RSE Saltire Early Career Fellowships

12/07/2021 12:00 pm

PhD students: stipend of £16,000 per year. ECR: salary up to £55,000 plus research costs of £10,000 per year. (pro-rata)


3-12 months

The Royal Society of Edinburgh, in collaboration with the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government, is pleased to invite applications for the RSE saltire early career Fellowships.

The purpose of the RSE saltire early career Fellowships is to provide PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and Early Career Researchers with a 3–12 month opportunity to focus on a research project of their choice in a university or research institute in another country, thereby supporting career development and high-quality research production through European connections and collaboration via inbound/outbound research placements.

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  • Open to PhD students, postdoctoral, Early Career Researchers of all disciplines. This terminology takes no account either of an applicant’s age or current status in determining eligibility for this award.
  • Current PhD students can apply at the start of Year 2 onwards (or part time equivalent) of their PhD programme. Our funding is conditional on any PhD scholarship funder allowing this within their terms and conditions. During the period of RSE award, PhD scholarship stipend funding should be postponed and granted as an extension for the same length as the RSE Early Career Fellowships.
  • Postdoctoral researchers may apply. The RSE defines a postdoctoral scholar (“postdoc”) as an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of their choosing.

NB: For postdoctoral researchers, please note that the RSE will take a liberal and supportive definition of the term ‘temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training’. It is not expected, given current circumstances, that postdoctoral applicants will be in an open-ended post or one that extends for some time beyond the lifetime of the proposed project.

  • Early Career Researcher (ECR) definition: ECR applicants must be within seven years of the award of their PhD (from the point of successful PhD viva to the point of applying) and be within seven years of their first academic appointment (paid contract of employment which lists research or teaching as the primary role).
  • Additionally:
    • Maternity/paternity/parental/adoption leave after award of PhD of up to 18 months per child is taken into consideration. Please include the time you were away from work on maternity/paternity/adoption leave in the section ‘career history’;
    • Documented periods of leave for other reasons, i.e., long-term medical absence, will also be taken into consideration.
  • Early Career Researchers: Applicants must be existing members of academic staff on open-ended or continuing contracts in a Higher Education Institution in Scotland or EU Higher Education Institution. Applicants on short or fixed-term contracts should ensure their contracts extend for at least three months after the end of the proposed project. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) on staged contracts to permanent lectureship positions are eligible but must be in a contract for the duration of the award.
  • Open to academics based in Scotland or an EU country (see general terms and conditions for definitions of country eligibility). Applicants must identify a temporary host institution from an EU country (Scottish applicants) or Scotland (EU applicants).
  • An application will not be considered if a report on a previous RSE grant is overdue.


PhD student: The Award provides up to an equivalent UK stipend of £16,000 per year. This will be pro-rata depending on the length of the Fellowship (3–12 months).

Early Career Researcher and postdoctoral: The Award provides a contribution towards the salary costs for the applicant of up to £55,000 (including on costs). This will be pro-rata depending on the length of the Fellowship (3–12 months). Plus £10,000 research costs.


  • Applicants are required to pursue their research in a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Research Institute (RI) or Cultural Institution in Scotland or EU country; only these are acceptable as host and participating institutions.
  • The research can be in any academic discipline.


The funding will open for applications from Monday 28 June 2021; applicants are required to:

  1. Optional: Download an offline version of the RSE saltire early career Fellowships application form. This can be used for reference for the online application opening on Monday 28 June. Please note if you choose to fill out this form you will be able to copy and paste the details into the final application.
  2. Create a profile on the RSE CiviCRM, or log in using your existing details
  3. From Monday 28 June, you can access the online application.
  4. Complete the details to submit your online application form by Monday 12 July, 12:00
  5. Upload as part of the online form a statement of support from your head of department and an institutional statement of support and if you are undertaking your research at a different institution to the one from where you are usually employed a statement of support from that institution.
  6. Arrange for two referee forms to be sent to the RSE [email protected] by Monday 12 July 2021, 12:00. These are available to download from the resources below.
  7. Successful applications should have a start date between Wednesday 1 September 2021- Tuesday 31 March 2022


Register on RSE CiviCRM to apply


For more information regarding the award, please contact the Research Awards team on [email protected].

Carmen Fortunato wearing glasses and smiling at the camera
12/07/2021 12:00 pm

PhD students: stipend of £16,000 per year. ECR: salary up to £55,000 plus research costs of £10,000 per year. (pro-rata)


3-12 months