Senior Basic Science Research Fellowships

To provide a career opportunity in an established research institution in the UK for outstanding individuals who are expected to reach Readership or Chair level within five years.


  • 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 Senior 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

  • Usually at least 6-10 years successful postdoctoral work with an established track record of research leadership.
  • Often a previous holder of an Intermediate Fellowship.
  • Residency requirements do not apply.
    • Senior Basic Science Research Fellows are eligible to apply for accelerated UK Tier 1 Visas. Click here for more information.

Grant overview

  • Five years with the possibility of competitive renewal for further five year periods thereafter. On renewal it will be expected that the host institution will provide at least 50% of the fellow's salary.
  • Within the first five years, part of the award may be spent overseas subject to a justified case being made.
  • 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.
  • Salary of technician or research assistant if required and fully justified.
  • Research consumables directly attributable to the project. Consumables will not normally be provided overseas; facilities should be provided by the host department.
  • Research equipment essential for the project. Equipment will not be provided overseas; facilities must be provided by the host department.

For overseas visits of up to six months:

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

For overseas visits of more than six months:

  • One return 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

  • Read the information in How to apply.
  • Log onto the online application form.
  • The applicant must complete all the sections of the online application form following the instructions in the GMS User Guide.
  • Short-listed candidates will usually be interviewed.

Additional information

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

  1. For resubmissions, include an unedited copy of the original feedback followed by a detailed response, limited to 3 sides of A4, explaining how the revised application has changed from the original submission.
  2. Abstract of the proposed investigation in 200 words or less.
  3. Background to the project and pilot data.
  4. Original hypothesis.
  5. Experimental details and design of proposed investigation.
  6. Power calculations.
  7. Expected value of results.
  8. List of references relevant to the proposed project.
  9. The contribution to be made by each co-applicant and collaborator (maximum of one A4 side).
  10. Full CV of the applicant, including list of publications, statement of career intentions and email address.
  11. 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).
  12. Letter of support from the Head of Department.
  13. If a senior investigator has been named as a supervisor, a letter of support should be included.
  14. If an 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.
  15. Brief CV (two A4 sides including email address) of named staff (in addition to the applicant) for whom salary is requested.
  16. Supporting letters from collaborators.
  17. Quotes obtained for requested equipment.
  18. Valid copy of ethical approval if relevant.

Sections 2-7 must not exceed six 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 Senior 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 Senior 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. Short-listed candidates will usually be interviewed and a decision on this will be reached by the Fellowships Committee (four meetings a year) after it has considered external peer review reports.

Allow nine months from submission to decision.

Apply online