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Wellcome Trust ISSF Early Stage Researcher Fellowships

Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences

The prestigious Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) provides opportunities for the most promising early-career academics wishing to undertake clinical and biomedical research.

Queen’s University Belfast is one of the leading universities in the UK and Ireland, with a distinguished heritage and history. With over 24,000 students, 3,700 staff and an annual turnover of some £300m, Queen’s University Belfast plays a unique leadership role in Northern Ireland. Making a global impact through excellence in research and innovation, the University is ranked joint 8th in the UK for Research Intensity (Times Higher Rankings based on REF 2014), with over 75% of our research rated as world class or internationally leading.

The ISSF at Queen’s University Belfast is designed to develop two of our core research strengths, in ophthalmology and respiratory disease, both of which already have exceptional international reputations.

Queen’s University Belfast’s research strength has been built upon the successful integration of clinical and basic sciences, especially in diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and asthma. The ophthalmic and respiratory disease areas share common thematic research interests around inflammation, microvascular biology and regenerative medicine within the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM). This is exemplified by the GMP cell therapy facility funded by the MRC clinical research infrastructure scheme in which cell therapies will be delivered for pulmonary or eye disease in early phase clinical trials. The ophthalmic and respiratory disease translational research programmes are accommodated within the state-of-the-art Wellcome-Wolfson building which recently opened following a £32Million investment, while epidemiological and health services research are hosted by the Centre for Public Health.  Other schools (e.g., Pharmacy, Engineering) have also active programmes of vision research.

Also important to this programme are the strong partnerships between Queen’s University and The Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital and The National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College and Royal Brompton Hospital. These fellowships will further develop the relationships to maximise clinical impact.


We currently have five, 2-year fellowship opportunities for candidates in the foundation years of their post-doctoral careers in either ophthalmology or respiratory disease. Candidates applying for these exciting fellowships will be early stage researchers, but with already significant experience, a strong track record relative to career stage and a clear vision of how they will transition to leading an independent research programme by the end of this fellowship.


Queen’s University has generous terms and conditions of employment underpinned by excellent benefits. We also provide attractive well-being, family friendly and other lifestyle benefits. The salary scale for the posts is £32,548 - £38,833 per annum (potential to progress to £42,418 per annum through sustained exceptional contribution) and generous funding is available to assist with research start-up costs.


Closing date: Friday 14th September 2018

Anticipated interview dates: week commencing 8th October 2018

Candidate information

How to apply