David Phillips Fellowship at BBSRC

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The David Phillips Fellowship (DPF) provides support for researchers wishing to establish their first independent research group. The DPF will invest in scientists who can demonstrate that they are on an upward trajectory and are eager to lead their own fully independent programme of research. David Phillips Fellows strive for continuous personal and professional development and have a strategy for how they will develop themselves and their team over the lifetime of the award. As such, the DPF enables BBSRC to supply the UK with highly skilled, professional research leaders.

Nature of award
Awards are for five years and include personal salary and a significant research support grant to enable fellows to establish their own independent research group. It is expected that up to five fellowships will be awarded, each at a value of up to £1 million (80% fEC). Please note : BBSRC will provide funds of up to £1 million (80% of the full economic cost). The total costs (100% full economic cost) requested may be up to £1.25 million. In addition to this investment, it is also expected that a substantial demonstration of support for the fellow be made by the host Research Organisation.  Proposals from candidates seeking flexible working arrangements (for example part-time) are encouraged; see the Fellowships handbook for further information.

Value for money
Applicants and host organisations should note that value for money is an essential criterion against which fellowship proposals will be assessed, alongside excellence and other key criteria. For this competition the reviewers and Research Committee E will be looking for evidence that the host organisation will contribute significantly, with financial and/or in-kind support if an award is made. Proposals that do not provide clear evidence that the research programme is highly competitive in terms of value for money, and in providing additional commitments, are unlikely to be successful.

To reflect this, the proposal now requires a template which must be completed by the host organisation Head of Department. This gives detail of the support the host commits to provide and should be attached as the Head of Department Statement, see the downloads section below. In previous rounds, host organisations have offered significant additional financial support, items of equipment or access to additional staff members or students to our fellows. It is expected at a minimum that hosts should provide support in terms of access to facilities, training courses and support for career development.

In addition, the justification of resources attachment must clearly show why the resources requested are good value for money and why it is in BBSRC's interests to provide investment. Also, letters of support from all parties contributing financial or other support should be uploaded to the proposal under the Letters of Support attachment giving full and accurate details of the commitments being made.

Research areas
Proposals can be submitted in any area of science within our remit. We particularly encourage applications that are aligned with our overarching strategic priorities.

Aimed at researchers who want to establish their first independent research group undertaking a programme of excellent research. Applicants will be able to demonstrate great potential and have a scientific career showing a clear upward trajectory.

To be considered eligible applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 30 November 2020. There is no limit on the number of years of postdoc experience. However, applicants should not hold, or have held, an academic position of lecturer level (or the equivalent in institutions other than universities) or an equivalent competitive fellowship that provides the opportunity to establish an independent research group and therefore independent researcher status. Nor should they have had an offer of such an appointment prior to the commencement of a fellowship, if awarded. This applies to both fixed term and permanent positions.

BBSRC would consider fellowships where the applicant is eligible to supervise PhD students or submit research grants as a PI as equivalent to a lectureship. For example, Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowships, MRC Career Development Awards or NERC Independent Research Fellowships. Note: holders of postdoctoral training fellowships such as the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions can apply. Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkins Fellows who meet the research experience eligibility requirement outlined above may also apply.

In addition, applicants will normally have no less than three years of active postdoctoral research experience. Please note that if applicants have previously applied for BBSRC grant funding as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (therefore confirming that they hold a lecturer level or equivalent post) they are not eligible to apply for a fellowship.

Prospective applicants on university “tenure track” fellowships should contact postdoc.fellowships@bbsrc.ukri.org to discuss their eligibility.

Applicants must notify BBSRC Office if they apply for, or are planning to apply for, any other UKRI funding (as either a PI or a Co-I) while their fellowship proposal is under review. If BBSRC discovers that an applicant has applied for alternative funding and has not notified the Office, BBSRC may withdraw the proposal or fellowship funding even if the applicant is successful. 

Note : DPF applicants are not eligible to apply to any additional 2020 BBSRC fellowship competitions or to the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship call in the same calendar year. Please see the Fellowship Handbook for further details on eligibility criteria.

LAST DATE : 11th June 2020, 4pm


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