We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Career development fellowship

Maximum duration: 5 years
Deadline: TBC
Contact: Clare Farmer & Julie Marsden at

What do career development fellowships provide?

Career development fellowships aim to attract and retain talented postdoctoral basic scientists and allied health professionals in research relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions, and provide them with the opportunity to develop an independent research career and progress towards higher-level appointments.

Who can apply for career development fellowships?

Career development fellowships are open to postdoctoral basic scientists and allied health professionals normally with at least 3 years’ postdoctoral research experience. Applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Please note, medically or surgically qualified individuals aren't eligible to apply for this scheme. Projects must demonstrate a clear to our aims. We would like to encourage applications to this scheme which are aligned with our new 5 year strategic focus on improving the quality of life of people with arthritis.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for five years and aren't renewable.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.


  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Salaries of support staff, such as technicians and research assistants, will not be funded on career development fellowships. 
  • Please note that a maximum spine point 43 on the national scale is allowed as a starting salary for career development fellows.


  • Reasonable running costs can be applied for (consumables, small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value).
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Arthritis Research UK is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted jointly by the candidate with his/her sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding committee for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

How career development fellowships are awarded

These fellowships are awarded by Arthritis Research UK’s fellowship implementation committee (FIC). There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage – at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the FIC panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review – The full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting – the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by a panel of FIC members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview – the FIC awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4–5 months after the deadline date.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.