Post-doctoral opportunities

The School for Sociology, Politics and International Studies has a successful track record of hosting Postdoctoral Fellows, and Bristol is one of only two UK universities to be internationally commended for its excellence in the postdoctoral experience.

Benefits of the post-doctoral experience in SPAIS

  • Extensive support and guidance provided by mentor, academic and administrative research staff
  • Post-doctoral fellows receive the same access to School, Faculty and University funding of research and travel as permanent members of staff
  • You will join one or more of the School’s research groups, benefiting from the vibrant academic atmosphere these engender
  • You will receive expert support in the preparation of grant applications during your Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • You will be able to take advantage of the comprehensive range of training courses offered to research staff, aimed at maximising your career building potential

We welcome enquiries from potential applicants to various UK and European Postdoctoral funding schemes, including those listed here:

Here are some current open calls for post-doctoral fellowships:

ESRC New Investigators Scheme

New Investigator grants aim to support new researchers and academics at the start of their career through gaining experience of managing and leading research projects and teams. Applicants can be already based in Bristol or applying externally. 

Applications to the ESRC New Investigator Scheme must proceed via a University of Bristol internal selection process. Applicants who are successful in the internal selection process will then be supported by the University of Bristol to apply to the ESRC. Details of the process and scheme are below.

The Scheme

 The ESRC New Investigator Grant scheme is open to high-quality candidates from anywhere in the world who have a maximum of four years’ postdoctoral experience and the support of an eligible UK research organisation. Grants ranging from £100,000 to £300,000 full Economic Cost (fEC) can be awarded.

Proposals are welcomed across the full disciplinary range of the social sciences and at the interface with the wider sciences, however the social sciences must represent at least 50 per cent of the research focus and effort.

University of Bristol Process

Applications can be submitted at any time, however the ESRC has stated that the University should ensure that proposals submitted are of a high quality, and that we should avoid submitting large number of applications at any one time. The following process has therefore been put in place. Candidates should submit, by one of the below deadlines:

1) Application Form (you should also read the internal application guidance here)

2) Summary CV (2 sides A4)

Applications will be viewed by a panel consisting of relevant Faculty and School Research Directors. Applicants approved in the process will have approximately three months to fully develop and submit their applications, with support from their identified mentors and RED staff.

Completed submissions should be sent by e-mail to If you have any queries regarding the process please contact Sam Lambshead Research Development Associate (

Please notify the School Research Director for SPAIS of your intention to apply to this scheme before the internal University of Bristol deadline:

University of Bristol Deadlines

All internal applications should be submitted by 5pm on the specified date.

Internal Deadline

Internal Outcome

For Submission to ESRC by

ESRC Outcome (Estimated)

23rd May 2019

Mid June 2019

1st October 2019

March/April 2020

26th September 2019

Mid October 2019

1st February 2020

July/August 2020

30th January 2020

Mid February 2020

1st June 2020

November/December 2020

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships

The sixth call for Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowships under Horizon 2020 is now open.

European Commission application deadline: 11th September 2019

Reminder of scheme details
This is a bottom up call, so all research areas are eligible. Applicants must either have a PhD at the time of the call deadline or at least 4 years full time research experience (inclusive of PhD). The mobility rules require that the researcher has not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date (exceptions to this apply under the career restart and reintegration panels).

Details of the call are available here:;freeTextSearchKeyword=;typeCodes=1;statusCodes=31094501,31094502;programCode=H2020;programDivisionCode=31047830;focusAreaCode=null;crossCuttingPriorityCode=null;callCode=Default;sortQuery=openingDate;orderBy=asc;onlyTenders=false;topicListKey=topicSearchTablePageState

Information and enquiries

Full details on staff research interests 

For more information on applying to do post-doctoral research in SPAIS, please contact:

Dr Therese O'Toole, Research Director, email:,
tel: +44 (0)117 928 8582

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
University of Bristol
11 Priory Road
United Kingdom

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