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.

7 x fellowships are available to start 1 October 2023.

2023 Competition

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is pleased to announce the sixth 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 DTP pathway and have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT. 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 date of 23 March 2023 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2023
  • Have no more than 12 months active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by 23 March 2023
  • Plan to base themselves in an ESRC WRDTP accredited department or school, which is approved for their chosen Pathway.

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 2023.

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 Frequently Asked Questions 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.

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.

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 4pm, Thursday 12 January 2023.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their EOI by mid-February 2023. 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.

If you have been confirmed as a shortlisted candidate by your chosen university, please see further details/instructions below for an update on the submission process:

Update 09/02/2023

The ESRC has written to all DTPs with regards to the deadlines for the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme.  The ESRC states:
‘We’re aware that current strike action may have an impact on applicants being able to obtain all of the supporting documentation they require to submit their full application by the closing date of 23 March 2023.
In line with the approach adopted last year, the closing date and eligibility criteria will remain the same but DTPs can have local discretion to accept supporting documents after that date where applicants haven’t been able to secure them due to strike action. We’d expect the case for support to be submitted by the closing date; other supporting documentation should be submitted by 6 April 2023 at the very latest.’
In light of this, the WRDTP has revised its applicant deadlines for the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme as follows:
  • 4pm, Thursday 23 March 2023 – By this date, all applicants need to submit as a minimum the ESRC Application Form and Case for Support to the WRDTP, by emailing your documents (combined into one PDF file) to If you are unable to submit your full proposal by the deadline, you must detail which documents are missing from your application in your email to the WRDTP.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Those that can submit the full proposal by this date are strongly encouraged to do so.
  • Midday, Thursday 6 April 2023 – all full proposals must be submitted by this date, as one combined PDF document, to the email address.
Please ensure that these two deadlines are observed as late applications will not be accepted.  If you have any questions, please contact the ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships administrator at your institution in the first instance.

For all enquiries please email