NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program 2023 | APPLY NOW

Applications are now open for the 2023 edition of the NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program, The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is inviting suitably qualified researchers like you for an opportunity to advance your career with a Total fund of £7,200,000 allocated to the program. This is an exclusive opportunity not to miss if you aspire to lead your own environmental research projects within eligible host organizations.

NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program

The NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program is designed to support researchers with high potential to become future leaders in independent research. This might just be the opportunity you seek and so we have in this comprehensive guide, the fellowship’s benefits, eligibility criteria, assessment process and how you can apply.

Before we go further on the details about this fellowship program, let’s discuss briefly about the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a prominent non-departmental public body of the UK government responsible for directing research and innovation funding. It was created in 2018.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), amalgamated nine organizations into a unified body, ensuring a more integrated approach to research and innovation funding.

NERC Independent Research Fellowship – Summary

  • Application status: Open
  • Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Funding type: Fellowship
  • Total fund: £7,200,000
  • Open call for application: 16 August 2023 9:00 am UK time
  • Target: Researchers
  • Deadline: November 8 2023 4:00 pm UK time

Benefits of the NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program

Participants of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Independent Research Fellowship, will share in the  substantial funding amount of £7,200,000,

This fund is intended to provide researchers with the necessary financial support to pursue their independent research projects.

Eligibility Criteria for NERC Independent Research Fellowship Program

  • Early career researchers looking to carry out independent research, are encouraged to apply
  • Applicants must show evidence of scientific and technical skills aligned with the program’s ambitions is required.
  • You can apply for this program is you’re expecting to complete your Ph.D. before March 2024
  • All holders of postdoctoral training fellowships can apply
  • Various eligibility criteria apply, including restrictions on certain academic positions and previous funding.

Assessment Process

  • The assessment process for this fellowship involves:
  • Expert reviewing and shortlisting panel
  • Interview panel to assess both scientific and non-scientific aspects of your proposed research, including leadership and impact.

How to Apply

To apply for the program and stand a chance of benefiting from the funding amount of £7,200,000, kindly follow carefully the steps below:

  • Visit the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on
  • Confirm your role as the project lead.
  • Create a UKRI Funding Service account or sign in if you have one.
  • Answer application questions directly.
  • Review your application before submitting it to your research office.
  • The research office will submit the completed application to UKRI.

More details can be found here:

Fellowship Timeline:

  • Opening date: 16 August 2023
  • Application Deadline: November 08, 2023
  • Date for Interview panel: April 2024


Who is eligible to apply for the fellowship program?

Early career researchers working towards independent research leadership can apply.

What is the total funding available under the program?

The program offers a total fund of £7,200,000.

Can PhD students apply for the fellowship?

Ph.D. students expecting to have completed their viva before March 2024 are eligible.

What is the timeline for the assessment process?

The assessment process aims to be completed within seven months of receiving applications.

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