Postdoctoral Fellowships

The 2019 competition has now closed. Details for the 2020 competition will be available in late 2019. 

The Grand Union Doctoral Training Parternship is pleased to invite applications for ESRC-funded postdoctoral Fellowships to commence 1 October 2019. They 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 six, one-year Fellowships, at least one of which must be aligned with the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, either by addressing skills gaps (eg. through use of advanced quantitative methods and/or data skills) or a programme of activities that involves direct engagement with partners in business and industry (eg. project collaboration or a placement).

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 24 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.



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 (22 March 2019), 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 22 March 2019.


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 based at the University 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 22 March 2019 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 June 2019.


ESRC Call Specification     ESRC FAQs   


Application Forms

Application Form     Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form


Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Candidates may find the slides from the information session held in 2017 useful for general reference, however please note that some specific information will have changed.  

PDF Briefing Slides 2017



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
List of site pages