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 Collett||University of Portsmouth||Fundamental Physics with gravitational lensing||March 2020 - Feb 2023|
|Dr Amy Gilligan||University of Aberdeen||When subduction stops: understanding tectonic process in post-subduction settings||October 2018 - September 2021|
|Dr Matt Nicholl||University of Edinburgh||Superluminous supernovae: a comprehensive observational & theoretical study of nature's brightest fireworks||October 2018 - September 2021|
|Dr Elisa Chisari||University of Oxford||Accurate Astrophysics for the Next Era of Cosmology||October 2017 - September 2020|
|Dr Joanna Eberhardt (nee Barstow)||UCL||Nature vs Nurture: the effect of stellar irradiation on atmospheric evolution||October 2016 - September 2019|
|Dr Peter Wyper||Durham University||Explaining the Onset of Explosive Magnetic Reconnection in the in the Solar Corona & its Links to the Generation of Solar Energetic Particles||October 2016 - September 2019|
|Dr Emma Chapman||Imperial College London||Detecting and constraining the Epoch of Reionisation using foreground removal and state-of-the-art simulations||October 2015 - December 2018|
|Dr Ben Rozitis||Open University||Probing solar system processes using extreme asteroids||March 2016 - February 2019|
|Dr David J E Marsh||Kings College London||Precision cosmology of axions and moduli||October 2015 - December 2017|
|Dr Richard Parker||Liverpool John Moores University||The Origin of the Galactic Field||March 2014 - March 2017|
|Dr John Armitage||Royal Holloway, University of London||Deciphering the sedimentary record: tectonic vs climate change||September 2013 - August 2016|
|Dr Sarah Badman||University of Leicester / Lancaster University||The Goldilocks hypothesis of planetary magnetospheres: discovering a balance between internally- and externally-driven dynamics at Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn||March 2013 - February 2016|
|Dr Nick Wright||University of Hertfordshire||The Dynamics of Young Star Clusters||October 2012 - September 2015|
|Dr Baojiu Li||University of Durham||Cosmology, Dark Energy Theories (Theoretical, Phenomenolgical, Numerical & Statistical Studies)||February 2012 - January 2015|
|Dr Aline de Almeida Vidotto||University of St Andrews||Interaction between Exoplanets and the Winds of their Host Stars (Numerical Modelling & Magnetic Shield)||October 2011 - September 2014|
|Dr Caitriona Jackman||University College London / University of Southampton||Energy Release from Magnetospheres||January 2013 - December 2013|
|Dr Benjamin Davies||University of Cambridge / Liverpool John Moores||Mapping the Star-Forming History of Galaxies||November 2010 - October 2013|
|Dr Thomas Kitching||University of Edinburgh||High Precision Dark Universe Cosmology with 3D Gravitational Lensing|
January 2011 -September 2011
Current and Past Norman Lockyer Fellows
|Dr Vinesh Maguire Rajpaul||University of Cambridge||Transforming the search for Earth-like planets with advanced modelling tools||October 2017 - September 2020|
|Dr Rowan Smith||University of Manchester||Uniting theory and observations of star-formation||September 2014 - September 2017|
|Dr Adam Christopherson||University of Nottingham||Constraining the Universe using Non-Linear Cosmological Perturbation Theory||October 2011 - September 2014|
|Dr Mark Swinbank||Durham University||Spatially Resolved Studies of Young Galaxies||October 2008 – September 2011|
|Dr Roberto Trotta||University of Oxford||Precision cosmology and astrophysics with CMB and other data sets||April 2005 – March 2008|
|Dr Jane Greaves||Royal Observatory Edinburgh||Searching for the signatures of extrasolar planets||October 2001 – September 2004|
|Dr Clare Parnell||University of St Andrews||How does the Solar Magnetic Carpet Heat the Corona?||October 1998 – September 2001|
|Dr Alastair Rucklidge||DAMTP, University of Cambridge||Convection in Sunspots||October 1995 – September 1998|
|Dr Iossif Lapidus (deceased)||IoA, University of Cambridge||n/a||December 1992 - December 1995|