STFC sets a strict limit on the number of applications that each department may submit. Therefore, it is not possible for a host to support all interested applicants.
Any departments who exceed their limit will be required to withdraw the excess applications. It is therefore important that you seek assurance from your proposed host department that your application can be accommodated within its limit. You are advised to contact your proposed host department as early as possible and certainly well ahead of the deadline for submission of applications as departments have their own internal processes to select which candidates to support.
See the list of departments, contacts and internal deadlines (PDF, 96KB).
Early career researchers
Ernest Rutherford fellowships are intended for early career researchers who do not have a permanent academic position. You are not eligible if you currently hold a permanent position or the equivalent in institutions other than universities.
If you secure a permanent position prior to the offer of a fellowship you will be ineligible to hold the fellowship.
Applicants must hold a PhD at the time of applying for a fellowship.
Fellowships are open to applicants of any nationality. Where applicable, you will need to comply with Department for Work and Pensions requirements and hold a work permit prior to taking up the fellowship. Work permits are a matter for direct negotiation between the institution, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office.
All successful applicants who require a visa to work in the UK will be eligible to be considered under the Global Talent visa route. UKRI is able to provide additional guidance regarding the appropriate evidence required to complete the visa application process under the Global Talent visa.
Fellowships may be held at any eligible UK research organisation as set out in the STFC research grants handbook.
Find out which institutions are eligible.
Applicants should not be in receipt of duplicate funding for the same or similar proposal from more than one funding agency. Details of similar proposals that have been submitted to other funding agencies must be added in the ‘other support’ section of the STFC application and you must advise STFC if a successful funding decision is made by the other funding agency.
Applicants who have applied for the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships can also apply for an Ernest Rutherford fellowship but cannot hold two fellowships that fund their working time simultaneously.
Applicants who have a live application for the UKRI Stephen Hawking fellowships cannot apply for an Ernest Rutherford fellowship.
Applications are welcome from those seeking to resume a research career following a period of absence from active research of, normally, at least one year. The break may have been due, for example, to:
- long term illness, injury or disability
- family or caring responsibilities
- parental leave
- working in non-academic employment.
Years of experience
STFC no longer defines eligibility for Ernest Rutherford fellowships in terms of a minimum number of years of experience. Instead, applicants should read the competency profile in the guidance for applicants to determine if you have the skills, knowledge and experience to apply for an Ernest Rutherford fellowship.
Full or part time
Fellowships can be held either on a full‐time or a part‐time basis by applicants wishing to combine their fellowship with caring responsibilities.
A part‐time award can be held at 50% or above of full‐time equivalent. A part‐time fellow may not hold another part‐time position in conjunction with the fellowship. The period of award for fellowships held on a part‐time basis will be extended on a pro rata basis.