in January 2007. The Fellowships are awards offered by a partnership between L'Oréal UK & Ireland, the UK National Commission for UNESCO and the Irish National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society. Four Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding female postdoctoral researchers. Each worth £15,000 (equivalent € for candidates in Ireland), the Fellowships are tenable at any UK or Irish university / research institute to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in any area of life or physical sciences.

L'Oréal website


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

The goal of Individual Fellowships is to enhance the creative and innovative potential of experienced researchers wishing to diversify their individual competence in terms of skill acquisition at multi- or interdisciplinary level through advanced training, international and inter-sectoral mobility.

Individual Fellowships provide opportunities to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research in a European context (EU Member States and Associated Countries) or outside Europe. The scheme particularly supports the return and reintegration of researchers from outside Europe who have previously worked here. It also develops or helps to restart the careers of individual researchers that show great potential, considering their experience.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships website


Medical Research Scotland – Daphne Jackson Fellowships

Up to three of these unique awards are again being offered by Medical Research Scotland. To be eligible for consideration, intending applicants should at least meet the following criteria

  • A career break of at least two years' duration taken for family, caring or health reasons
  • A good first degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM)
  • At least 3 years in research prior to career break and/or PhD qualification
  • Resident in the UK with the right to remain in the UK indefinitely
  • Good command of English (spoken and written)
  • Computer skills

Medical Research Scotland website


Newton International Fellowships

The Newton International Fellowship scheme will select the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and offer support for two years at UK research institutions.

Newton International Fellowships website


Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships in Science and Engineering are intended to give early-career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise an opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation. These fellowships are open to all nationalities. Applicants must be in possession of a recent PhD, or equivalent qualification (normally with no more than 3 years post-doctoral experience), and usually intending to carry out their research at a UK institution.

Royal Commission website


Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

These awards are open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area. Applicants should be in the final year of their PhD studies or have no more than one year of postdoctoral research experience from the date of PhD viva to the full application submission deadline. Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration (e.g. leave due to maternity, paternity, adoption leave or other caring responsibilities; ill-health or working in a non-research environment/role such as industry). The proposed research should fall within the Wellcome Trust's normal funding remit.

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships website 


The Foulkes Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Foulkes Foundation invites applications for Fellowships from recently qualified scientists and medical graduates. Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent degree and should intend to contribute to medical research. The Fellowships, which do not cover fees, are awarded for up to three years and are tenable in the United Kingdom only. The size of the Fellowship depends on the circumstances of the applicant and is intended to cover personal maintenance only.

The Foulkes Foundation website


The Leverhulme Trust early career Fellowships

Offering fifty per cent match-funding for the salary costs of three-year academic research position, the scheme enables early career researchers to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Applicants must have a track record of research, but should not have held an established academic appointment in the UK.

The Leverhulme Trust website


The Royal Society University Research Fellowships

This scheme is for outstanding scientists in the UK who are in the early stages of their research career and have the potential to become leaders in their field. The scheme provides the opportunity to build an independent research career. Those appointed are expected to be strong candidates for permanent posts in universities at the end of their fellowships. The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine and any researcher addressing a direct biomedical research question.

The Royal Society University Research Fellowships website