David Sainsbury Fellowships, UK

Publish Date: Apr 02, 2016

Deadline: Apr 26, 2016

David Sainsbury Fellowships

David Sainsbury Fellowships support talented, 3Rs-minded scientists (with two to six years' postdoctoral experience) with the transition to an independent career. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit; those that integrate a range of disciplines or include an industrial partner are particularly encouraged.

Funding for David Sainsbury Fellowships is non-FEC and applicants can apply for a commensurate salary (as agreed by the host research organistion) and up to £30k per annum for other directly incurred research costs. Awards are for a three year duration and there is one competition per year. The budget for the 2016/17 call is £1 million.

Applicants should read the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which provides more detailed information about the application process. In addition, all prospective Fellowship applicants should consider assessing their competitiveness for the scheme against the NC3Rs Skills and Experience Framework before applying.

Establishment eligibility

Any UK research establishment including:

  • UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
  • Independent Research Organisations (IROs)
  • Research Council (RC) Institutes

Industrial organisations may act as collaborators but are not eligible to be primary host Research Organisations.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to find a host Research Organisation that will act as their employer.

Individual eligibility*

  • Applicants should be researchers with a minimum of two and a maximum of six years postdoctoral experience at the time of application.
  • There are no residency requirements and international applicants are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants are ineligible to apply if they already hold a permanent contract of employment at the host institution (e.g. lectureship position).
  • Applicants must identify a Sponsor at the host Research Organisation. If time will be spent outside the host Research Organisation, a Sponsor must also be identified at the collaborating institute.

Individual eligibility update*

If an NC3Rs grant holder has more than 12 months remaining on their NC3Rs grant, at the time of application, they are not permitted to apply as a Primary Investigator for further NC3Rs funding (excluding CRACK IT and Strategic Awards – please contact the Office to discuss).

Additional considerations

International applicants are eligible, however, the host Research Organisation must ensure that all necessary work permits are in place prior to the fellowship starting.

Applicants should assess their career stage and suitability for the scheme against the NC3Rs Skills and Experience Framework. This framework is intended to provide general guidance and clarity on the types of skills and competencies that potential applicants should seek to demonstrate at each career stage, taking into account career breaks, part-time working, and changes in discipline.

Applicants with more than six years' postdoctoral experience who have had a career break due to personal reasons or work outside of active research should contact fellowships@nc3rs.org.uk to check their eligibility.


The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.

How to apply

Applicants are advised to read and refer to the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, which contains more detailed information on submitting both an outline and full application.

Outlines and full applications received after 4pm on the deadline date will not be considered, without exception.

Outline stage

Before submitting a full application, applicants are required to complete an outline of the research proposal.

A CV is also required and should include:

  • Award date of PhD (date on degree certificate)
  • Employment history
  • Full list of publications (including those submitted or in press)

Please email completed outlines and CVs to fellowships@nc3rs.org.uk

Submitting a full application

We use the Research Councils' joint electronic submission system (Je-S) and applications are processed by the RCUK Shared Business Services. Completed proposals should be submitted through Je-S.

If you experience difficulties using Je-S or have questions regarding its use, contact the Je-S helpdesk.

Email: JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk      Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164

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Host Countries

United Kingdom