Global Challenge Research Fellowship – FAQs

Does the  “3 years active experience” need to be within an academic institution or can be, for example, within a public sector or non-academic organisation?

The 3 years active postdoctoral experience is a maximum ('no more than 3 years'); there is no minimum as people could go straight from a PhD to one of these postdoctoral fellowships. So there's no need to be concerned whether the <3 years is in the academic or non-academic sectors.

“At the time of submission, applicants must either have a PhD or have passed their viva voce with only minor corrections. Any offer of an award will be conditional until the host RO has received documentary evidence of the completion of the doctorate with no more than minor corrections from the awarding RO.” Does this mean that an applicant with an awarded PhD but it was awarded with major corrections is not eligible?

The stipulation that people pass their PhD with either no corrections or only minor corrections applies to people who have yet to be awarded their PhDs. If they have been awarded their PhDs (in the last 3 years) it does not matter what requirements were made at their viva, as long as they went on to meet them and went on to be awarded their PhD. 

The spec says: 'The scheme is not open to applicants who are established, permanent members of staff in an academic position with a research component.' Are people currently in a probationary lecturer position eligible?

The question of precisely what 'established, permanent members of staff in an academic position with a research component' means will probably have to be checked with ESRC for a final ruling. However, someone appointed to such a position subject to that position being confirmed after a probationary period being completed successfully does not obviously fit the spirit of the scheme, as it is understood by the SGSSS. 

The emboldened statement “it can’t be new research” is in conflict with the statement that there has to be a change of supervisor. If its ongoing research from a student’s PhD they think it makes sense to have the same supervisor in that area.

The view that it would make sense for a PhD supervisor to be a mentor than to have someone else as mentor. Answer: A PhD supervisor can be a mentor, the scheme allows this if a compelling case is made, e.g. if no other suitable person is available (the mentor 'should not normally be the applicant's PhD supervisor').

Is the GCRF postdoc scheme intended to fund those who graduated from the listed Scottish universities and also take up the fellowship at the same Scottish university, or is it possible, for example, to carry out the fellowship based at a London university if one graduated from the University of Edinburgh?

The scheme is designed for people graduating with a PhD from one of the named Scottish Universities to be able to apply for a PDF at one of those universities. The same restriction applies to Bloomsbury

 What would be the expectations around the time spent in Edinburgh for the duration of this award? Would it be acceptable to remain based in London, with some scheduled visits to Edinburgh?

The SGSSS understanding is that the same expectations about presence at the University hosting the postdoctoral fellowship would apply as also apply to PhD students i.e., a postdoctoral fellow would be expected to be an active member of the research community at the host institution. Should a student wish to take their interest further this is something to discuss in detail with their prospective mentor. 

If a student should be scheduled for their viva around the time the applications for this programme are due, is it fine to apply, in the hope that they receive only minor corrections?

Please see the eligibility criteria, applications should be made only by people who will have passed their viva with no more than minor corrections at the point at which the application is submitted. Students therefore need to be confident of a viva date before 9 September 2016 and prepared that work done on a proposal would not be able to be submitted in the event of a different viva outcome. 

Last updated 14 Jul 2016 11:48am