Postdoctoral Fellowships

The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships is a three year award made to an annual cohort of outstanding early career researchers in the humanities or social sciences.
Funding status
Closed for applications
Career stage
Early-career, Postdoctoral or equivalent research
Earliest start date
1 Sep 2022
Scheme opens date
12 Jan 2022
Deadline date
09 Feb 2022 - 17:00 GMT
Duration of award
Three years

This scheme provides funding to cover the costs of a 36 month fellowship at a host institution of your choosing. The purpose of this award is to enable the award holder to pursue an independent research project, towards the completion of a significant piece of publishable research.

The competition for the Postdoctoral Fellowship is held in two stages. The Outline Stage is open for everyone within the eligibility criteria (see below). The Second Stage is invitation only. You may only apply to this competition once, unless specifically invited to re-apply. We are currently in the second stage of applications and are not taking any new applications to this scheme. Applications are only accepted through our grants management system, Flexi-Grant®.

Funded by BEIS


For this round only, we have extended the eligibility period considering the difficulties faced by researchers as a result of the pandemic. We recognise the impact that Covid 19 may have had on the ability of some researchers to make applications in the past year. If you have completed your viva voce between November 2018 and April 2022, you will be eligible to apply to this round.

  1. British citizens and any nationals from the European Economic Area are eligible, regardless of where their doctorate was obtained. Anyone of any nationality who has a doctorate from a UK university is eligible. If an applicant does not meet the prior categories, they may be accepted if they can demonstrate ‘strong prior association’ with the UK academic community. This typically means a current significant period – with a minimum period of one year, which will need to be completed prior to your application being submitted - of employment at a UK institution in either a teaching or research position which is not permanent. Postgraduate degrees (MA or MSc) do not count.
  2. Early Career Status: There is no age criterion for these awards. Instead, eligible applicants are expected to be at an early stage of their career. This is defined as being within three years from the date of your successful Viva Voce examination.
  3. This period extends from 1st November 2018 to 1st April 2022. Exemption from this criterion may be granted for reasons occurring after the date of the viva voce examination such as: maternity leave, illness, family commitments etc. if you wish to apply for exemptions, please send us an email at where we will review these on a case by case basis.
  4. The applicant must already be of postdoctoral status at the time when the Research Awards Committee meets. Applicants who expect to have had their viva by 1 April 2022, are eligible for consideration, but will have to withdraw their application if the examination is not completed on time.
  5. No applicant who has been appointed to a permanent academic post in an institution of higher education at any time in their career will be eligible.
  6. The British Academy does not allow for resubmissions for the Postdoctoral Fellowship. If you have previously applied and failed to reach the Second Stage of the competition, you are not eligible to re-apply. Previously unsuccessful applicants will only be able to submit another application if specifically invited to do so by the British Academy.


Postdoctoral Fellows will be employees of the institution at which they hold their award and are therefore subject to the terms and conditions of employment of that institution. The scheme is covered under the Full Economic Costing (FEC) regime. Currently, the Academy funds 80% of salary costs, directly allocated and indirect costs under FEC. Research expenses are covered at 100% within the upper limit, which is set at £6000 over the three years. Full detail of the FEC is not required by the Academy at the Outline Stage of application. The initial salary will be expected to be commensurate with the early career stage of the applicant, and therefore equivalent to posts with similar duties and levels of responsibility within the host institution pay grades.


Applicants must be supported by one self-nominated referee, who will be asked to fill in a questionnaire via Flexi-Grant. The referee should normally be the external examiner or, if not available, someone else who is as external to the applicant as possible.

Funded by

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