Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships in the UK for 2022/2023


The Royal Academy of Engineering offers Research Fellowships per year to exceptional early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering. The project’s objectives are to:

  • sustain the best early-career researchers in establishing their independence and international importance
  • provide long-term support promoting the pursuit of an ambitious program of engineering research and impact
  • create ambassadors for the Academy and advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines

Early-career researchers from all around the world who received their Ph.D. within the last four years are encouraged to submit proposals to the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Funding for the project is available for five years. The Academy will only contribute up to £625,000 each application over the course of five years, or 80% of the total economic costs. To receive funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Research Fellowships must be undertaken at a UK university or higher education institution or at a UK research organization.

The 2022/2023 round accepts applications for the following research fellowship schemes: 

  1. Research Fellowship
  2. Engineering for Development Research Fellowship


In addition to the direct financial support, the Research Fellowships benefits include:

  • an opportunity to set a research track record and in turn be in a stronger position to apply for additional funding and grow own research team
  • mentoring support from an Academy Fellow to offer advice on research and career development
  • reduction of teaching and administrative duties to devote time to research
  • training opportunities
  • networking opportunities with other Research Fellows and Academy Fellows

Eligibility for Research Fellowships

  1. Research Fellowships must be held by one of the following qualified institutions that can show it is capable of fully supporting an engineering-focused research project and researcher: a UK higher education institution/university or a UK research organization that is eligible to receive UKRI funding. (A list of qualified research organizations is included in the application guidance notes)
  2. Research Fellowships cannot be jointly hosted by multiple institutions
  3. The host institution must agree to provide the Research Fellow with all the support normal for a permanent employee.
  4. It is the candidate’s responsibility to contact the host institution to gain their formal approval before applying.
  5. The proposed research project must be in an engineering subject area. Engineering is defined in its widest sense, surrounding a wide range of diverse fields.
  6. Research Fellowships are aimed at early-career researchers. Scholars must have a Ph.D., which was awarded (or the Ph.D. has been unconditionally authorized) no more than four years before the submission deadline: Tuesday 20 September 2022. This period includes candidates’ work experience in academia or/and in the industry in the UK or/and worldwide. A margin of up to three months more than the four-year limit is acceptable. If candidates have had maternity/paternity leave or other extenuating circumstances (e.g. extended sick leave, national service, or caring responsibilities), this will be taken into consideration if the appropriate dates and details are provided in the application form.
  7. Research Fellows will be employed by the host institution and are needed to devote all their working time to the Research Fellowship program work. The Research Fellowship must be the Research Fellow’s only source of employment. The Research Fellow should be based at the host institution for more than 50% of the Research Fellowship. If the Research Fellow needs to work more than 50% of the Research Fellowship outside the host institution, justification must be provided in the application form (Choice of host institution).
  8. There are no nationality and age restrictions for candidates. The host institution is responsible for ensuring all required work permits and related costs for the Research Fellows.
  9. Applicants who have applied to this scheme before and were unsuccessful are eligible to reapply. These applications will be regarded as new applications.
  10. Research Fellowships must begin between 1 August 2023 and 31 October 2023. The duration of Research Fellowships is five years full-time, calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time awards. Requests for a shorter Research Fellowship are not accepted.
  11. There is a limit on the number of applications each host institution can submit (see Application limit).
  12. Any applications that are incomplete or do not stick to the guidance will be rejected.
  13. Once applied cannot be edited and updated.

How to Apply for Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships must be held at one of the following qualified institutions that can show it is capable of fully supporting an engineering-focused research project and researcher:

  • a UK higher education institution/university or
  • a UK research organization that is qualified to receive UKRI funding. (A list of eligible research organizations is included in the candidate guidance notes)

The host institution must also agree to give the Research Fellow all the assistance that would be expected of a regular employee. It is not possible for many universities to jointly host a research fellowship.

The total number of applications that each host institution may submit is restricted. Candidates must learn in advance about any internal selection procedures that the host institutions may have.

There are no restrictions on candidates’ nationalities or ages. All work permits and associated expenses for the Research Fellows must be handled by the host institution.


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