External Applicants

How to apply for a Fellowship hosted by the College of Social Sciences

  • If you are an external applicant, please contact your potential host department and College Research Support Office at least 8-12 weeks before the application deadline, even if the opportunity isn't yet open for applications.
  • Some Fellowships involve internal selection panels - if applicable, details are included under the relevant grant description below.
    • Note that external Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship applicants must enter the internal selection competition. Details of how to apply are available on this page each October.

Incoming Academic Appointments

  • If you are an incoming academic appointment and you are drafting a grant application, please contact the Research Support Office directly, copying in your future Head of Department.


ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023: internal deadline 23 January 2023

The ESRC DTP Postdoctoral Fellowships webpage contains the Postdoctoral Fellowship application form, alongside the Call Specification and FAQs document. The webpage outlines the steps that candidates need to follow in order to apply.

By 23 January 2023:

  • External candidates should ensure that they are eligible, decide on their DTP Pathway and contact potential mentors during November, December and January.
  • 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. Queries should be sent to Pathway Leads who can also help to identify a mentor, or to Sonia Bains in the Research Support Office.
  • The internal deadline is 16.00 Monday 23 January 2023. By this date applicants must have contacted the relevant Research Support Office about their application. For the College of Social Sciences, this is Sonia Bains. 

The ESRC 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 23 March 2023

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships: Currently Closed (opens July 2023)

  • External applicants wishing to apply for the 2023 Round please contact your poential mentor and Research Support Office by July 2023.
  • There is no internal selection process but the Fellowships are highly competitive and require intensive development, peer review and feedback.

Fellowship Summary

This Fellowship supports early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences wishing to pursue an independent research project, towards the completion of a significant piece of publishable research. It provides applicants with the opportunity to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in an academic environment. 

The Fellowship is tenable for three years, starting Autumn of the year following the application submission.


  • The applicant must be a researcher from the humanities and social sciences.
  • Suitable institutions include any UK university or recognised research organisation based in the UK.
  • British citizens and any nationals from the EEA are eligible, regardless of where their doctorate was obtained.
  • Anyone of any nationality who has a doctorate from a UK university is eligible.
  • Applicants must be within three years from the date of their successful viva voce examination. 

Application deadline is usually in October each year. 

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships 2023: Internal deadline 18 November 2022

Deadline now passed - please check again in September 2023 for next round

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 last 36 months and must commence between 1 September 2023 and 1 May 2024.  Please discuss any adjustments required with the College's Research Support team and the hosting School.

Eligibility (2023 Submissions)

  • The scheme is open to those who submitted their viva on or after 23 February 2019 and no later than 4pm on 23 February 2023. 
  • COVID-19 disruptions: the Trust will accept applications from candidates who submitted their viva up to five years prior to the closing date. Hence those who formally submitted their viva between 23 February 2018 and 23 February 2019 are eligible to apply if their work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and they should explain their case in their application.
  • Applicants must either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or at the time of the application deadline must hold a fixed term academic position in the UK (e.g. fixed-term lectureship, Post-doc) which commenced no less than four months before the scheme closing date.
  • Applicants must not hold, or have held, a permanent academic post within a UK university.
  • Candidates who currently hold or have held a similar 3-year postdoctoral award/position are not eligible to apply.

Internal Selection Process

The College runs an internal selection process to identify and support the most competitive applicants to this scheme and whose research is well-aligned with existing areas within their preferred Department or School. 

Applicants are requested to contact the relevant Head of School and School Head of Research to discuss their interest and their selected academic mentor, prior to submitting an Expression of Interest. For eligibility related queries, please contact the Research Support team

  • By 12.00 on 18 November 2022: Please submit an Expression of Interest comprising i) a 250-word summary of past research, ii) a 2-page statement of proposed research, and iii) a 2-page CV, including a list of major publications and noting any extenuating circumstances. The documents should be completed in Arial 11 font, 2cm margins and submitted as a combined .pdf and sent to the Research Development Manager for CoSS.
      • Include details of your proposed mentor at the University of Birmingham.
  • Week commencing 28 November 2022: Panels will assess the applications and shortlist the most competitive candidates to be put forward to this round. 
  • December 2022: Feedback and outcomes will be communicated to all candidates. Shortlisted applicants will be sent a further timeline and will work with the Research Support team on their full proposal for the 23 February 2023 external deadline.

British Academy Visiting Fellowships 2023

The British Academy’s Visiting Fellowships programme normally runs each Autumn and 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.  Visiting Scholars must:

  • contact their potential host department at least 4 weeks prior to the deadline.
  • obtain Head of Department support for hosting the Visiting Fellowship
  • obtain Research Office approval of finances at least 2 weeks before the deadline
  • submit application at least 3 working days before the deadline to allow Research Office approval of the application on Flexigrant




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