Ernest Rutherford Fellowship

The Ernest Rutherford Fellowships will enable early career researchers with clear leadership potential to establish a strong, independent research programme. They will encourage talented researchers in UK universities to remain in the country and at the same time attract outstanding overseas researchers to the UK.

Applicants who have applied for the - UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships can also apply for an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship but cannot hold two fellowships which fund their working time simultaneously.

An analysis of Fellows who have completed their Fellowship since 2009, disclosed all Fellows were employed and 92% held permanent jobs. Further details showing the key benefits of a Fellowship can be found in analysis of questionnaires.

STFC currently supports a number of Ernest Rutherford Fellows undertaking a range of research within STFC core science areas.

Statement of Expectations for Fellows

Research Councils UK (RCUK) has published its Statement of Expectations for Fellows, which sets out common principles for all Research Council-funded fellows.

Key facts

Each Fellowship will last for five years, with 11 being offered in the 2018/19 round. The aim is to support future scientific leaders to establish a strong, independent research programme.

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships are intended for early career researchers who do not have an academic position.

Applicants should read the competency framework to determine the skills, knowledge and experience needed to apply for an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship.

The Ernest Rutherford Grant Funding scheme is no longer available for successful fellowship applicants.

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships years of Post-Doctoral experience - applicants

Call Post-Doctoral Experience Average
  1 to 3yrs 4 to 6yrs 7 to 9yrs 10yrs + per call
ERF 2011 20 6 44 16 6
ERF 2012 23 83 47 17 6
ERF 2013 9 76 51 14 6
ERF 2014 16 81 46 23 7
ERF 2015 15 72 51 21 7
ERF 2016 11 80 41 21 6.5
ERF 2017 16 75 45 27 6.5
ERF 2018 8 77 55 20 6.8

Ernest Rutherford Fellowships years of Post Doc experience - awarded

Call Post-Doctoral Experience Average
  1 to 3yrs 4 to 6yrs 7 to 9yrs 10yrs + per call
ERF 2011 3 9 3 1 6
ERF 2012 2 4 6 2 6
ERF 2013 2 1 7 2 7
ERF 2014 2 7 1 2 6
ERF 2015 2 8 2 0 5
ERF 2016 0 6 5 2 7
ERF 2017 1 5 5 1 6
ERF 2018 0 6 5 0 6.2

How to apply

The next Call will open 1 July 2019 and close 19 September 2019.

The web page and 2019 Guidance notes will be updated in June 2019.

Departments have been informed of their fellowship application limits for the 2018 round.

You are advised to contact your proposed host department as early as possible and certainly well ahead of the deadline for submission of applications. Departments may have internal processes to select which candidates to support and the timetables for these vary.

Applications are encouraged from those seeking to resume a research career, following a period of absence from active research. Details can be found on our Returner Fellowships web page.

To apply for an Ernest Rutherford Fellowship you are strongly advised to read the guidance notes (PDF, 231 KB). These contain the rules and regulations for the scheme and advise on completing the online application form in Je-S.

Important information

STFC will reject a proposal if it does not follow the application rules without the possibility of amendment. The only exception would be where a problem occurred because of issues in downloading the proposal into Research Council systems.

All documents must be submitted as pdf attachments and written as per STFC requirements. You must use the CV template of a maximum of two sides of A4. The format of the CV template should not be altered. An exception will be made for Applicants who complete the section on Career Breaks. Further information is available in the guidance notes (PDF, 240 KB).


Decisions on who to invite for interview will be made mid/late January 2019.

Interviews will be held 12 – 14 February 2019.



Fellowships and general enquiries

Tel: +(44) (0) 1793 413195

Last updated: 01 April 2019


Science and Technology Facilities Council
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