ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

The ESRC WRDTP Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme is aimed at those in the immediate postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide an opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, their research and professional skills.

The posts may be based at any of the White Rose DTP partner universities, and will be fixed term positions on either a one-year full-time or two year part-time contract. The Fellowship will include salary costs, and additional funds may be applied for to support research activities including travel, subsistence, conference attendance, training and fieldwork.

4 x fellowships are available to start 1 October 2024.

2024 Competition

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is pleased to announce the 2024 call for applications to its Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) Scheme – aimed at providing a career development opportunity for those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, and the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

The fellows must be located on an accredited WRDTP pathway and have completed their PhD at a research organisation in the UK. Applicants are not required to have previously held an ESRC-funded studentship in order to be eligible to apply.

To be eligible applicants must:

  • Have been awarded a PhD or have passed their viva voce with minor amendments by the application deadline of 16 May 2024 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2024
  • Have no more than 12 months of active postdoctoral experience. This is measured from the applicant’s viva voce pass date to the application deadline of 16 May 2024
  • Plan to base themselves in an ESRC WRDTP accredited department or school

Applicants who have passed their viva voce with major corrections will be able to apply to the following year’s call when their PhD has been awarded. This is to ensure that all fellows are able to commence by the annual start date of 1 October 2024.

Permanent members of staff in an academic position with a research component are not eligible for this scheme. If a candidate has previously been employed on a part-time basis, that employment can be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Please see the ESRC PDF FAQs document that supports this call for further information on eligibility.

Through being embedded within a high-quality environment for research and training, the fellow will have the opportunity to undertake a varied programme of activities supporting their continued development for careers both within and outside of academia.

Proposals are welcome from both single disciplines and combinations of disciplines but the fellowship activities must be based at least 50% within the social sciences. We particularly encourage proposals that involve the use of advanced quantitative methods (AQM), data skills or engagement with partners in the business sector.

The Application Process

The White Rose DTP is running a two stage process:

Stage 1 – Expression of Interest

Requires all potential applicants to email the following documents, using the specific nomenclature provided, to using SURNAME_FIRST NAME_PDF_EOI as the subject line

  • WRDTP ESRC PDF EOI Form – A PDF copy of your form entry will be emailed to you upon submission, please forward this to us via email (SURNAME_FIRST NAME_PDF_EOI)
    • Please be aware that the form must be completed in one sitting. You can preview the form questions here.

In addition to emailing your expression of interest and CV to the WRDTP, you must also complete the following E&D Monitoring Form:

The deadline is 5pm, Friday 22 March 2024.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their EOI by mid April 2024. Those applicants submitting full proposals will receive support from the institution to which they intend to undertake their fellowship.

Stage 2Full Application

Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete the following:

ESRC PDF Application Form

Please bear in mind the following feedback, which the ESRC shared regarding the previous Fellowships round:

  • CVs not showing the viva voce pass date at the Je-S stage (unfortunately the date can’t be captured on Je-S so needs to be include in the CV)
  • a shortage of detail on Data Management Plans
  • mentor statements that appeared to be more of a personal statement of support rather than articulating the proposed mentoring arrangements
  • applications proposing significant amounts of new research which required clarification, particularly in instances where the workplans did not include a breakdown of time allocated to each activity.

The deadline for full applications (from shortlisted candidates only) is 4pm, Thursday 16 May 2024.

For all enquiries please email