Fellowship scheme offers scientists the freedom to shine

July 31, 2008

A new fellowship scheme has been launched at Imperial College London which will give emerging scientists freedom to pursue their research "unfettered by other demands".

Under the Junior Research Fellowship scheme, successful applicants will be given three years free from teaching and administration duties to establish and develop their research careers.

Imperial is committing £3.6 million to establish 60 fellowships over three years in a move designed to help new academics make the often difficult leap from postdoctoral researcher to lecturer.

The college has said that proposals will be accepted in all of Imperial's core disciplines and in interdisciplinary projects, and researchers of all nationalities are free to apply.

Stipends will range from £29,690 to £34,920, with up to £10,000 available each year towards expenses.

Maggie Dallman, of Imperial's Faculty of Natural Sciences, who benefited from a similar fellowship at the University of Oxford, launched the scheme.

She said: "Young researchers are under pressure to write grant applications, get money to fund their research, start teaching and start administrative duties. This scheme will enable fellows to apply for external funding and develop their research career in an independent manner."

She identified only one criterion for applicants: "An outstanding track record in science."

Those applying should normally have between two and four years of postdoctoral experience and they will need to identify a senior academic at Imperial to act as a sponsor and provide lab space.

The closing date for applications is 30 November 2008 and the first round of fellowships will begin in October 2009.

matt.rooney@tsleducation.com.

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