The Royal Academy of Engineering offers Research Fellowships each year to outstanding early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering.

The scheme’s objectives are to:

  • Support the best early-career researchers in establishing their independence and international reputation
  • Provide long-term support enabling the pursuit of an ambitious programme of engineering research and impact
  • Develop ambassadors for the Academy and advocates for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines

The Academy welcomes applications from early-career researchers worldwide who have been awarded their PhD in the last four years. In addition, Research Fellowships must be held at a UK higher education institution/university.


The 2020/21 round accepts applications for any one of the following research fellowship schemes:

  • RAEng Research Fellowship
  • RAEng Engineering for Development Research Fellowship
  • RAEng/Orthopaedic Research UK Research Fellowship

Worth of Award

The scheme provides funding for five years. Each application is capped at a maximum contribution from the Academy of £500,000 over the five-year period, at 80% of full economic costs.

In addition to the direct financial support, the scheme benefits include:

  • Opportunity to establish a research track record in a specialised area
  • A stronger position to apply for additional funding and develop own research team
  • Mentoring support from an Academy Fellow to offer advice on research and career development
  • Reduction of teaching and administrative duties to dedicate time to research
  • Training opportunities
  • Networking with other Research Fellows and Academy Fellows


  • Research Fellowships must be held at a UK higher education institution/university in a department that can show it is capable of fully supporting an engineering-focused research project and researcher. In addition, the host institution must agree to provide the Research Fellow all the support normal for a permanent employee.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the host institution and gain the formal approval from the relevant head of department or school before submitting an application.
  • The proposed research project must be in an engineering subject area. Engineering is defined in its broadest sense, encompassing a wide range of diverse fields.
  • Research Fellowships are aimed at early-career researchers. Applicants must have a PhD, which was awarded (or the PhD has been unconditionally approved) no more than four years before the submission deadline: This time period includes applicants’ work experience in academia or/and in industry. A margin of up to three months more than the four-year limit is acceptable. If applicants have had maternity/paternity leave or other extenuating circumstances, this will be taken into consideration if the relevant dates and details are provided in the application form.
  • The applicant must not hold a permanent academic position before the start of Research Fellowship.
  • Research Fellows will be employed by the host institution and are required to devote all their working time to the Research Fellowship programme of work. The Research Fellowship must be the Research Fellows only source of employment.
  • There are no nationality and age restrictions for applicants. The host institution is responsible for securing all necessary work permits and related costs for the Research Fellows.
  • Applicants who have applied to this scheme before and were unsuccessful are eligible to reapply.
  • Research Fellowships must begin between 1 August 2021 and 31 October 2021. The Academy may extend this period based on funding opportunities. The duration of a Research Fellowship is five years full-time, calculated on a pro-rata basis for part-time awards. Requests for a shorter Research Fellowship are not accepted.
  • There is a limit on the number of applications each host institution can submit. Applications that do not come within this limit will be disregarded (see Application limit section in the applicant guidance notes). Institutions/universities are likely to have an internal selection process that applicants must find out in advance.
  • Applications for EDRFs must meet the ODA guidelines. The country/countries that will directly benefit from the proposed research must be on the DAC list.
  • Applications for RAEng/Orthopaedic Research UK Research Fellowship must be in one of the four research areas as described in the applicant guidance notes page 4.
  • Any applications that are incomplete or do not adhere to the guidance will be rejected.

How to Apply

  • Please read the Applicant Guidance Notes of 2022/23 round for full details of the research fellowship schemes and how to apply.
  • All applications must be submitted via the Royal Academy of Engineering’s online Grant Management System (GMS).

Deadline: Application closes September 20, 2022.


Click here for more details and to apply