For External Scholars

Welcome external scholars! If you are interested in being based in the College of Arts and Law here at the University of Birmingham in the future, please see below for current external research grant opportunities and how to contact us.

Last updated: 20/04/2023

British Academy International Fellowships 2023

Please note the internal management for this scheme is now closed and applicants have been selected.

Previously known as the Newton International Fellowships, this year the British Academy is trialling a different version of this scheme. The overarching aim of the International Fellowships Programme is to attract emerging talent to the UK and build a globally connected, mobile research and innovation workforce. Demonstrating co-design of a research programme that is beneficial to the applicants, UK and the overseas country is crucial.

In order to be eligible:

  • Applicants must hold a doctoral degree or be in the final stage of their PhD provided that it will be completed (including viva) before the start date of the fellowship award (or have equivalent research experience).
  • Applicants should have no more than seven years active full-time postdoctoral experience at the time of application, including teaching experience, time spent in industry on research, honorary positions and/or visiting researcher positions (excl. career breaks). 
  • Individuals already living, working, or undertaking research in the UK are not eligible to apply. Applicants should be working outside the UK and should not hold UK citizenship at the time of application. Applicants cannot have lived, worked, or undertaken research in the UK in the 12 months immediately prior to the application, with the exception of short-term visits of less than three months in total and applicants who are refugees in the UK according to the Geneva Convention.
  • Applicants who completed their PhD at a UK organisation must have been working and based outside the UK for at least one year at the deadline for the application. Applicants proposing to return to their UK-based PhD organisation and/or PhD supervisor or to their post-doctoral supervisor will normally be considered to be ineligible and so applicants must have exceptional reasons for proposing to do so.

There are further eligiblity criteria, via the hyperlink in the scheme title. Please read this carefully before approaching an academic in the College of Arts & Law to act your nominated 'UK Sponsor'. A total of FIVE supporting statements are required as part of the application and it is strongly encouraged that these are commenced as early as possible in the process.

The British Academy expects that the majority of research will take place within the UK. Further, the Academy expects award holders to minimise their travel and carbon footprint using alternatives where possible (for example video conferencing), and choose travel that has a lower carbon impact, where practical. 

Fellowships are for 3 years in duration and include a UK salary and up to £12,000 in research expenses and up to £8,000 in relocation costs. Successful applicants will be eligible to apply under the accelerated route of the Global Talent Visa, and the cost of the visa and any associated costs for the applicant and their dependents (e.g., including Immigration Health Surcharge costs) are eligible under this programme. 

If you are eligible and interested in applying, our internal management timescales within the College of Arts and Law are as follows:

  • Monday 20 February by 4pm for prospective candidates to indicate interest by email with 2 page (maximum please) candidate CVs and a title + 500 words on the Fellow’s intended research programme to be sent by academic mentors in CAL to their relevant School Head of Research. Therefore please ensure you have approached an academic mentor to support your application well before this date.
  • Contingent on how many/quality/spread of applicants we receive via the School Heads of Research, the College may hold an online prioritisation discussion during w/c 27 February with outcomes to follow asap if any prioritisation of applicants is required.
  • The CAL Research Support team will then agree a detailed proposal development and submission schedule with each candidate and their mentor leading up to the 28 March 2023 submission date (via BA’s Flexigrant portal)
  • The mentor will have co-responsibility with the candidate and the Research Support team for ensuring that the schedule is adhered to for maximising competitiveness. The academic mentor as well as the candidate MUST have good availability between notification of proceeding and the 28 March 2023 closing date to provide the appropriate amount of mentoring input.

For queries, please contact Paul Woolnough at

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023

Please note the internal management for this scheme is now closed and applicants have been selected.

The Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP has formally launched applications for this scheme and updated the Postdoctoral Fellowships webpage on the Midlands Graduate School DTP website (via hyperlink in Heading). This contains the Postdoctoral Fellowship application form, alongside the Call Specification and FAQs document and outlines the steps that candidates need to take in order to apply. The Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme is open to applicants who: 

  • Have completed or expected to complete their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) or Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)but the applicants themselves do not have to have been funded through a DTP or CDT
  • Have either been awarded a PhD by the submission deadline (23 March 2023) or have passed their viva voce with minor amendments by the application deadline of 23 March 2023 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2023
  • Have no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by 23 March 2023

The final application deadline to apply for Postdoctoral Fellowships is before 16:00 on Monday 23 March 2023 – this is the national deadline set by the ESRC and applies across all 14 DTPs. Please note that there are further earlier internal deadlines depending on the institution to which the candidate is applying and these are detailed on the MGS website. 

For the University of Birmingham, this is before 16.00 Monday 23 January 2023. By this date applicants must have contacted the relevant Research Support Office about their application. 

Please note that proposed Fellowship projects must fall within ESRC remit and be hosted by the department accredited to host MGS Fellows – these are the same departments which can host ESRC studentships.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships 2023

Please note the internal management for this scheme is now closed and applicants have been selected.

For early career researchers, with a strong research track record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. The project put forward should be original and not a reworking or extension of the candidate’s doctoral research project. 

The awards are tenable for 36 months and must commence between 1 September 2023 and 1 May 2024. The Trust will support requests to hold the award part-time over a proportionately longer period for health-related reasons, disability, or childcare commitments. Please discuss any adjustments required with the College's Research Support team and the hosting School in the first instance.

British Academy Visiting Fellowships 2023

Please note the internal management for this scheme is now closed and applicants have been selected.

The British Academy’s Visiting Fellowships programme provides outstanding academics based in any country overseas with the opportunity to be based at a UK higher education or other research institution. The programme is open to academics at any career stage, and in any discipline within the humanities and social sciences. 


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