The aim of this scheme is to give early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise the opportunity to conduct a research project of their own instigation. The scheme is open to applicants working in any of the physical, biological sciences or applied sciences, maths or engineering. Candidates must be in posession of a recent PhD or equivalent (with no more than 3 years postdoctoral experience) or be in the final stages of their PhD studies, which must be completed before the award of the fellowship can be confirmed. The scheme is open to applicants of all nationalities.

Awards are normally for 3 years and should be held at a different institution from the one where the candidate's PhD research was undertaken. Funding is for the Fellow's salary plus £6k per annum of research expenses. A letter of acceptance from the Head of Department, and institutional administration is required to be submitted with your application.

Applications are made through the funder's application funder's application portal; applicants must supply two references: neither should be from the host institution, and one should be from your PhD supervisor.

Further information is avaiable on the funder's website.

Deadlines and timescales (2021)

The funder deadline is noon on 20 January 2021 however the Department runs an internal approval/selection process as outlined briefly below. Let us know via as soon as possible if you're interested in applying this round. We can provide further details on the process outlined below on request.

  • By 18 November 2020: Candidates should send CV, publications and one page outline to Research Facilitators (RFs), cc’ing their Oxford research sponsor so that we can seek HOSD approval to proceed with development of your proposal. Please also confirm the name of your second academic reader and that the £6k p/a will be sufficient to cover your research expenses.
  • By 2 December 2020: RFs will confirm Head of Sub-Department approval, confirm with Head of Department that application can go ahead and then notify candidates.
  • By 16 December 2020: Candidates should send their full draft proposal to their named academic readers, copying in RFs (, requesting feedback by 23 December.
  • By 23 December 2020: Readers should send feedback to candidate, copying in RFs (
  • By 6 January 2020: Candidates send final PDF of proposal to RFs for institutional approvals and copy of completed Flexigrant application form for checking.
  • Noon, 20 Jan 2021: funder deadline

Candidates to submit their proposal to the funder by this date.

Additional information

Since the grant scheme does not offer any overheads to the department, applications to this scheme will only be approved to proceed in cases where a local academic is highly supportive of the proposal and candidate (subject to the approval of the Head of Department). Therefore please ensure you have discussed your application with your collaborators at the Department of Physics and have secured their support before embarking on your application. We only support the 'employed' variety of the scheme.