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Research fellowships and career development at Queen's

We encourage researchers to apply for fellowships to be held in the ARC (Astrophysics Research Centre). We welcome all enquiries from astronomers interested in performing research programmes complementary to those in ARC. Current details for the 2021-2022 academic year are described below.


STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowships

The School of Mathematics and Physics will host applications for the STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship scheme. The School has an allocation of 2 applications from STFC. Potential applicants should first contact a member of academic staff to discuss their interest and submit a brief pre-application to the selection committee that will review requests. The deadline for submission of these pre-applications is 4pm Friday 29th July 2022. Candidates should submit a draft application (1 page of text plus up to 1 page of figures), a supporting CV and a full publication record. To submit applications, send PDFs to the ARC Director of Research, Prof. Mihalis Mathioudakis (via email to

Candidates will be informed (by the School) by 4pm on Wednesday 10th August 2022 if they have been selected for support. (STFC have published the guidelines for departmental selection. Note that all institutes in the UK will not put pressure on candidates to accept an offer of a host before Tuesday 16th August 2022, and we will also abide by this.) The deadline for the full submission of proposals from the selected applicants to STFC will be 4pm on Tuesday 13th September 2022. However, completed applications will be needed about 1 week in advance in order for financial costings etc to be checked.


QUB Vice-Chancellor's Illuminate Fellowships

Illuminate: The Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship Scheme at Queen’s University Belfast.

Queen's Chancellor's Fellowship scheme includes a substantial start-up package plus a clear career pathway to a permanent Senior Lecturer/Reader post at the end of the Fellowship. However, the start-up package and career pathway also applies to applicants for prestigious external fellowships (e.g. STFC ERFs, RS URFs). Candidates interested in applying for a VC Fellowship and/or STFC ERF, Royal Society URF, UKRI Future Leaders or ERC Grant are encouraged to first make contact with a member of staff at ARC and the Director of Research (Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis) to ensure their research and plans align with our future direction. For those candidates we can support, we will assist in gaining University support through the Illuminate Fellowship Scheme.

The application deadlines will be announced later this year.


Royal Society University Research Fellowships

The School of Mathematics and Physics has attracted several successful URF applicants over the last number of years. TheARC welcomes interest from potential candidates. Details of the URF are available here.

The deadline for submission of applications to the Royal Society is 3pm Tuesday 7th September 2021.

In all instances, potential applicants should contact both a staff member (the most relevant to their research area) and Prof. Mihalis Mathioudakis (Director of ARC). As for the STFC ERFs, candidates should submit a draft application (1 page of text plus up to 1 page of figures), a supporting CV and a full publication record. To submit applications, send PDFs to the ARC Director of Research, Prof. Mihalis Mathioudakis (via email to

After reviewing this material, we will notify applicants if we are prepared to support their application as the prospective host institution. After this review, candidates will be given instructions and deadlines for the grant submission. We request applicants contact us by Friday 6th August 2021. The University Research Support office will also need to do the financial costing, and this period is essential for the grant preparation work.


Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

The call for MSC Individual Fellowships is open, with a deadline of 12th October 2021. Further details on this Horizon 2020 scheme are available here.

We welcome applicants from EU member states to apply for a fellowship here. The application portal and documentation is linked here.

Candidates should contact a member of ARC staff, as early as possible to develop their applications. Support for the application process from the EU office at Queen's will be available (see this link)


Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellowships

The Astrophysics Research Centre may host a small number of applications for the RAS Research fellowships.

From the RAS page, the guidelines for the 2019 fellowships were : "The purpose of the RAS Research Fellowships is to enable outstanding candidates to pursue research in the UK in the disciplines advanced by the RAS i.e. astronomy, solar system science, geophysics and closely related branches of these sciences."

Applicants must : " Hold a recognized PhD degree or equivalent obtained after 1 October five years before the start of the fellowship (e.g. 1 October 2014 if applying in 2018 for a fellowship beginning in 2019), or have taken the PhD viva voce examination by the application deadline and expect to be awarded the PhD degree before the Fellowship start date. Exceptions to these limits may be made only in cases of e.g. maternity leave, career breaks, serious illness etc. Please enquire before applying. Only one RAS Research Fellowship may be held in the same university at any one time. "

Anyone wishing to be considered for this scheme should make contact with an ARC staff member to organise their application as soon as possible, after the RAS announce their application deadlines.


Royal Society Newton International Fellowships

From the Royal Society website: Newton International Fellowships

"The scheme provides the opportunity for the best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world to work at UK research institutions for a period of two years. The scheme covers the broad range of the natural and social sciences and the humanities. It also covers clinical and patient orientated research for applicants from Newton Fund partner countries. The scheme is jointly run by the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society."

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • have a PhD, or will have a PhD by the time the funding starts
  • have no more than 7 years of active full time postdoctoral experience at the time of application (discounting career breaks, but including teaching experience and/or time spent in industry)
  • be working outside the UK
  • not hold UK citizenship
  • be competent in oral and written English
  • have a clearly defined and mutually-beneficial research proposal agreed with a UK host scientist

When the call appears, we will publish more information here.