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Development and Support – The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

This scheme offers opportunities for outstanding early career researchers to strengthen their experience of research and teaching in a university environment which will develop their CV and improve their prospects of obtaining permanent lecturing posts by the end of the Fellowship.

The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research, which will be assisted by full membership of an academic community of established scholars working in similar fields. The Fellowships will be tenable for 3 years. The Fellowship will cover the salary costs of the fellow plus £6,000 of research expenses over the three years.

Suitable subjects for the Fellowship include any field of research-based study within the humanities or social sciences. 

The British Academy application process will be held in two stages. The deadline for Outline applications is anticipated to be 14 October 2020 (TBC by the British Academy). The deadline for the second stage (by invitation only) will be mid-February 2021.

For full details and further guidance please consult the British Academy website.

Please note that the Scheme Notes for the 2020-21 scheme will be updated on 29 September 2020. Scheme Notes from the 2019-20 round have been kept online for reference only, the British Academy expects no major changes to the scheme.

Selection and Support Process at the University of Liverpool (2020-2021 scheme)

Given the highly competitive nature of this scheme, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has put in place an internal demand management process to select, and then closely support, potential candidates to be put forward with the University of Liverpool.

Interested applicants are invited to submit an Expressions of Interest to the School Research Team by Monday 24 August 2020, consisting of the following:

Selected applicants will be informed week commencing 31 August 2020. All shortlisted candidates will then receive further support from their Department as well as the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to develop and enhance their application before submission. A Faculty online workshop to support selected candidates will take place on 11 September, 11am-12pm.

Please contact the SLSJ Research and Impact Team via


Please ensure you check that you meet the eligibility criteria below before sending an Expression of Interest for consideration by the University of Liverpool:

  • Applicants must be supported by the UK host institution in which they wish to hold the Fellowship
  • Applicants must be within three years of the award of a doctorate (i.e. the date of your successful viva voce examination). This must fall between 1 April 2018 and 1st April 2021. Exemption from this criterion may be granted for reasons occurring after the date of the viva voce examination such as: maternity leave, illness, family commitments etc. If you are unsure about whether this applies to you, please contact the British Academy Research Funding Team.
  • Those who have been appointed to a permanent academic post in an institution of higher education at any time in their career are ineligible to apply.
  • British citizens and nationals from the European Economic Area are eligible, regardless of where their doctorate was obtained. Anyone of any nationality who has a doctorate from a UK university is eligible. If an applicant does not meet the prior categories, they may be accepted if they can demonstrate ‘strong prior association’ with the UK academic community. This typically means a current significant period of employment at a UK institution in either a teaching or research position at a postdoctorate level, which is not permanent.
  • The British Academy does not allow for resubmissions for the Postdoctoral Fellowship. If you have previously applied and failed to reach the Second Stage of the competition, you are not eligible to re-apply.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

We expect to receive EoIs from potential candidates by the deadline set above. However, we understand that the current unprecedented situation we are faced with due to the COVID-19 pandemic might impact people in different ways and we will try to be flexible where possible.

If you are unable to submit an EoI by 24 August due to the current situation please contact the relevant School Research Team to discuss any delay. Although we cannot guarantee acceptance of late EoIs we will try to be accommodating where possible. Late EoIs will be assessed and a possible extension granted on a case-by-case basis.

For University of Liverpool colleagues, the Faculty has put together an intranet page summarising internal support processes and timelines here.

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