Guidance for Early Career Research Fellowships and Research Grants

Al Innes, Research Development Officer in Edinburgh Research Office, highlights resources available to help Early Career academics find the right funding for them.

We have recently compiled and published a microsite on the Edinburgh Research Office SharePoint site that is aimed at giving an overview of schemes and funders to aspiring and new investigators in the early stages of their research career.

The Early Career Research Fellowships and Research Grants pages contains information about both Fellowship opportunities and standard grant formats. For each of the schemes listed you will find an overview of the main points to consider about this scheme; your eligibility for it, and factors to consider both before and during your application. In addition, each scheme contains a link to the institutional resources we have made available via Research Professional.

While new and aspiring investigators may also wish to apply for workshop or seed funding this is not covered in the scope of the guide. For opportunities such we advise you to please make use of the Funding Opportunities calendar.

Fellowship vs Grant

The principle hallmark of a Fellowship is that the suggested project and the major costs associated with the grant will be focused on the principal investigator. This diverges from standard research grants where the focus is often on the building and managing of a team of researchers and stakeholders.

Generally speaking the fellowships listed on these pages are for staff without a permanent contract, whereas research grants are generally awarded to staff who have a contract that lasts longer than the duration of the grant.

This is not always the case, so don’t worry if your individual circumstances differ. Fellowships usually cover the salary of the principal investigator, so they will usually allow you time to do the research. This is not always the case with research grants where often only part of the grant covers salary and the rest pays for other expenses including the support of a research assistant.

Thinking of applying?

Edinburgh Research Office maintains a directory of schemes that have limited submission, and therefore require demand management processes. Very often your School or Centre may have very specialised expertise on the scheme itself and also on any local-level selection processes, so it can be vital to make contact with them and find out what support is available to you. If you are thinking of applying for any of these schemes then you can contact your Research Funding Specialist here.

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Al Innes

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