Please see below for further information for applicants for the 75th Anniversary Fellowship Scheme.


  • Cranfield University’s 75th Anniversary Fellowships are intended for exceptional researchers who are at the early stages of their research career and who have demonstrated potential to establish research independence.
  • Applications are invited from applicants in all subject areas that have a strong research base at Cranfield University.
  • Fellowships can be held fully funded or through two part funded modalities: Part funded with industry (applicants would be expected to identify and develop the proposal with the industrial sponsor) and part funded with public sector funding (applicants would be expected to submit and be successful in applying for an external public sector fellowship e.g. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships).
  • Fellows (with the exception of the part funded fellows with industry) can spend up to a total of 6 months visiting other research institutions and/or industry throughout the lifetime of the fellowship.
  • For all fellows, where secondments in industry or another institution are a part of the research proposal submission, evidence needs to be submitted of the seconding organisation’s willingness to host the fellow (Letter of Support from Research Collaborators).
  • Part funded fellows with industry can spend up to 1.5 years in industry throughout the lifetime of the fellowship. Evidence needs to be submitted of the industrial sponsor’s support and commitment to the fellowship (Industrial Sponsor Letter of Support).
  • For part funded fellowships with industry a commercial contract will need to be agreed between Cranfield and the industrial sponsor prior to the fellowship’s start.
  • For fully funded fellowships, salary is provided for 3 years within Cranfield’s level 5 pay scale. A contribution of up to £20k per fellow over the duration of the fellowship is available for research, travel and training expenses.


  • Applicants can be up to 6 years post-PhD (calculated from the PhD Viva) prior to the closing date of the application (Exceptions to this include career breaks where this period will not be counted in the total limit).
  • In exceptional cases, applicants may be permitted to apply before PhD submission, but any offer will be dependent on the PhD being awarded before the start of the fellowship, and it is expected that applicants will have received their PhD by the interview stage in June 2021.
  • Internal applicants will be expected to move from their PhD supervisor.
  • Part Funded Fellowships with public sector funding must adhere to the eligibility criteria of the scheme for which they are applying which may differ to the 75th Anniversary Fellowship scheme e.g. number of years since PhD
  • Please note that security clearance is required for all staff to work on the Shrivenham site.
  • Potential applicants who already hold a permanent position are considered to have achieved the aims of the scheme already and are not eligible.


At the end of a 75th Anniversary Fellowship, fellows will be able to show that they have the potential to be an independent leader in their area of research and have the skills and experience to apply for more advanced (intermediate level) funding schemes, such as the Royal Society University Research Fellowship and the ERC Starting Grants (or similar).

Fellows being awarded these prestigious 75th Anniversary fellowships will be expected to deliver significant return to the institution, in relation to reputation and citizenship. Specific expectations will be developed in discussion with the fellows’ line management and as part of their personal development and review activities. However, key overarching expectations are outlined below.

Funding: Fellows fully funded by Cranfield will be expected to apply for externally funded fellowships throughout the lifetime of the fellowships (e.g. RAEng fellowships, UKRI Future Research Leaders Fellowships etc.). By the end of the fellowship all fellows would be expected to have developed a strong track record of generating income at the Level 6 (Lecturer/Senior Research Fellow level) e.g. through the receipt of externally funded grants, receipt of an externally funded fellowship and/or developing Research Council grant bids and participation on UKRI grants.

Scholarship and reputation: All fellows would be expected to take on significant activities that enhance their personal reputation and the reputation of the institution by becoming thought leaders. This includes participation in key external bodies (e.g. professional body committees and activity organisation); publishing research findings in an open access format and targeting journals and other publication media that will have the widest dissemination and engagement for the relevant user community; presenting research findings in relevant fora and conferences; and development of key theoretical and practical methods within their area of research. 

Citizenship: Teaching or administrative roles will be explored with individuals. Fellows may take up teaching opportunities if this would enable their development for example.  However, they will be expected to contribute to supporting Cranfield’s research culture, for example by participating in a Cranfield Research Excellence Seminar Series; participating in peer review activities for research grants at Cranfield; taking an active role in developing links to industry (particularly Cranfield part-funded fellows with industry); representing Cranfield with key funders and taking on citizenship roles, as may be relevant (e.g. leading communities of practice for research activities within their area).

Assessment criteria

Candidates must demonstrate the following criteria to be deemed suitable. For both the fully-funded and part-funded schemes, academic merit and research excellence is the primary criterion.

 Research excellence:

  • The proposed research should demonstrate a high level of academic merit, novelty and ambition.
  • A clear articulation of a strong research vision for the proposed research.
  • Robust methodology and appropriate consideration of key research governance issues e.g. ethics, data management, and feasibility.
  • Appropriateness of the research management arrangement (including considerations of the Industry Partner for fellowships part-funded by industry) and selection of the host department.

Applicant track record and potential:

  • An outstanding research track record including high-quality peer-reviewed research publications in journals, research funding and/or prizes and awards.
  • Evidence of a growing reputation in the relevant field for top quality research, both nationally and internationally, including conference presentations.
  • Evidence of developing leadership qualities and an aptitude for impact development and public engagement skills. Potential to act as an ambassador in their research field and more widely.

Cranfield Sponsor

All applicants will be allocated a Cranfield Sponsor as part of this scheme, who will act as the successful applicants’ line manager. Whilst applicants are not expected to identify a Cranfield Sponsor, as part of the research proposal form applicants will be expected to summarise their expectations of the sponsor’s background and support. There is also the opportunity to name a preferred Cranfield Sponsor, if this is relevant. If applicants have identified a preferred Cranfield Sponsor, applicants will have the opportunity to name.

Cranfield Sponsors will be permanent members of academic staff at the University. They are most likely a senior member of staff with significant experience as a Principal Investigator on research proposals. Further details about Cranfield members of staff and their expertise can be found through our Find an Expert function.

Training programme

Cranfield University’s 75th Anniversary fellows will have access to the entire Cranfield University L&D Programme. This includes access to the Cranfield Researcher Development and Business Skills programmes, training leading to a PG Cert in academic practice, and training on leadership and management, managing your career and diversity and inclusion. These early career researchers would also have the opportunity to take full responsibility for setting and directing their own research agenda. To allow fellows to focus on establishing their research, there are no obligatory teaching or administrative duties associated with these fellowships. However, if desired, such duties can be negotiated with the host department (up to a maximum of 15% of the fellows’ time).

In addition, a bespoke 75th Anniversary fellows training programme will be set up. This will include:

  • Fellows induction residential: A 2-day residential to provide the fellows with the necessary space to develop as a cohort and think about planning, resilience and communication.
  • Cranfield Fellows’ catch up: A monthly opportunity for all Cranfield fellowship awardees to meet together and discuss topics of interest and provide support to each other.
  • Writing retreat: An annual 1-day retreat providing an opportunity to devote a whole day to writing in a quiet and structured environment.
  • Dinner with senior staff: An annual opportunity to meet the Vice-Chancellor (and other senior staff) in an informal environment and update them, and other fellows, on research progress to date.
  • Cranfield Research Excellence Seminar Series: An opportunity for fellows to present their research as part of this new seminar series addressing research culture.
  • Mentor: Personal development planning and career coaching through the appointment of a senior level mentor.
  • Apprenticeship training: Fellows will have the opportunity to register for a leadership and management (or other relevant) apprenticeship training scheme e.g. leading to an MBA, to enable their future development.
  • 1:1 support: A programme of 1:1 support opportunities to further develop their research area to include support with research funding, business development, impact development and collaborative R&D.

Review process

Applications will be reviewed by a three stage process, with one application deadline each year:

  1. Research office sift: Once the deadline has passed the Research and Innovation Office will set up a sift panel to ensure all applications fit the eligibility criteria and meet the aims of the call.
  2. School review panel: Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria will be reviewed by the schools/themes, depending upon the Cranfield Sponsor proposed on submission.
  3. 75th anniversary fellowships Selection Committee: Applicants who are selected by the school review panels will be invited to present their proposal to the 75th Anniversary Fellowships Selection Committee, who will then rank applications in order of competitiveness and fit to criteria, and selection made based on availability of funds.

Timeline for 2021 start dates

November 2020

Call issued

7 March 2021

Deadline for applications

April/May 2021 School sift and selection panels 

June 2021

75th Anniversary Fellowships interviews and Selection Committee

June 2021

Outcome announced

October 2021

Fellows start

How to apply

Applicants interested in applying for a Cranfield University 75th Anniversary Fellowship should complete and submit an online application form via Cranfield’s job vacancies portal. The deadline for submission is 7 March 2021.

In addition to completing the online sections of the application form, applicants must upload the following attachments in PDF format under Supporting Documents within the application form:

  • Research proposal form (required – please use the template);
  • Industrial sponsor letter of support (if applying for a fellowship part funded with industry);
  • Letters of support from research collaborators (if a secondment is part of your proposal).