Postdoctoral Fellowships

WGSSS invites applications for up to four ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships in any of our accredited Pathways to commence in October 2024.   

The Fellowships are aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, networks and their research and professional skills.   

The Fellowships last one year (or part-time equivalent) and come with a salary. They can contain some new research activity (up to 25%), but their primary purpose is the consolidation of your research profile soon after successful completion of your PhD.  

Full information is available in the Call Specifications. The ESRC has also produced a set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. 

Please contact if you have any questions that are not answered in the above linked guidance documents.  


21 February 2024 Competition Launch
28 March 2024 Deadline for applicants to contact Pathways
16 May 2024 (4pm) Application Deadline

Applications containing all mandatory attachments, must be submitted to WGSSS by the applicant by this date to be considered.

July 2024 Decisions confirmed to applicants

Applicants will be notified of their application outcome by the start of July. Applicants may be placed on the reserve list at this stage.

July – August 2024 Successful proposals submitted to ESRC

Successful applicants are required to submit their proposal to the ESRC  in July-August 2024.

1 October 2024 Fellowships Commence


This opportunity is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a UK research organisation. 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 deadline of 16 May 2024 and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2024  
  • Have no more than 12 months of active postdoctoral experience. This is measured from the applicant’s viva voce pass date to the application deadline of 16 May 2024. 

The call is not open to applicants who are established, permanent members of staff in an academic position with a research component. 

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions document that supports this call for further information on eligibility. 

How to Apply 

As described in the call, you will first need to identify a mentor who will be a senior colleague in the research organisation, and Pathway that hosts the Fellowship.  

Your initial point of contact in identifying your mentor should be the convener for the Pathway that best fits your Fellowship proposal. You can find thelist of Pathways and Conveners here. You should contact the relevant Pathway Convener as soon as possible and no later than 28th March 2024. 

 We expect a high level of competition for these Fellowships and the selection process involves several stages.  

Your application will initially be assessed by the Pathway you have applied to. Each of our 15 Pathways are permitted to nominate either one or two applications, to be considered by the WGSSS Management Group.  

You should complete theapplication formand submit it with the specified mandatory attachments.Applicants are also asked to complete the WGSSS equality and diversity monitoring form. Data is held confidentially and collected for statistical reporting to the ESRC only. 

Applications should be submitted 4pm on 16 May 2024. 

Mandatory Attachments

In addition to the application form, applications must include the below attachments 1-7, attachments 8-10 are required if applicable. All attachments must have a minimum of font size 11. 

Full details of the mandatory attachments required in your application are available in the ESRC PDF Call Specification.    

  1. Case for support (maximum six sides of A4) 
  2. Justification of resources (maximum two sides of A4) 
  3. CV (maximum two sides of A4) 
  4. Head of Department statement (maximum one side of A4) 
  5. Mentor statement and summary CV (maximum two sides of A4) 
  6. Referee statement (maximum two sides of A4) 
  7. Workplan (maximum two sides of A4) 
  8. Data management plan, mandatory where new datasets (of any size) will be generated as part of the fellowship (maximum of three sides of A4) 
  9. List of publications, if applicable (containing the bibliography for references cited in the proposal) 
  10. Other attachments, if applicable (other acceptable attachments are detailed in the PDF call specification) 

No other additional attachments will be accepted, and your proposal may be returned or rejected if you include attachments that are not permitted under this call or if any of the mandatory attachments are missing. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The WGSSS values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

Additional Guidance  

The ESRC website includes resources on preparing research proposals, and information about ethics, research impact and developing collaborations. 

The ESRC’s impact toolkit is also a helpful reference for developing impact strategies. 

Postdoctoral Fellow Profiles 2023 – 2024 

Have a look at the profiles of our current postdoctoral fellows. 


If you have any queries that are not answered by the FAQs please contact