RAS Research and Norman Lockyer Fellowships

The RAS funds several schemes for promising young scientists to be employed as Research Fellows at UK universities. This page holds details for the RAS Research Fellowships and Norman Lockyer Fellowship, which are similar in many respects. 

The purpose of the RAS Research Fellowships is to enable outstanding candidates to pursue research in the UK in the disciplines advanced by the RAS i.e. astronomy, solar system science, geophysics and closely related branches of these sciences.  

The Norman Lockyer Fellowship is awarded to enable an outstanding researcher to devote the majority of their time to research on an astronomical topic, including solar system and planetary science. They are named after Sir Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), pioneering solar astronomer and discoverer of helium.

Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellowships and the Norman Lockyer Fellowship will each be available every three years. Applications for RAS Fellowships will be sought in the years 2021, 2024 and 2027 and for the Norman Lockyer Fellowship in 2022, 2025 and 2028 (for fellowships starting in the following year). 

Applications for both Fellowships

The application form can be accessed here, and should include a CV, list of publications, research proposal, and a signature from the host institution - details are given on the form. You will also be asked for the contact details of two independent referees, who will receive an email from us once you've submitted the application form. 

Conditions for both Fellowships

Applicants may be of any nationality, however, employment will be through the host institution. The applicant is therefore asked to indicate their UK residency status so it can be confirmed that they will be able to work at the institution concerned. 

The fellowships are awarded for a period of up to three years beginning on 1 October in the year of the award (or within 6 months thereafter).

The award is in the form of a grant to the institution at which the fellow is based. The RAS will fund only directly incurred costs, and not overheads (including bench fees or 'full economic costs'). Applications must be certified by an authorised person at the host institution, confirming acceptance of this condition.

An additional £2,000 per annum may be claimed for costs incurred in attending meetings and conferences or for other items related to the research. The RAS will also meet the cost of Employers National Insurance contributions and make an additional payment, where appropriate, to a Fellow's personal pension plan.

Applicants must either:
  • Hold a recognized PhD degree or equivalent obtained after 1 October five years before the start of the fellowship (e.g. 1 October 2015 if applying in 2019 for a fellowship beginning in 2020), or
  • have taken the PhD viva voce examination by the application deadline and expect to be awarded the PhD degree before the Fellowship start date.

Exceptions to these limits may be made only in cases of e.g. maternity leave, career breaks, serious illness etc. Please enquire before applying.

Only one RAS Research Fellowship may be held in the same Institution (host insitutions can include universities as listed by UCAS and other not for profit research active institutions) at any one time. See below for details of current RAS Research Fellows. 

The RAS pays fellowship salaries on the UCU single pay spine from points 30 to 36 inclusive. In addition to the salary we will accept claims for National Insurance at normal rates and the employer pension contribution at 18% of the salary. If the host university, as employer, wishes to pay at spine points above 36, that extra expenditure must be found from their own funds. 

Rules for the format of the application:

  • 3 page A4, 11pt font & 2cm margin format (any font is fine as long as it is readable). It is the candidates’ responsibility to ensure that the format of the document reflects well on them.
  • The 3 page A4 word limit should ideally include references and figure captions, but this will not be strictly enforced.





Current and Past RAS Research Fellows


Dr Thomas CollettUniversity of PortsmouthFundamental Physics with gravitational lensingMarch 2020 - March 2021
Dr Amy GilliganUniversity of AberdeenWhen subduction stops: understanding tectonic process in post-subduction settingsOctober 2018 - September 2021
Dr Matt NichollUniversity of EdinburghSuperluminous supernovae: a comprehensive observational & theoretical study of nature's brightest fireworksOctober 2018 - September 2021
Dr Elisa ChisariUniversity of OxfordAccurate Astrophysics for the Next Era of CosmologyOctober 2017 - September 2020
Dr Joanna Eberhardt (nee Barstow)UCLNature vs Nurture: the effect of stellar irradiation on atmospheric evolutionOctober 2016 - September 2019
Dr Peter WyperDurham UniversityExplaining the Onset of Explosive Magnetic Reconnection in the in the Solar Corona & its Links to the Generation of Solar Energetic ParticlesOctober 2016 - September 2019
Dr Emma ChapmanImperial College LondonDetecting and constraining the Epoch of Reionisation using foreground removal and state-of-the-art simulationsOctober 2015 - December 2018
Dr Ben RozitisOpen UniversityProbing solar system processes using extreme asteroidsMarch 2016 - February 2019
Dr David J E MarshKings College LondonPrecision cosmology of axions and moduliOctober 2015 - December 2017
Dr Richard ParkerLiverpool John Moores UniversityThe Origin of the Galactic FieldMarch 2014 - March 2017
Dr John ArmitageRoyal Holloway, University of LondonDeciphering the sedimentary record: tectonic vs climate changeSeptember 2013 - August 2016
Dr Sarah BadmanUniversity of Leicester / Lancaster UniversityThe Goldilocks hypothesis of planetary magnetospheres: discovering a balance between internally- and externally-driven dynamics at Jupiter, Mercury and SaturnMarch 2013 - February 2016
Dr Nick WrightUniversity of HertfordshireThe Dynamics of Young Star ClustersOctober 2012 - September 2015
Dr Baojiu LiUniversity of DurhamCosmology, Dark Energy Theories (Theoretical, Phenomenolgical, Numerical & Statistical Studies)February 2012 - January 2015
Dr Aline de Almeida VidottoUniversity of St AndrewsInteraction between Exoplanets and the Winds of their Host Stars (Numerical Modelling & Magnetic Shield)October 2011 - September 2014
Dr Caitriona JackmanUniversity College London / University of SouthamptonEnergy Release from MagnetospheresJanuary 2013 - December 2013
Dr Benjamin DaviesUniversity of Cambridge / Liverpool John MooresMapping the Star-Forming History of GalaxiesNovember 2010 - October 2013
Dr Thomas KitchingUniversity of EdinburghHigh Precision Dark Universe Cosmology with 3D Gravitational Lensing


January 2011 -September 2011




Current and Past Norman Lockyer Fellows



Dr Vinesh Maguire RajpaulUniversity of CambridgeTransforming the search for Earth-like planets with advanced modelling toolsOctober 2017 - September 2020
Dr Rowan SmithUniversity of ManchesterUniting theory and observations of star-formationSeptember 2014 - September 2017
Dr Adam ChristophersonUniversity of NottinghamConstraining the Universe using Non-Linear Cosmological Perturbation TheoryOctober 2011 - September 2014
Dr Mark SwinbankDurham UniversitySpatially Resolved Studies of Young GalaxiesOctober 2008 – September 2011
Dr Roberto TrottaUniversity of OxfordPrecision cosmology and astrophysics with CMB and other data setsApril 2005 – March 2008
Dr Jane GreavesRoyal Observatory EdinburghSearching for the signatures of extrasolar planetsOctober 2001 – September 2004
Dr Clare ParnellUniversity of St AndrewsHow does the Solar Magnetic Carpet Heat the Corona?October 1998 – September 2001
Dr Alastair RucklidgeDAMTP, University of CambridgeConvection in SunspotsOctober 1995 – September 1998
Dr Iossif Lapidus (deceased)IoA, University of Cambridgen/aDecember 1992 - December 1995