BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship
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BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship

The notification for the BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship 2019 has been released. It is open to candidates overseas. Interested applicants are encouraged to check out all of the details on the summary, nature of awards, value of money, research areas, background, eligibility, application procedure, important dates and links all detailed below:

This call expires in :

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Table of Contents


The David Phillips Fellowship (DPF) will provide support for researchers wishing to establish their first independent research group. The DPF will invest in scientists who have shown high potential, can demonstrate that they are on an upward trajectory with clear evidence of strong scientific outputs and leadership qualities, and are aiming to establish their own fully independent programme of research. As such the DPF represents part of our commitment to the supply of highly skilled professional research leaders to the UK.

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 (for example in terms of access to facilities and equipment, training, research costs etc.). Applications are welcome from candidates seeking flexible working arrangements (for example part-time); see the Fellowships handbook for further information (see downloads section).

Value for money

Applicants and host organisations should note that value for money is an essential criterion against which fellowship applications will be assessed, alongside excellence and other key criteria. For this competition the reviewers and Research Committee E will be looking for written evidence that the host organisation will contribute significant support, either financially 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 funding commitments, are unlikely to be successful.

Applicants must ensure that the Partnership Details section of the Je-S proforma contains details of all institutional support that will be made available if the applicant is successful in obtaining a BBSRC award. 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.


  • Applicants should hold a PhD, but not hold, have held or had the offer of an academic position at Lecturer level (or the equivalent in institutions other than universities). 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
  • It is expected that applicants will have at least three years of active postdoctoral research experience prior to February 2019

Note: David Phillips Fellowship applicants are not eligible to apply to any additional 2019 BBSRC fellowship competitions or to the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship call.

Non-European economic area applicants

  • All successful applicants who require a visa to work in the UK will be eligible to be considered under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route. In line with the highly prestigious nature of the award, this visa route is designed for people who are internationally recognized as world leaders or potential world-leading talent in the fields of science and the arts and enables the holder to be both adaptable and flexible during their research in the UK
  • The grant of any visa is always subject to the standard Home Office general grounds for refusal of a visa. UK Research and Innovation is able to provide additional guidance regarding the appropriate evidence required to complete the visa application process under the Exceptional Talent visa. Please contact [email protected] for further details

Assessment criteria

The fellowships are designed to provide career enhancement to support outstanding scientists in the initial stages of their career, and there is therefore a strong emphasis on the scientific potential of the candidates. In making these awards, BBSRC will be seeking to identify scientists who can be expected in the future to be among the leaders of their generation of bio-scientists, and applicants should demonstrate how a BBSRC David Phillips fellowship will be of benefit to them.

As such, the excellence of the proposed research project, the research environment in which the fellowships will be undertaken, and the career trajectory, potential, and track record of the applicant will all be considered by Research Committee E. The following will therefore be looked at:


  • Scientific quality and feasibility of the proposed research project
  • Timeliness of the research project and how it will advance the field


  • Track record
  • Career trajectory
  • Evidence of independence and leadership
  • How the applicant will use the fellowship to establish themselves as a research leader

Research Environment:

  • The scientific environment of the host department and institute
  • Evidence of career and professional development support (for example access to mentoring programmes, training events, clear plan for tenure track etc.)
  • Evidence of research support (for example additional financial support or research staff, access to core facilities etc.)

How to apply

  1. Log in to Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system
  2. Select Council: BBSRC
  3. Select Document Type: Fellowship Proposal
  4. Select Scheme: Fellowship
  5. Select Call/Type/Mode: David Phillips Fellowships – 9 May 2019
  6. Click Create Document

Proposals will require the following mandatory attachments (see also DPF Je-S help text in application downloads below):

  • CV. You should complete the standard CV template. We do not accept standalone CVs
  • Case for support and track record
  • Diagrammatic workplan
  • Data management plan
  • List of publications
  • Head of department statement
  • Justification of resources
  • Pathways to impact plan

Animal usage mandatory requirement:

For proposals with overseas animal use, please refer to our grants guide (see downloads section), paragraph 4.18, for details of the additional information for specific species that must be provided with the proposal.

Fellowships are awarded under full economic costing (fEC). Support for proposed research should be costed in line with the grants guide.

Detailed guidance on how to complete proposal forms and attachments can be found in the DPF Je-S help text (see application downloads below) and in the Fellowships Handbook (see downloads section). Note: Please do not use the fellowship help text in the Je-S system.

We do not accept late proposals.

Important: applicants should ensure proposals are submitted to their host institution’s Je-S submitter/approval pool well in advance (a minimum of 5 working days) of the published deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out before final submission to BBSRC.

Please also refer to the full UK Research and Innovation terms and conditions, our grants guide and fellowship handbook.

Application downloads

Fellowships CV template (DOC 126KB)You may need to download additional plug-ins to open this file.

David Phillips Fellowships: Frequently asked questions (PDF 136KB)You may need to download additional plug-ins to open this file.

David Phillips Fellowships: Top submission tips for applicants (PDF 271KB)You may need to download additional plug-ins to open this file.

Important Dates:

Application deadline 9 May 2019, 16:00
Reviewing stage June – September 2019
Fellowship shortlisting for interviews October 2019
Fellowship interviews December 2019
Fellowship award notification December 2019/January 2020


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