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 8-12 weeks before the deadline, even if the opportunity isn't yet open for applications.
  • External Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship applicants must enter the internal selection competition (see below)

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 

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.

The call opens annualy in November and closes in March.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships Internal deadline: 17 November 2023 

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.  Please discuss any adjustments required with the College's Research Support team and the hosting School.


  • The scheme is open to those who submitted their viva up to four years from the fellowship submission deadline (please check the Leverhulme website for exact dates).
  • 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 17 November 2023: 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.
  • December 2023: 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 external deadline in February.

 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • External applicants wishing to apply please contact your poential mentor and Research Support Office by 10 July.
  • 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 early October each year. 

Postdoctoral Fellowships: reasons to move

If you are thinking of joining Birmingham on a postdoctoral or early career fellowship, or more generally considering reasons for and against mobility between Universities, read this blog post by Adam Golberg from the University of Nottingham.


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