Frequently asked questions

We’ve tried to list some of the most common questions you may have on the programme. Before applying –have a look at some of them below, simply click on the question box and the answer will appear below it.


  • How do I find out whether my application is successful?
    Candidates short-listed for interview will be notified by 20th April 2018. If you do not hear from us by this calendar week then assume that your application has been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, due to the very high volume of applications that we receive, we are unable to give feedback on individual applications.


  • I am not a UK/Irish citizen but am currently undertaking research in the UK/Ireland, am I eligible?
    Yes you are eligible to apply. This year, the fellowship is open to all citizens. However, candidates must already have a confirmed contract at a University or Research Institute within the UK or Ireland that covers the entire 12-month period of the fellowship.

    Applicants must be residing within the UK or Ireland at the time of application.
  • Which fields of research are covered by the Fellowship?
    The fields of research are life sciences (including medical sciences), physical sciences, computer science, engineering and mathematics. Psychology, science education and social sciences are not eligible for this Fellowship.
  • I am currently working towards my PhD. Am I eligible?
    No. Candidates must have completed and been awarded a research doctorate by the time of application.
  • What is counted as no more than 10 years' active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience?
    Candidates must have no more than 10 years' active full-time equivalent postdoctoral experience. This discounts career breaks, such as maternity leave, carer leave, ill health, EU national service and voluntary service overseas, but includes teaching experience and/or time spent in industry. Part-time work is counted on a pro-rata basis.
  • How do you define not holding a 'permanent academic post'?
    Candidates must not currently hold a permanent academic post, or have held a permanent academic post in the past, or have received, before the start date of the award, the promise of a permanent academic post.

    A permanent academic post is defined as one which includes lecturing and administrative responsibilities alongside research, and which is not dependent on research income but funded from general university/institute funds; it is also for an indefinite period, but may be terminated on notice.
  • Am I able to hold the Fellowship on a part-time basis?
    The Fellowship is intended to provide flexible support for women scientists to pursue and continue their research careers in the UK or Ireland. Recipients can take up the award to pursue their research project either full-time or on a part-time basis to allow them to meet caring responsibilities etc.
  • I want to use the Fellowship to conduct research outside the UK/Ireland. Am I able to do so?
    Fellowships must be held at a UK or Irish University or Research Institute, and research must be carried out under the auspices of an academic supervisor or mentor at the host institution. However, award holders may conduct field work overseas as part of the UK or Ireland-based research supported by the Fellowship.
  • Do you accept joint applications?
    The Fellowships are awarded to individuals. We do not accept joint applications.

Required Documentation

  • Can I submit a paper application?
    We can only accept applications made online. You will need to visit to create an account and complete an application.
  • What are the guidelines regarding the length of the proposed research plan?
    The research plan should not exceed 1,000 words (excluding references but including figure legends).
  • What should be included in the candidate statement?
    The candidate statement should explain how the Fellowship will enable you to undertake your research and contribute to your career, and why the Fellowship is important to the funding of your research. Please specify how this award will help to overcome any obstacles and barriers which may have impeded your career progress to date. You should bear in mind that the Fellowships are designed to provide flexible support and make a convincing case for the difference that this Fellowship will make to you. The candidate statement can include justification for the proposed expenditure choices that you make in the budget section of the application. The candidate statement should be no more than 500 words.
  • What is required from the letter of acceptance from my proposed host institution?
    Your application should include a letter of acceptance from your proposed host institution. The letter should confirm your contract at the University/Research Institute and they are able to provide you with the appropriate space and facilities for the duration of the 12-month period to undertake the research that the Fellowship would support. You must upload the letter (as a word or pdf document) to your application.
  • How many letters of recommendation are required?
    A completed application requires two letters of recommendation. These should be written by individuals who have personal knowledge of your qualifications and suitability for the Fellowship. These referees should be academic supervisors acquainted with your most recent periods of formal academic study or research.
  • How should letters of recommendation be submitted?
    You will be asked to fill in contact details for your two referees on the application form and then to contact them yourselves for a reference. When you have received the letters of reference, you will be asked to upload them onto the system as part of your application form. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that letters of recommendation are completed and received before the deadline.
  • To whom should my referees address their letter of recommendation?
    Letters of recommendation should be addressed to "The 2018 For Women in Science Jury Panel".
  • Do I need to send degree certificates as supporting documentation?
    You do not need to send us your degree certificates at the time of application. If you are shortlisted for interview, you will be required to provide certified copies of your undergraduate and postgraduate degree certificates.

Award Payment and Use

  • What can I use the Fellowship award money for?
    The Fellowship is intended to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research. The award money will be paid in full at the start of the Fellowship, which must be within 6 months of the announcement of the award. Only in exceptional circumstances will a later start date be considered. Recipients are required to submit a final scientific report and a final financial expenditure statement on completion of the Fellowship.

    The fellowship grant can be used to fund conference or collaborator travel, purchase of consumables or equipment, paying for childcare, funding a student/research assistant, publishing costs.

    The funds cannot be used to pay for the candidate’s salary or living expenses.
  • What is the payment structure/timing for the award money?
    The award is paid directly to the beneficiary unless the beneficiary requests that it should be paid into a university department bank account on her behalf.
  • Am I able to hold the Fellowship alongside other awards/fellowships?
    Yes. Recipients are allowed to hold the Fellowship alongside other awards, grants, scholarships and fellowships, but these must be declared. Candidates should advise the For Women in Science team if they receive another award, grant, scholarship or fellowship which covers the proposed research project.

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