Postdoctoral Research

There are currently 23 postdoctoral researchers at the EGI. Postdoctoral positions are occasionally advertised here on these pages. Please note that we welcome enquiries about conducting postdoctoral research at the EGI. There are several possible routes to funding postdoctoral research, but these fall into two main classes:

1. Positions funded by UK (and other) Research Councils for specific projects, often as part of a larger grant.

Skomer one of the EGI studysitesIf there are any positions of this kind currently available, they will be advertised through the usual channels (e.g. on the University Website and at jobs.ac.uk). Alternatively, an application for such a grant can be made with a senior member of academic staff at the EGI as the Principal Investigator, and with yourself as a named postdoc on the grant. We have previously been successful in obtaining grants from NERC, BBSRC and the Leverhulme Trust. The benefit of being a postdoc on this sort of grant is that you will often be part of a well-defined team, and that there will be additional resources, and perhaps technical support, for your research.

2. Individually funded fellowships

Such as those offered by the Royal Society, NERC, BBSRC, and occasionally by Oxford Colleges (JRFs), and fellowship schemes run in other countries. Currently, the UK fellowship schemes are only open to EU citizens. These fellowships are highly competitive, and it is very unusual for successful applicants to get one straight out of a PhD – generally successful applicants have between 2-5 years postdoc experience. In addition the EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme may fund people from EU countries wishing to move to the UK quite soon after their doctorate. The benefit of a personal fellowship is that you have more or less complete academic freedom. Our aim in the EGI is to provide you with a stimulating place to carry out high-quality research: something that benefits both of us.

Yellow-fronted tinker birdIn all cases, there can be a surprisingly long delay between the initial idea for an application, the completion of the application, and the start of the project: probably a minimum of nine months. A successful application takes a lot of work (both on your part and also on behalf of your supporter here), and needs to be polished: after all, you may trying to persuade the tax-payer to part with upwards of a quarter of a million pounds! The bottom line is that a successful application needs a lot of time, thought and work – often more than writing up the average research paper.

If you are interested in pursuing one of these routes, then the approach is, first, to identify a potential contact within the EGI, second, to do the background work in developing the ideas before taking things too far, and then third to discuss the application in depth with your contact. Obviously you will need to have some idea of your chosen area of research before taking the first step, but it is at least advisable to make the approach early, rather than at a later stage, only to find out that there is no room for additional postdocs at the institute.