Postdoctoral Fellowships


The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership invites applications for up to four, one-year Postdoctoral Fellowships to commence on 1 October 2024. The fellows will be based at one of our partner institutions: Brunel University London, The Open University or the University of Oxford. 

Fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD and prepare for the next stage of their research careers. This is likely to be a research career in academia; however, those with a clearly articulated programme of activities to support their transition to a research career outside of academia (e.g. a researcher in public, private, or civil society organisations) will also be considered.

Proposals are welcome from single or multi-disciplinary backgrounds but the fellowship activities must be aligned to one of the Grand Union DTP’s 23 thematic pathways and based at least 50% within the social sciences.

Grants will cover salary costs, and candidates can apply for up to £10,000 to support mentoring costs and additional research activity (eg. travel conference attendance, training, and fieldwork). As a general guide, mentor costs will be around £4,000 and candidates can apply for around £6,000 for additional activity. 

Fellows must be based in a Department or academic unit that is a host for the relevant pathway (these are listed on the individual pathway pages).



The call will be open to applicants who have undertaken their PhD at a UK research organisation and the fellowship must be held at a research organisation that is part of a DTP eligible to participate in this initiative and aligned to an accredited subject area: At the application submission deadline (16 May 2024), the applicant must either have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date (expected to be 01 October 2024).

Grants are restricted to those with no more than 12 months of active postdoctoral experience. This is measure from the applicant's viva voce pass date to the application deadline of 16 May 2024.


Application Process 

Full details on the scheme are available below in the ESRC Call Specification and FAQ Documents. This year, there will be a two stage competition, 1) an expression of interest stage, then 2) a full application stage.

Candidates should identify the DTP pathway to which they would be aligned and consult the relevant department/academic unit about potential applications to ensure compliance. Details are available on the specific Pathway Page.

Fellows are required to have a mentor who is a senior colleague based at the University and in pathway where the Fellowship is held. The mentor, wherever possible, should not be the PhD supervisor. If you need help identifying a suitable mentor, please contact the relevant Pathway Lead


1) Expression of Interest Stage

Applicants should submit their CV (2x sides of A4 maximum, font size 11) and case for support (6 sides of A4 maximum, font size 11) to the relevant department if they wish to be considered. Individual departments may request additional documents to be submitted if they wish as part of expression of interest process.

The deadline for submitting the documents for the Expression of Interest to the relevant department is midday 20 March 2024

Interested Applicants will receive confirmation by the 11 April 2024 from the department if they are to be asked to submit the application in full.


2) Full Application Stage

If invited by the department to submit a full application, an application form and all required documents detailed in the ESRC Call Specification must be submitted as a single pdf via the relevant department/academic unit by 16:00 on 16 May 2024 to The DTP will not accept applications submitted directly by candidates. 

In order to support ESRC equality and diversity monitoring, applicants are also asked to complete and return an Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form separately to the main application. Information received will be anonymised, will not form part of any selection process and will not be disclosed to the selection panel or department/academic unit.

The Grand Union DTP will peer review the proposals and make funding decisions on behalf of the ESRC by end of June 2024.


ESRC Call Specification     ESRC FAQs


Application Forms


Expression of Interest Application Form     Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form



General queries about the scheme and/or departmental/unit contacts at either Brunel University London, The Open University or the University of Oxford can be directed to the following:

Institution Contact
Brunel University London
The Open University
University of Oxford