A new fellowship for researchers of Black heritage

Details: The Royal Society has launched an exciting new fellowship opportunity for researchers of Black heritage including mixed Black backgrounds. The aim is to increase opportunities for talented researchers from underrepresented backgrounds to establish a successful research career in STEM. The Royal Society will provide a high-quality programme of training, mentoring and engagement to support the career development of the successful candidates, including bespoke monitoring, training and development, peer-to-peer support and networking opportunities. A sponsoring academic at the host department will support the fellow to develop a successful research career though training, supervision, opportunities for networking, and mentoring. 

Funding is for 4 years and covers the fellow’s salary, research expenses and overheads to a total value of £690,000. Relocation and visa costs for the applicant and their dependants can be included outside of the £690k limit.

Who can apply? Applicants must have just completed their PhD (or will have completed it by the time the funding starts - between October 2024 and January 2025) and have less than 24 months full-time postdoctoral experience by the closing date of the round (24 January 2024). Career breaks and additional circumstances will be taken into account. 

Oxford Physics process: In order to ensure fit for scheme the department is running an expression of interest (EOI) stage. Applications will be assessed based on the Royal Society’s criteria for the scheme*. We will endeavour to support all suitable applicants however should demand be high we will select a number of candidates based on the scheme criteria, therefore the EOI stage should be taken seriously.

What to do if you are interested:

Interested applicants should submit an EOI to the Research Facilitation team at fellowships@physics.ox.ac.uk by the end of Monday 13 November 2023. Your EOI should include a 1-page summary of your proposed research project (more details below**), your CV (no more than 2 pages) and a list of your publications and other research outputs (all as a single PDF).

Applicants are expected to contact and secure the support of an academic sponsor within the department prior to submitting the EOI – please try to do this at least 1 week prior to the EOI deadline. Please cc your sponsor when you submit the EOI.

In time for the EOI deadline your sponsor will also need to email fellowships@physics.ox.ac.uk to confirm their sponsorship, outline why the project is mutually beneficial and provide a description of how they will support your career development during the fellowship.

Should any candidates have difficulty in securing a sponsor within the department or need further guidance on this please contact the facilitation team and we will endeavour to support you. Similarly, if there are any additional factors or circumstances that you wish to be considered during our assessment of your EOI – this might include (but is not limited to) career breaks, caring responsibilities, part-time working, disability etc – or if you are likely to need any specific support or accommodations during the application process, please communicate this to us (in confidence if required): fellowships@physics.ox.ac.uk

*Assessment criteria

Ability to deliver; potential to develop an independent research career; track record relative to research experience; quality of proposed research project; likelihood of achieving proposed goals; suitability of host institution and research environment; proposed support for career development and scientific suitability of sponsor. 

**What should I write in my EOI – summary of proposed project?

Example points to address include:

  • Brief introduction to the scientific background
  • What is the scientific problem or question that you propose to address?
  • How do you propose to tackle this, and what is particularly novel about your approach?
  • Why are you the best person to do this work? 
  • Why at Oxford and why now?
  • What would be the step change for the field/world if this work was funded?
  • What are your longer-term career goals and how will this fellowship help you move towards those goals?

If you have any questions, please email fellowships@physics.ox.ac.uk