David Phillips Fellowship

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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Grant amount: Up to £1,000,000

Deadline: May 9, 2020 8:00am PDT

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United Kingdom

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The David Phillips Fellowship (DPF) will provide support for researchers wishing to establish their first independent research group. The DPF will invest in scientists who have shown high potential, can demonstrate that they are on an upward trajectory with clear evidence of strong scientific outputs and leadership qualities, and are aiming to establish their own fully independent programme of research. As such the DPF represents part of our commitment to the supply of highly skilled professional research leaders to the UK.

Nature of award

Awards are for five years, and include personal salary and a significant research support grant to enable fellows to establish their own independent research group. It is expected that up to five fellowships will be awarded, each at a value of up to £1M (80% fEC). Please note: BBSRC will provide funds of up to £1M (80% of the full economic cost). The total costs (100% full economic cost) requested may be up to £1.25M.

In addition to this investment, it is also expected that a substantial demonstration of support for the fellow be made by the host Research Organisation (e.g. in terms of access to facilities and equipment, training, research costs etc.). Applications are welcome from candidates seeking flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time); see the Fellowships handbook for further information. 

Research areas

Proposals can be submitted in any area of science within our remit. We particularly encourage applications that are aligned with our overarching strategic priorities.


Aimed at researchers who want to establish their first independent research group undertaking a programme of excellent research. Applicants will be able to demonstrate great potential and have a scientific career showing a clear upward trajectory.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants should hold a PhD, but not hold, have held or had the offer of an academic position at Lecturer level (or the equivalent in institutions other than universities).
    • Please note that if applicants have previously applied for BBSRC grant funding as a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (therefore confirming that they hold a lecturer level or equivalent post) they are not eligible to apply for a fellowship
  • It is expected that applicants will have at least three years of active postdoctoral research experience prior to February 2018


  •  We particularly encourage applications that are aligned with our overarching strategic priorities as described in our Strategic Plan.
    • Agriculture and Food Security
    • Industrial Biotechnology and bioenergy
    • Bioscience for health


  • Note: David Phillips Fellowship applicants are not eligible to apply to any additional 2018 BBSRC fellowship competitions.
  • Additionally, applicants for a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship are not permitted to simultaneously apply to the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship call.
    • However, applicants may seek grant support for other projects, from specific research councils or other funders’ calls, while their BBSRC fellowship is under consideration. Any fellowship or grant submissions under consideration at the time of application should be noted in the ‘Other Support’ section of the proposal form. Applicants detailing multiple submissions will not be penalised during the assessment process.