Research Fellows play a key role within the Department of Zoology and make up approximately 40% of our academic staff. We have a seven point Fellowship Development Programme to support prospective applicants. If you are interested in joining our Department please contact either the PI that works in your area of interest, or the Head of Department, Ben Sheldon.
1. Identifying Awards
A number of UK and International schemes provide funding for early career researchers with excellent track records to achieve independence:-
- Royal Society University Research Fellowships
- Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships
- Wellcome Trust Fellowships
- NERC Fellowships
- BBSRC David Phillips Fellowships
- ERC Starting Grants
There are also various Fellowship Schemes which bridge the gap between post-doctoral and Fellowships. For example, Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, EU Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowships, EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships, HFSP Fellowships, Royal Society Newton Fellowships, JSPS Fellowships, Royal Commission of 1851 Fellowships and Daphne Jackson Fellowships. There are also several Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) advertised by Oxford colleges.
2. Supporting Local Candidates.
We will advise and support applications for Fellowships from internal and external candidates, and many staff have moved from positions such as post-doctoral positions within our Department to independent Fellowships. In all cases, it is necessary for the research plans to synergize with the strategic directions of the Department. We hold an annual ‘Fellowship Workshop’ to demystify the process of applying for Fellowships, explaining the various ways in which we can help (see below) and the relationship between Fellowships and career paths in science. Please engage in discussion with the PI and/or the Head of the Department.
3. Preparing Applications
Writing a Fellowship application can be a daunting process, but we can help. Our academic staff have considerable expertise in writing and assessing applications and can help support you at all stages of preparing an application. Examples of previous Fellowship applications can also be provided.
4. Mock Interviews
In many schemes, an interview is the final step in the Fellowship application process. We provide mock interview practice and have found that this has a positive impact on success rates.
5. Support and Mentoring
Fellows are assigned a mentor who provides support and advice. The aim of the mentoring system is to: (i) aid the progression to an independent researcher and group leader; (ii) identify ways in which the Department can best support and help you; (iii) facilitate progression to either another Fellowship or permanent position.
The Department of Zoology is dedicated to upholding and developing good employment practice for women working in science, and has held an Athena Swan Award since 2010, for its initiatives in this area.
6. Academic Success
Once you have obtained a Fellowship, the Department can provide a wealth of support and advice to assist you in maximizing the success of your Fellowship research.
- Grants.Various Fellowship schemes allow you to apply for additional research funding. Advice and information can be provided for external funding applications.
- Additional Funding Support. Oxford has a diverse range of internal funding schemes to support research, e.g. from pilot projects.
- Graduate Students.Fellows holding Fellowships of at least three years duration are actively encouraged to supervise DPhil (=PhD) students from their first year.
- Recognition. We actively nominate researchers for national and international awards, such as Zoological Society of London Scientific Medal, Michael Faraday Prize, and L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Awards.
7. The Next Step
Research Fellowships provide an amazing opportunity for independent research. However, they only provide funding for a certain number of years. We provide support and advise how to take your career to the next level.