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The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships for Outstanding Researchers 2024

The Royal Academy of Engineering offers Research Fellowships each year to outstanding early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering. The scheme's objectives are to:

  • support the best early-career researchers in establishing their independence and international reputation
  • provide long-term support enabling the pursuit of an ambitious programme of engineering research and impact
  • develop ambassadors for the Academy and advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines

Aim and Benefits 

The scheme is funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) and provides funding for five years. Each application is capped at a maximum contribution from the Academy of £625,000 over the five-year period, at 80% of full economic costs.

In addition to the direct financial support, the scheme benefits include:

  • Mentoring support from an Academy Fellow to offer advice on research and career development.
  • Reduction of teaching and administrative duties to dedicate time to research.
  • Training and additional funding opportunities.
  • Networking opportunities with other Research Fellows and Academy Fellows.
  • An opportunity to establish a strong research track record which will improve the chances of securing additional funding and expanding their own research teams.
  • Be part of the RAEng Awardee Excellence Community.


  • Research Fellowships must be held at one of the following eligible institutions that can show it is capable of fully supporting an engineering-focused research project and researcher:
    • a UK higher education institution/university or
    • a UK research organisation that is eligible to receive UKRI funding. A list of eligible research organisations is included in the Applicant Guidance notes.
  1. The host institution must agree to provide the Research Fellow all the support normal for a permanent employee.
  2. The proposed research project must be in an engineering subject area. Engineering is defined in its broadest sense, encompassing a wide range of diverse fields.
  3. Research Fellowships are aimed at early-career researchers. Applicants must have a PhD, which was awarded (or the PhD has been unconditionally approved) no more than four years before the submission deadline: Wednesday 18 September 2024. This period includes applicants’ work experience in academia or/and in industry in the UK or/and worldwide. A margin of up to three months more than the four-year limit is acceptable. If applicants have had maternity/paternity leave or other extenuating circumstances (e.g. extended sick leave, national service, or caring responsibilities), this will be taken into consideration if the relevant dates and details are provided in the application form.
  4. Research Fellows will be employed by the host institution and are required to devote all their working time to the Research Fellowship programme of work. The Research Fellowship must be the Research Fellow’s only source of employment. The Research Fellow should be based at the host institution for more than 50% of the Research Fellowship. If the Research Fellow needs to work more than 50% of the Research Fellowship outside the host institution, justification must be provided in the application form (choice of host institution).
  5. There are no nationality and age restrictions for applicants. The host institution is responsible for securing all necessary work permits and related costs for the Research Fellows.
  6. Applicants who have applied to this scheme before and were unsuccessful are eligible to reapply. These applications will be considered as new applications.
  7. Research Fellowships must begin between 1 August 2025 and 31 October 2025. The duration of a Research Fellowship is five years full time, calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time awards. Requests for a shorter Research Fellowship are not accepted.
  8. There is a limit on the number of applications each host institution can submit. More information in the Applicant Guidance Notes.

Please note in previous rounds applicants must not hold a permanent academic position. This eligibility criterion is no longer applicable.

We remind you also that:

  • Research Fellowships cannot be jointly hosted by multiple institutions.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the host institution to gain their formal approval before applying.
  • Any applications that are incomplete or do not adhere to the guidance will be rejected.

Interview date, Process and Venue 

Research Fellowships must be held at a UK higher education institution/university or at a UK research organisation eligible to receive UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding.

Unlike previous rounds, the 2024/25 round would only include the Research Fellowship scheme and the Engineering for Development Research Fellowship (EDRF) scheme has been removed. However, we will continue to accept applications under the EDRF umbrella in the current round and they would be treated no differently to Research Fellowship applications.

Application Deadline

September 18, 2024

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to The Royal Academy of Engineering on to apply

The Academy welcomes applications from early-career researchers worldwide who have been awarded their PhD in the last four years.

For more details visit: The Royal Academy of Engineering website.

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