Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

The deadline for applications to this award has now passed.
Any future rounds of funding will be announced via the USF mailing list (see bottom of page).

The Urban Studies Foundation (USF) is pleased to announce a new round of Postdoctoral Research Fellowship funding. In line with the USF’s mission to promote high-quality research in Urban Studies, as well as nurturing a new generation of early-career researchers, this round of the scheme will fund up to five fellowships. Each fellowship is worth up to a total of GBP £180,000 over a maximum of three years. Successful candidates may be based anywhere globally, and should propose a programme of work which will advance scholarly knowledge of any element of cities and urbanisation to the highest international standards of peer review.

The scheme is designed to enable Fellows to undertake up to three years dedicated Urban Studies research, following a programme of research designed and executed by the Fellow. The Fellow’s research programme is expected to involve original empirical inquiry, methodological rigour and conceptual innovation, all set within a detailed knowledge of relevant existing research and scholarship. The expectation is that a Fellow will publish outputs from this research in the international Urban Studies literature, as well as taking seriously possibilities for developing the impact of their research beyond the academy.

Each fellowship will be held by an eligible applicant for up to a maximum of three years duration, through an award that will be paid to an eligible institute of higher education (HEI) where the fellowship is to be held for the duration of the award. A successful applicant should have a Mentor based in that HEI, with whom they will work closely for the duration of the fellowship.

All awards are fully-funded by the Urban Studies Foundation; and according to our aims and objectives to advance academic research, education, and knowledge mobilisation in the field of urban studies.

Information about current and previous Postdoctoral Research Fellows can be found on the ‘About > People‘ section of this website.

Eligibility: applicants must have obtained a PhD within the preceding five years and they must be demonstrably involved in Urban Studies research, with a credible programme of future Urban Studies research and scholarship.

Requirements: applicants must have developed their application in close association with a Mentor from the potential HEI, and the application requires input and support from the applicant, the Mentor and the HEI.

Terms: the Urban Studies Foundation will undertake to pay an annual award to the HEI of successful applicants, which should meet both the salary agreed between the applicant and the HEI, as well as additional research expenses.

Submission: completed applications must be submitted electronically via the web form linked below. The application must include:

  • Completed application form: containing details of the applicant, referees, mentor, HEI, and proposed fellowship.
  • Outline of proposed programme of Urban Studies research to be undertaken by the Fellow: the applicant should elaborate on their contribution and commitment to Urban Studies, and provide details of their proposed research programme.
  • CV listing academic achievements and publications.
  • Copy of PhD award letter or some equivalent document that can confirm the veracity and date of the applicant’s PhD award.
  • Mentor support form: each Mentor must complete and sign the form below, which must be submitted by the applicant along with their application.
  • HEI support form: a representative from the HEI must complete and sign the form below, which must be submitted by the applicant along with their applications.

Please note that this application form is several pages long. Each page has a save button at the bottom of the page, to enable progress to be saved. However, it is strongly recommended to draft proposals offline (e.g. in word), and then paste details into the fields provided. Proposal text formatting is not permitted (i.e. no colours, bold, or italic text). To assist with this, a template form is available to download here and use offline before submitting this form.

In addition, all applicants will be requested to voluntarily complete an anonymous Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form after they have submitted their application. The form will be requested from all applicants after the deadline has passed. This form and any information volunteered with it is not used in the assessment process and will be separated from individual applications. It is only used for monitoring who applies to USF awards on aggregate, so that the USF may regularly assess and improve how it advertises and administers its grant funding.

Applicants seeking clarifications regarding the terms of this award should first consult the Further Particulars documentation and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If further clarification or discussion is required please contact Joe Shaw, USF Director of Operations, at:

Mentors should ensure they have read and understand the Mentorship Best Practice Guidelines for the award, and both the Mentor and HEI must complete their respective support forms for each application, which can be downloaded below.

All documents for this award can be downloaded below, and a link to the application form is available at the bottom of this page.

Further particulars (.pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions (.pdf)

Mentorship Best Practice Guidelines (.pdf)

Mentor Support Form (.docx)

HEI Support Form (.docx)

Proposal Template (.docx)