Newton International Fellowships: frequently asked questions

Applicant eligibility

How is 7 years active full-time postdoctoral experience defined?

We count the 7 years from the date of award of PhD rather than 7 years of full-time postdoc experience. Please note we also allow a flexibility of a couple of weeks above the 7 year time-gap before making applicants ineligible.

We do consider eligible career breaks, including maternity/paternity leave, sick leave, and extended periods of unemployment. If someone has had a period of part-time work which brings them up to meeting the 7-year mark they are allowed to apply as long as they explain the reasons for it.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

We do not have an age limit for the scheme, but applicants are expected to be within 7 years of completing their PhD, excluding eligible career breaks.

Is there a limit to how many times I can apply?

There are no limits to the number of times someone can apply for a Fellowship (except that only one application per overseas researcher may be submitted per round). Additionally, if someone is successful and declines, they can reapply.

I am unemployed, can I apply?

Applicants not currently in employment are eligible to apply.

Can I apply if I have inherited UK citizenship/dual citizenship with the UK?

Applicants who have inherited UK citizenship due to parents are eligible to apply provided that they haven’t spent time in the UK working or studying. The same applies to dual citizenship, as long as they haven’t lived, worked or studied in the UK.

I am currently a PhD student, can I apply?

We only consider PhDs to be complete only after a successful viva/defence. Therefore, you must pass your viva/defence before the start date of the Fellowship to be eligible.

If I am currently based in the UK, can I apply?

If you are currently based in the UK, you are not eligible to apply. You may become eligible for a future round if you’ve lived and worked outside of the UK for at least one year prior to the round closing.

Am I eligible if I have recently been based in the UK?

Applicants who have completed a PhD or worked in the UK must be outside of the UK in the year prior to the application deadline.

However, if you were in the UK for a mobility grant or other short-term visits (this must be < 3 months research visit within the last year), you would still be eligible.

Applicants who have recently completed a visiting professorship in the UK, must have been out of the UK for a minimum of three months to be eligible to apply.

I am a visiting researcher in the UK, can I apply?

People that currently hold a visiting researcher position in the UK are not eligible to apply, regardless of if it is a paid position or not.


Can an Emeritus Professor act as a UK Co-Applicant?

Emeritus professors can act as UK Co-Applicants as long as they stay at the host institution for the duration of the Fellowship and the host institution approves the application.

Can a Co-Applicant support more than one Newton International Fellowships application?

A UK researcher can be the co-applicant in more than one application. The Co-Applicant would need to be able to give equal time and support to the applications, and in the event that they are successful, to the projects.

However, due to the limited number of Fellowships available, it is highly unlikely that more than one of these Fellowships would be successful.

Is it possible to have more than one Co-Applicant?

It is not possible to have more than one Co-Applicant on the application form. If you work will be supported by another researcher, you may wish to include this in your proposal and your Co-Applicant could discuss this in their statement of support.

How do I find a Co-Applicant/does the BA help me find one?

The British Academy does not help researchers find a Co-Applicant. It is up to the lead applicant to find them. We suggest that you find academics whose research clearly aligns with your own interest and to then reach out to them to see if they will support your application.

Research Proposal

Can I include publications that are under submission?

You may include publications that are under submission, but you should make this clear in the application form.

Current Supervisor

I am unemployed/do not currently have an academic supervisor, who can act as the ‘Current Supervisor’?

If your PhD was completed recently then please use your PhD supervisor to provide this support.

In the case where your PhD was completed a long time ago, we would recommend selecting your former PhD supervisor.

Nominated Referee

The nominated referee has collaborated with the applicant or co-applicant – is this eligible?

This depends on the extent of the collaboration: if the collaboration is current and ongoing, this would not be eligible; if the collaboration happened in the past and there is no other option in the field to provide a reference, then this would be eligible.

Can a nominated referee be an Emeritus Professor?

Yes, an Emeritus Professors can act as a nominated referee.

Organisation Eligibility

Are institutions based in British Overseas Territories eligible Host Organisations?

Institutions in British Overseas Territories are not eligible to be the host organisation for a Newton International Fellow.

Does the UK Host Organisation have to be a university?

To be eligible, the UK Host Organisation has to be a publicly funded institute in the UK. Applications cannot be accepted from private or commercial organisations.

The Newton International Fellowships scheme is about research and building links, not gaining teaching experience, so the research culture of the organisation is important rather than teaching opportunities.

Funding/Eligible Costs

What is the subsistence cost and how is it administered by the UK Host Organisation?

The annual subsistence rate is fixed at £30,000. It is to cover the Newton International Fellow’s living costs and expenses. Payments to Newton International Fellowship award holders are paid as a stipend (tax exempt) and do not constitute a salary. The subsistence can be spent on any living cost at the discretion of the Fellow. The British Academy expects the funds to be administered by institutions in accordance with their normal procedures for managing grant income.

Are finders’ fees and furniture costs eligible?

Finders' fees and furniture costs are eligible under the relocations costs of the BA Newton International Fellowship scheme.

What are overhead costs and how are they managed by UK Host Organisations?

The UK Host Organisation will receive an allowance for overhead expenses, amounting to 50% of the annual value of the Newton International Fellowship (including relocation expenses). The award holder is not considered to be an employee of the UK Host Organisation, or the British Academy, for the duration of the Fellowship. It is expected, however, that the Host Organisation gives the award holder the necessary departmental and institutional support to complete their Fellowship successfully, including adequate office and laboratory space and access to essential equipment and facilities. The British Academy expects the funds to be administered by institutions in accordance with their normal procedures for managing grant income.


How do I invite a Co-Applicant/Referee/Head of Department/Current Supervisor?

To invite a Co-Applicant/Referee/Head of Department/Current Supervisor, go to the summary page of your application, click into the ‘Contributors’ tab (next to the ‘Application’ tab). In this section you then need to click ‘Invite’ next to Co-Applicant/Referee/Head of Department/Current Supervisor. You will then be prompted to add the Co-Applicant’s/Referee’s/Head of Department’s/Current Supervisor’s details and they will be sent an automatic invitation email.

My referees have not received their invitation, what should I do?

Please make sure that your referee is logging into the email address you have sent the invitation to. The email may have gone into their junk folder. If these steps do not work, please log back in and send another reminder to your referee.

I am unable to see the submit button on the application form, what should I do?

You will not be able to submit your application until you have completed each section in full. All of your contributors will need to complete and submit their sections. You will be able to see whether they have submitted their sections by looking at the “Contributors” tab; if they have submitted their sections, it will say “Complete” next to their name. Once all sections have been completed, a “Submit for Organisation Approval” button will appear on your application form.

Another issue can be that the research support is not completed and can be revoked in order to submit application as research support is not necessary for this application form.

You should submit your application for approval by your host organisation at least five working days before the closing date to allow for your host organisation’s administrative procedures. You should also check whether your institution has its own internal deadlines. We strongly advise that you contact your referee as early as possible to avoid any last-minute issues before the submission deadline.

On the summary page next to “Research Proposal”, it shows as 0/2 or 1/2 documents attached. Is this a problem?

You do not necessarily have to upload any documents for this section. The two documents refer to the proposal in pdf form (you have the choice to upload this or enter the proposal in the text box) and a document pertaining to any permissions required for research (this becomes mandatory is you select that you require permissions.

COVID-19 Pandemic FAQs

I am unable to provide a letter on the requested letterheaded paper; what should I do?

In the current situation we realise that not all applicants or academics will have access to the requested letterheaded paper. As long as the reference is provided by an easily identifiable Academic or Head of Department and contact details are provided, we will accept these references on a non-letterheaded paper.

If I am currently based in the UK due to lockdowns imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, can I apply?

If you are currently based in the UK, you are not eligible to apply. You may become eligible for a future round if you have lived and worked outside of the UK for at least one year prior to the round closing.

I may need to pay for COVID testing and/or quarantine accommodation, can the Academy cover the costs?

Newton International Fellows are entitled to apply for up to £3,500 relocation expenses in the first year of their Fellowship. This can be used to cover the costs incurred from moving from the current institution to the UK host organisation and can include transportation costs and visa charges. A health surcharge was introduced by the UK Government under the 2014 Immigration Act for non-exempt persons, which from October 2020 is £624 per year; this also applies to dependents. This expense can be covered under the relocation expenses costs of the Fellowship. More information is available at the point of being offered an award. Additionally, if the Newton International Fellows must pay for COVID testing and/or quarantine accommodation due to government regulation, the Fellow may use funds from the relocation expenses, if there are funds remaining. The Academy cannot provide additional funds above the set allocation of relocation expenses.

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