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Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge 


 £36,024 - £44,263 

Starting Date: 

 Between 1st October 2024 and 31st January 2025 


 4 years 

The Institute of Astronomy is pleased to invite expressions of interest from suitably qualified researchers who wish to apply for a Royal Society Career Development Fellowship to be held at the Institute. 

The Royal Society Career Development Fellowship aims to increase opportunities for talented researchers from underrepresented backgrounds to establish a successful research career in STEM. With the initial focus on researchers from a Black heritage background, this pilot scheme aims to support the most promising early career scientists and engineers who have just completed (or will shortly be completing) their PhD, providing them with the opportunity to undertake a four-year postdoctoral fellowship. The fellowship will enable the successful candidates to develop their research, benefit from tailored mentoring and training opportunities and gain the confidence and skills required for a successful research career. The fellowship will provide a strong basis to allow the award holders to pursue independent research careers in future, enabling them to apply for further independent early career fellowships.

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Self-identify as being from a Black heritage background
  • have a PhD or will have a PhD by the time the funding starts. Applicants who have not yet completed their PhD when applying will require a letter of support from their supervisor. Applicants in the final year of their PhD studies will be eligible to apply but must have completed their PhD examination with minor corrections prior to starting the fellowship. The Society reserves the right to request a confirmation of the successful completion of the PhD examination/viva at the point of offer
  • have less than 24 months of full-time postdoctoral experience by the closing date of the round. Career breaks and additional circumstances that may have affected/delayed your research career will be taken into account when calculating this limit. Please contact the Grants Team for further advice at

Both UK and non-UK domiciled researchers who wish to conduct their research in the UK are eligible.

Applicants are permitted to apply for up to £690,000 to cover their own salary, on-costs and related overheads for the four years of the fellowship, as well as research expenses funding.

For further details, please see: Career Development Fellowship | Royal Society

  • In the first instance applicants should make contact with a member of the Institute's Academic Staff who has related research interests to discuss the possibility of hosting the fellowship within the Institute. 

  • We ask that applicants secure support from a member of our academic staff, and then inform our administration of their intent to apply (by e-mailing by 22nd December 2023 at the latest.

  • Applications must be submitted by the applicant by 17th January 2024 to allow time for internal approval before the Royal Society deadline on 24th January 2024.

The University of Cambridge thrives on the diversity of its staff and students. 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: 

 22 December 2023