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Department of Social Anthropology


Research funding and guidance for early career postdocs

Upcoming research funding deadlines

The Department of Social Anthropology welcomes applications from early career researchers for a range of post-doctoral programmes from sponsors including:

We are keen to support high-quality applications in research areas that fit with our strategic research themes and with the interests of individual University Teaching Officers. Prospective applicants are advisor to contact a prospective mentor/sponsor at an early stage, to discuss how their proposed research might fit within the Department.

The basic process to be followed is similar in all cases, though details and deadlines vary.

1. Interested applicants should refer to the funder's most recent scheme notes to check and confirm their eligibility. Commonly, funder eligibility criteria refer to

  • time since PhD (please note that some funders make allowances for career breaks or parental leave);
  • whether or not you presently have a University affiliation;
  • whether you have a permanent or temporary contract.

If you're a College employee, please check the specific guidance provided.

2. Applicants should be in touch with an academic in the Department who works in their area of research to discuss their application as soon as possible (ideally two months before the funder deadline).

3. With the support of their mentor, a preliminary application form along with a CV and a brief research proposal should then be submitted to the Research Grants Administrator () by a minimum of eight weeks before the relevant deadline. As deadlines vary, it is best to confirm the internal (departmental and university) and external deadlines with the RGA.

 Applications over £250k fEC that are received less than five working days before the funder deadline will not be submitted by the University, irrespective of support from the mentor or the Department.

4. The Department will assess all the proposals thus submitted. There is an internal selection process in place for the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships, and Leverhulme ECFs , and we can only support very few applications; otherwise we hope to support all quality applications which intersect with research already being undertaken or developed in the Department.

5. We will then let you know whether we are able to support your application in good time for the final submission deadline. We will provide feedback on both those applications we are, and are not, able to support, working with you to make applications as strong as possible before final submission.

Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research lists the details for the fellowships available from above funders (for ESRC and Leverhulme Trust, please use the link at the top of the page). Past deadlines show roughly when the next deadline for the programme is likely to be, but do check the website for details.

Upcoming research funding deadlines

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship / Isaac Newton Trust: Deadline noon 15th December 2020

Please send the RGA the name of your proposed mentor as soon as you know.

The INT acts as the University's selector.  The INT requirements are listed here, and should be sent to the RGA as PDFs by the Departmental Deadline.  See under: “Applications for the internal competition”:

Please title PDFs as: <surname> Leverhulme INT <document name>.

Also please send through a completed Departmental Preliminary Application form.

  • Two letters of reference are needed, of which one should come from outside Cambridge (note that the national stage of the Leverhulme competition requires a third reference as well, but this is not necessary for the internal INT competition)
  • Please ask your referees to send their letters directly to the RGA by the Departmental deadlinenot to the Isaac Newton Trust.
  • If possible, please get your referees to title the email and reference documents as: <your surname> Leverhulme INT reference.

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship - Departmental deadline mid October.

Value: up to £60k, between 3 and 24 months. Research Fellowships are open to experienced researchers, particularly those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research.

British Academy PDF - August 2020 Departmental deadline passed.
ESRC New Invesgtigator Grant -  Sept 2020 Departmenal deadline passed.

Restricted call 3 times per year.

BA/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowships - Departmental deadline passed (was 22/10/2020):

“The aim of the scheme is to allow successful applicants to obtain time freed from normal teaching and administrative commitments. The time bought by the scheme should be devoted to the completion of a major piece of research. The Fellowships are tenable for one year and must be taken up in the autumn of 2021. These awards are not covered under the Full Economic Costing (FEC) regime and no research expenses are available. The only cost payable will be the salary of a replacement lecturer.  Applicants who have already applied to the Academy’s 2020-21 round of the Mid-Career Fellowship scheme are not permitted to apply to this scheme. The funder’s deadline for applications is 18th November 2020. For more information see the call website. For support with your application contact Dr Anna Cieslik (”

The British Academy/ Wolfson Fellowships - October 2020 Departmental deadline passed

These awards provide early-career academics with time to pursue their research, along with funding for public engagement and travel. This scheme emphasizes the importance of award-holders communicating their plans and results to a broad audience. Applicants must have a full-time or part-time permanent or fixed term post that covers the length of the award. They should be within seven years of completion of their doctorate. The award duration is three years and the grant maximum is £130,000 across these three years. The deadline to apply for this award is 25th November 2020. For more information, see the call website. For support with your application contact Dr Anna Cieslik (