Early-career researchers from higher education and research institutions can now apply for the Early Career Fellowships scheme under the International Science Partnerships Fund (ISPF), managed by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology in the UK. This scheme awards fellows, potentially including those traveling with dependents, opportunities to conduct research in UK institutions and advance their careers.

About the Scheme

The ISPF Early Career Fellowships scheme will enable early-career researchers to collaborate internationally and gain access to new research environments, facilities, knowledge, and expertise, creating lasting benefits for the Early Career Fellow, as well as the UK and international research communities, through sustainable collaboration.

The scheme supports three fellows per a participating UK institution to conduct research related to the four overarching themes of the ISPF.

  • Resilient planet – leading the green industrial revolution to protect the planet.
  • Healthy people, animals and plants – researching and innovating for secure and healthy populations.
  • Transformative technologies – developing responsible technologies to secure our place in tomorrow’s world.
  • Tomorrow’s talent – nurturing talent to drive inclusion, research and innovation.

Why you should apply

In addition to the opportunities of conducting research at UK institutions to develop your career, the scheme provides:

  • minimum £27,979 bursary payment plus relevant London weighting if applicable. 
  • £10,000 per 12 months (pro rata for shorter fellowships) for research related expenses. 
  • other allowable costs, such as:   

o IELTS exam fee if applicable (for fellows without a valid Test of English). 
o Return economy-class travel from home country to the UK 
o Visa and insurance / NHS surcharge costs
o Ad hoc costs (heavy baggage allowance, etc.)

Who can apply

The application for ISPF Early Career Fellowships scheme is now open for early career researchers from the eligible countries/territories who:

  • have a proven background or interest in the proposed research area,
  • demonstrate passions and plans to engage with other early career researchers from the home countries/territories, 
  • have passion to contribute to capacity-building and socio-economic advancement after the scheme,
  • meet the English language requirement of the UK HEI.

Full eligibility criteria are available below in the corresponding universities’ websites. 

How to apply

Please visit the corresponding universities’ websites for more details:

Aston University

1. Sustainability
2. Renewable energy
3. Gender equality and social inclusion
4. Policy

Deadlines for applications:

These vary depending on the institution. Please check the deadlines with your chosen institution carefully to avoid any disappointment.

Please ensure you check and meet all the eligibility requirements before applying. After applying, you will next hear directly from the university about the status of your application.

About the International Science Partnerships Fund

The International Science Partnerships Fund is designed to enable potential and foster prosperity. It puts research and innovation at the heart of our international relationships, supporting UK researchers and innovators to work with peers around the world on the major themes of our time: planet, health, tech, and talent. The fund is managed by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and delivered by a consortium of the UK’s leading research and innovation bodies, which includes: UK Research and Innovation (comprising the 7 research councils, Innovate UK and Research England), the UK Academies, the British Council, the Met Office, the National Physical Laboratory, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and Universities UK International.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

British Council are committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and to continuing to attract and nurture talented people from the widest pool to remain internationally competitive in research and innovation. We believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to flourish and succeed. This includes avoidance of bias due to disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex (gender), and age.

The British Council is committed to equal opportunities and diversity and will consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests for support to encourage underrepresented groups to engage in ISPF activity, so long as sufficient justification is provided.