ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships 2020 Call

The ESRC-funded Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) invites applications for six one-year Postdoctoral Fellowships to commence on 1 October 2020. The Fellowships will be based at one of the DTP institutions – Oxford, The Open University or Brunel University London. Fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.


The call is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of an ESRC-funded DTP or CDT. At the application deadline (23 March 2020), the applicant must either have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date. Grants are restricted to those with no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience, between passing their viva and the application deadline of 23 March 2020.


Proposals are welcome from single or multi-disciplinary backgrounds but the fellowship activities must be aligned to one of the Grand Union DTP’s 23 thematic pathways and based at least 50% within the social sciences. At least one Fellowship awarded must be aligned with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, either by addressing skills gaps (eg. through use of advanced quantitative methods and/or data skills) or a programme of activities that involves direct engagement with partners in business and industry (eg. project collaboration or placements). The DTP particularly encourages proposals which meet this criteria.

Fellowships will fund 80% of the fEC for the Fellow’s salary, associated estates and indirect costs, and up to £10,000 for other costs (to include mentor time (c.£4k), research expenses, travel and subsistence, conference attendance, training, and fieldwork, for example).


Further information is available here.

Departmental Selection Process

The School is able to support three applications to this scheme, which we are required to rank before submission. We will therefore be running a departmental selection exercise.


Candidates wishing to apply to the department’s gathered field must first ensure that they meet the Grand Union DTP eligibility requirements for this call. They must then submit the following to the SAME Research Development Officer by 5pm on Monday 20 January 2020 (1st Week, HT):


  • A draft research proposal (maximum 2 pages, 12 point, 1.5 spaced), outlining the work and activities to be undertaken during the fellowship
  • A CV (maximum 2 pages)
  • A statement of support from the proposed SAME mentor (please see the call guidance regarding mentors)
  • A covering email confirming the doctoral institution, date of PhD completion, and to which of the Grand Union DTP’s 23 thematic pathways the Fellowship proposal will be aligned