Making science work for development

Grants Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship

The Royal Society Wolfson Fellowship provides long-term flexible funding for senior career researchers recruited or retained to a UK university or research institution in fields identified as a strategic priority for the host department or organisation.

The scheme covers all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering, but excluding clinical medicine.

The Wolfson Foundation

The scheme is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Royal Society. 

How do I apply for this scheme?

The Vice Chancellor, Institute Director (or their nominated representative) will need to contact the Royal Society Grants Office by email (seniorfellowshipsatroyalsociety [dot] org), after which a weblink to a nomination form on the Royal Society’s Grants and Awards management system (Flexi-Grant®) will be provided. After the completed nomination form has been considered by the Royal Society, the nominated researcher (applicant) will be sent a weblink inviting them to complete and submit a full application in that current round on Flexi-Grant®.

Fast-track application route for ‘emergency’ recruitment and retention cases

We recognise that there can be urgent time-sensitive recruitment or retention cases where a rapid decision is required outside a current round. We therefore have a ‘Fast Track’ process available for such applications which can normally be resolved within 4-5 weeks. Please contact the Senior Fellowships team (seniorfellowshipsatroyalsociety [dot] org) if you wish to discuss this option.

Am I eligible to apply?

Applicants can be of any nationality.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • either currently hold a permanent post (funded by the host institution and can include partial funding of salary from an external grant) or have received a firm offer to take effect from the start of the appointment. 
  • conduct research in the life or physical sciences (including agriculture, mathematics, technology and engineering, but excluding clinical medicine).

Candidates from under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which are explained in the scheme notes.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

This scheme provides up to five years of funding.

Overseas recruitment applications: Up to £250,000 can be requested.  Funding can be used flexibly by the Research Fellow and as part of their start-up package to support their research programme and team and can cover:

  • salary – The institution may include a salary enhancement for the researcher. This will be limited to a maximum of 20% of the total salary.
  • research expenses – Flexible research expenses including consumables, travel, small pieces of equipment of up to £10K, access costs, undergraduate students and a contribution to technical support. 
  • 4 year PhD studentship – The cost of PhD studentship may only be included if the host organisation will commit to underwriting the remaining cost of the studentship and appropriate alternative supervision for the student in the event that the RS Wolfson Research Fellow leaves the institution.
  • other – The funding is intended to be flexible so other appropriate and justified research costs are also eligible.

Applications for researchers already in the host organisation: Up to £150,000 can be requested. Funding can be used flexibly by the Research Fellow to support their research programme and team. This can cover: 

  • salary – The institution may include a salary enhancement for the researcher. This will be limited to a maximum of 20% of the total salary.  This must be an enhancement and may not be used to offset existing costs to the organisation or to cover a pre-agreed pay increase or annual pay increase.  
  • research expenses – Flexible research expenses including consumables, travel, equipment, access costs, undergraduate students and a contribution to technical support.
  • 4 year PhD studentship – The cost of PhD studentship may only be included if the host organisation will commit to underwriting the remaining cost of the studentship and appropriate alternative supervision for the student in the event that the strategic research appointment holder leaves the institution.
  • other – The funding is intended to be flexible so other appropriate research costs as required are also eligible.

What is the application process?

The Vice Chancellor, Institute Director (or their nominated representative) will need to contact the Royal Society Grants Office by email (seniorfellowshipsatroyalsociety [dot] org), after which a weblink to a nomination form on the Royal Society’s Grants and Awards management system (Flexi-Grant®) will be provided. After the completed nomination form has been considered by the Royal Society, the nominated researcher (applicant) will be sent a weblink inviting them to complete and submit a full application in that current round on Flexi-Grant®.

There are normally three rounds per year.

Applications received by the application deadline will be considered at the Selection Panel meeting by the end of July 2018 and the outcome is likely to be announced by the end of 2018. 

Deadline: 2 May 2018
The Royal Society