Postdoctoral Fellowships

**Please note the Grand Union DTP postdoctoral Fellowship application process is now closed. We will advertise when we are accepting applications for the 2022/2023 academic year**


The Grand Union Doctoral Training Parternship hosts several ESRC-funded postdoctoral Fellowships. The fellows will be based at one of our partner institutions: Brunel University London, The Open University or the University of Oxford. The DTP expects to award up to six, one-year Fellowships.

Fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills. 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 linked to 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 research organisation that is part of an ESRC-funded DTP or CDT. At the application submission deadline (23 March 2021), 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.

Grants are restricted to those with no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience, between passing their viva and the application deadline of 23 March 2021.


Application Process 

Full details on the scheme are available below in the ESRC Call Specification and FAQ Documents.

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 with any internal deadlines.

Fellows are required to have a mentor who is a senior colleague based at the University and in pathway where the Fellowship is held. If you need help identifying a suitable mentor, please contact the relevant Pathway Lead. 

An application form and required documents must be submitted as a single pdf via the relevant department/academic unit by 16.00 on 23 March 2021 to

In order to support ESRC equality and diversity monitoring, applicants are also asked to optionally 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 2021.


ESRC Call Specification     ESRC FAQs   


Application Forms

Application Form     Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form


Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Candidates may find the slides from the 2018 competition information session useful for general reference, however please note that some specific information will have changed.  

PDF Briefing Slides 



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

Departmental Internal Competitions - Special Deadlines

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15th February 2021 internal deadline for outline proposals

Full details of the Department's internal selection process may be found on

1 February 2021 - ODID’s internal competition deadline:

Prospective applicants should alert ODID’s Research and Grants Manager ( that they wish to submit an application to this competition at their earliest opportunity. Full drafts of all application materials are required alongside with a statement of support from the applicant’s mentor. Full drafts of all application materials are required by February 1, 2021.