Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowships

To provide an opportunity for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent cardiovascular research careers in an established institution in the UK.


  • The BHF will be moving to a new research Grants Management System in January 2020.
  • We will no longer be accepting applications through the current GMS for Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowships after the 31st of October 2019.
  • If you have started an application but are unable to submit it by the deadline, please save a copy of the PDF for future use.

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should be in the final year of their PhD studies or have no more than two years of postdoctoral research experience from the date of the PhD viva.
  • Candidates must be able to show, by publications or otherwise, evidence of exceptional research ability.
  • The fellowship should not be held in the institution where the PhD was carried out.
  • Residency requirements do not apply.

Grant overview

  • Four years duration, without extension.
  • We strongly encourage that up to 1.5 years of the award are spent overseas or in a second UK institution.
  • In the established UK-based home institution, the candidate must have the support of a named senior investigator who will guarantee access to space and resources and provide scientific guidance for the duration of their fellowship. This individual should be named on the application form as a 'Supervisor' and provide an appropriate letter of support as part of the application.
  • In an overseas/second UK institution, the candidate must additionally have the support of a named senior investigator who will guarantee access to space and resources and provide scientific guidance for the duration of the stay. This individual should provide an appropriate letter of support as part of the application.
  • The fellowship may be taken up on a part-time employment basis, where appropriate, following discussion and agreement with us and the employing institution. For more information read about our Flexible working policies.

Award may include

  • Salary of applicant.
  • Reasonable research consumables and small items of equipment directly attributable to the project. Consumables and equipment will not normally be provided overseas; facilities should be provided by the host department.

For overseas visits of up to 6 months:

  • Economy class travel expenses for the fellow only.
  • A justified subsistence allowance.

For overseas visits of more than 6 months:

  • One return economy fare for the fellow and immediate family.
  • A reasonable contribution to healthcare insurance (e.g. applicable to USA).
  • Housing contribution up to £3,000

How to apply

Who can apply?

The online application form must be completed by the applicant.

Additional information

You will be asked to attach a single PDF document to your online application form containing the following information:

  1. Abstract of the proposed investigation in 200 words or less.
  2. Background to the project and pilot data.
  3. Original hypothesis.
  4. Experimental details and design of proposed investigation. 
  5. Power calculations.
  6. Expected value of results.
  7. List of references relevant to the proposed project.
  8. The contribution to be made by each co-applicant and collaborator (maximum of one A4 side).
  9. Full CV of the applicant, including list of publications, statement of career intentions and email address.
  10. Appendices should be a maximum of 3 sides of A4 containing only tables or figures essential to the understanding of the application. Research papers whether published, in press or in preparation may not be attached (although hyperlinks can be provided).
  11. Letter of support from PhD supervisor.
  12. Letter of support from senior investigator named as fellowship supervisor.
  13. If a second institution or overseas visit is proposed, include a letter of support from a senior investigator who will provide access to space, resources and scientific guidance for the duration of the stay. Please also ensure that the purpose of the visit is explained clearly, in terms of the duration, the research to be carried out and any training that will be acquired.
  14. Letter of support from Head of Department where fellowship will be based.
  15. Brief CVs of the supervisors (2 A4 sides max each).
  16. Supporting letters from collaborators.
  17. Valid copy of ethical approval if relevant.

Sections 1-6 must not exceed 6 A4 sides. The PDF file size must not exceed 20MB.

Please ensure Arial font size 12 is used. If this font size is not used, the application will be rejected prior to formal consideration.

The BHF is prepared to consider funding or part-funding Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowships that include research experience with an industry partner. Please contact our office for advice if you are considering applying for a co-funded Immediate Postdoctoral Basic Science Research Fellowship.

Decision process

There are no closing dates.

Please submit the application when it is ready. Receipt will be acknowledged within 24 hours and we will advise you when you can expect the result. A decision will be reached by the Fellowships Committee (four meetings a year) after it has considered external peer review reports.

Short-listed candidates will usually be interviewed.

Allow 9 months from submission to decision.

Resubmissions are not allowed.

Apply online