skip to content

ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences

Image of inside Cambridge University Library

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

Each year the Cambridge ESRC DTP invites applications for up to six Postdoctoral Fellowships, to be based within the Cambridge ESRC DTP's participating departments.

The Fellowship is intended to provide support to those who are within 12 months of completing their PhD, to support them in consolidating their PhD, and preparing them for the next stage of their research careers. For the majority this is likely to be a research career in academia; however, those with a clearly articulated programme of activities to support their transition to a research career outside of academia (eg a researcher in public, private, or civil society organisations) will also be considered.

The grants provide funding for up to one year full-time, or up to two years part-time to give fellows time to prepare for a successful career in research either within or beyond academia.


  • Applicants must have completed their PhD at one of the eligible DTP institutions but they do not need to have held an ESRC-funded doctoral studentship in order to apply.
  • All fellowships must be based within one of the 26 participating Departments of the Cambridge ESRC DTP.
  • Fellowships are bound by the same conditions as ESRC standard grants:  They are open to all applicants (Home and international); there are no residential restrictions beyond the grant holder being resident in the UK for the period of the fellowship award.
  • Applications can be supported on a part-time basis, but Fellows must devote 100% of their contracted time to the Fellowship. This can include contributions to teaching, subject to restrictions specified by ESRC


  • All Fellows are required to have a mentor based within their respective research departments. The mentor should not normally be the applicant’s PhD supervisor.  To familiarise themselves with the interests of academic staff within the Cambridge ESRC DTP’s participating departments, applicants are advised to visit the staff pages of relevant Departmental websites and the Mentor section above.
  • A mentor should have the skills and experience relevant to the aims of the fellowship and the expertise to assist the fellow in achieving the goals and activities of their fellowship.  Consequently, we envisage that mentors would normally be at Professorial, Reader or Senior Lecturer level, ideally with 3 years’ experience as a PI or PhD supervisor, or have experience of supporting postdocs.


Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2021 - 22 have now been allocated.  The competition will re-open in 2022.