Methodology research fellowship
MRC fellowships enable outstanding individuals to undertake challenging projects in excellent research and training environments. An MRC award is there to enable you to do something truly out of the ordinary in training and developing you as a potential research leader.
The MRC’s Methodology Research Fellowship is an intermediate level fellowship aimed at developing the next generation of research leaders who will advance the development and application of innovative methodologies in the context of challenging biomedical and health research problems. The scheme provides a significant career development opportunity for postdoctoral researchers for a period of concentrated methods research activity and development.
- Vision for the scheme
- Who can apply?
- Funding provided
- Overseas/2nd UK Centre/UK Industrial Training Period
- Commitment expectations
- Tenure of award
- Deadlines and submission details
- Other work responsibilities
- Guidance for applicants
The MRC Methodology Fellowship is one of a number of qualitative and quantitative schemes supported by the MRC under the Strategic Skills Fellowships banner. Here, you can view the full range of schemes and their eligibility.
The MRC methodology research fellowship continues MRC’s commitment to the development of innovative research methods in health research. The scheme is aimed at researchers with a grounding in health research, not necessarily in a methodological discipline. This award should enable researchers to move from post-doctoral scientist to an independent researcher in their chosen research field.
The research environment will be a key factor in the assessment of the application (in addition to the research proposal and the applicant) and applications will need to demonstrate their suitability for enabling innovative methods development research. Any request for more formal training courses in methods development (for example MScs etc) will need to justify how they will enable innovative methods research.
The award also offers the opportunity to enhance the research development through placement in an overseas research centre, a second research centre or in UK industry.
The scheme is open to applicants who wish to pursue development, validation and application of innovative methodologies in one or more of the following disciplines: health economics; biostatistics, bioinformatics; modeling, decision sciences, epidemiology; clinical trials; behavioral sciences; health psychology, qualitative methodologies and mixed methods, medical sociology and medical geography.
Science and social science graduates should hold a PhD or DPhil in a relevant discipline and have between 4-8 years (full-time-equivalent) post-doctoral experience at the time closing date (as advertised on the deadline page of the website). Applicants who hold a relevant research-orientated Masters degree and have carried out appropriate post-graduate work will also be considered. Other relevant disciplines include those that support clinical research directly, as well as nurses, midwives and members of the allied health professions.
Medical or dental graduates should hold a PhD or DPhil in a relevant discipline, be post-registration up to and including Specialty Registrar, and preferably have worked in a department carrying out clinical research.
All applicants will be expected to demonstrate progression towards an independent career, for example from publications arising from doctoral and post-doctoral research.
Applications from existing MRC research fellows and post-doctoral researchers returning from overseas are particularly welcome. As with all MRC fellowships, these awards are not available to individuals who hold a permanent academic position at the time of application. If you hold a permanent position, you may apply for funding under one of the MRC grant schemes. Fellows may be based at UK universities, medical or dental schools, hospitals, general practices, research council institutes and units, charity-funded research centres, or other approved academic institutions.
As part of the MRC’s equal opportunities policy, consideration will be given to applicants who are returning to science following a career break. There are no age limits for any of our schemes and all fellowships may be part-time to fit with domestic responsibilities. There are no residence eligibility restrictions for this fellowship.
Post-doctoral applicants have no residential restrictions and may come from any country.
The fellowship provides the fellow’s competitive salary and necessary research and other costs allowable under Full Economic Costs (FEC). The methodology research fellowship is primarily intended to support the development of the fellow. Where research staff are required then these should be requested and clearly justified; however, this level of support would be considered exceptional. Not included in this fellowship are substantial costs of collecting or generating primary data. The award may be held for up to four years.
The fellowship also provides the opportunity to spend time in an overseas research centre, a second UK research centre or UK industrial centre in year two or three of the award. The aim of this component is to provide a concentrated period of research, which could not be achieved as effectively within the academic host institution. We would normally expect this period to be one visit of up to 12 months; however, the panel may agree to requests for visits to more than one centre providing the visits can be justified on the grounds of development need and not as collaborative visits. You should be prepared at interview to discuss, in detail, any visits proposed.
The MRC Methodology Research Fellowship provides the opportunity to spend time in an overseas research centre, a second UK research centre or UK industrial centre in year two or three of the award. The aim of this training component is to provide a concentrated period of training, which cannot be achieved as effectively within the proposed academic host institution. We would normally expect this period to be one period of up to 12 months; however the panel may consider more than one centre providing the visits can be justified on the grounds of training needs and are not simply collaborative visits.
You should be prepared at interview to discuss, in some detail, any such period proposed.
If you are invited to interview, you would be expected to demonstrate a commitment to the UK research effort. In addition, the MRC will expect to see a statement of commitment supporting the application and the career development of the fellow coming from the proposed host institution.
An MRC Methodology research fellowship may be awarded for any period up to four years.
This fellowship competition is held once a year. There is no need to submit an outline application. Please see the schedule and deadlines for fellowships web page for closing dates.
Fellows may spend up to six hours a week during the fellowship on teaching, demonstrating or supervising research staff. The payment for this work may be retained in full if this is in accordance with the host institution’s normal policy.
The MRC recognises the challenges faced by clinicians in combining research training with the demands of a clinical career. We therefore try to operate the scheme as flexibly as possible, allowing up to 20 per cent of fellows' time for NHS sessions.
- Current scientific priority areas
- Deadlines for applications
- Fellowship Application Guidance
- Assessment criteria
- Fellowship terms and conditions
- Residence eligibility requirements
For further information please refer to our contacts page.