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Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge 


 £36,024 - £44,263 

Starting Date: 

 Between 1 September 2024 and 1 May 2025 


 3 Years 

The Institute of Astronomy is pleased to support up to two applications for the Isaac Newton Trust/Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship scheme. Potential applicants should first contact a member of the Institute's Academic Staff to discuss the possibility of submitting a pre-application to the Institute's selection committee which will review requests. Note: we have three additional academics who have recently started  who can also be contacted for support (Prof. Hiranya Peiris <hiranya[at]>, Dr. Miles Cranmer <mc2473[at]>, Dr. Chris Moore <cjm8917[at]>).

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven record of research. The expectation is that Fellows should undertake a significant piece of publishable work during their tenure.

Applications are invited from those with a doctorate who submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination not more than four years prior to the Leverhulme Trust application closing date on 22 February 2024. All candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience by the time they take up the Fellowship. Those who are or have been registered for a doctorate at any time may apply only if they have submitted their doctoral thesis by the closing date of 4pm on 22 February 2024.

Applicants must either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or at the time of the application deadline must hold an academic position in the UK which commenced no less than 4 months prior to the closing date.

Applicants who have not already moved institutions in the course of their academic career (i.e., between their undergraduate degree and current position) should nominate a new host institution, or otherwise demonstrate clear evidence of the academic and/or personal reasons for remaining at the same institution, such as access to highly specialist equipment or a highly specialised research team.

The Leverhulme Trust offers funding covering 50% of salary costs of the three-year early career fellowship position, as well as research funds of up to £6,000 per annum. The Isaac Newton Trust is the main Univeristy of Cambridge body offering matching funding for the remaining 50% salary cost. The Institute of Astronomy is allowed to support up to two Isaac Newton Trust applications per year.

A “three-stage” application process is therefore required, with applicants first submitting a pre-application to the Institute of Astronomy for support. Supported applicants will then apply to the Isaac Newton Trust for matched funding. If approved, applicants would then apply to the Leverhulme Trust for the full fellowship. All application stages have to be successful to be awarded the fellowship.

Once applicants have engaged with a member of the Institute's Academic Staff, a pre-application may be made by submitting:

  • Isaac Newton Trust cover sheet
  • CV (not exceeding two sides)
  • A list of your major publications (maximum one side)
  • Details of your current and past research (maximum 250 words)
  • A detailed statement of your proposed research (maximum two sides)
  • Name and contact details of your two proposed referees
  • Name of the IoA Staff member who has agreed to support the pre-application

Materials should be sent to with attachments as a single .pdf format file.

Applicants should also request that their endorsing IoA academic staff member send a statement in support of their application to the same e-mail address by the same deadline.

The Institute's selection committee will begin reviewing applications in late October and pre-applications must be received no later than 23 October 2023 for consideration by the Institute's selection committee.

The Isaac Newton Trust closing date for submission of applications is 17 November 2023.

The University of Cambridge thrives on the diversity of its staff and students. The Institute particularly welcomes applications from women and/or candidates from a BME background for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented. We have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee which continually works to further the aims of the Athena SWAN charter. The University has a number of family-friendly policies and initiatives, including a Career Support Fund, formally returning-carer scheme, childcare costs support, university workplace nurseries, university holiday pay- schemes, and a shared parental-leave policy. As part of its commitment to providing a family-friendly environment for researchers, the IoA ensures that should parental leave be needed during the course of employment, there is provision for extension to contract to compensate for the parental leave taken. 



Application Deadline Date: 

 23 October 2023