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Definition of eligibility for funding

Frequently asked questions

1.) How does the AHRC define an ‘Early Career Researcher’?

The AHRC’s formal definition of an ECR is an individual who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or an individual who is within six years of their first academic appointment. These durations exclude any period of career break, e.g. for family care or health reasons. The ‘first academic appointment’ is defined as the first paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary functions. The award of PhD is defined at the point of successful PhD viva.

2.) Who is eligible to apply for AHRC funding?

The AHRC's research schemes are open to full and part-time academic and academic-related members of staff at Research Organisations (ROs) directly supported by the UK funding councils.

3.) Do I need to be employed on a permanent contract to be eligible for an AHRC Research Grant or to apply to the AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellows Scheme?

For the Research Grants Scheme, applicants do not need to have a permanent post, but they must have an existing contract at the time of application, and that contract must cover the full period of the grant. However, if the applicant’s existing contract does not cover the whole period, the AHRC will make allowance for the applicant’s RO to extend their contract to the necessary duration in the event of a successful application.

For the AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellows Scheme at the point of application applicants must:

  • have been employed at the RO they wish to apply through for one year;
  • have at least two years of post-doctoral experience in an academic/research environment or an equivalent level of professional/practice experience;
  • have an existing employment contract with the RO that lasts at least until the end of the award.

4.) Can I hold an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellows award and a position on an AHRC-funded research project simultaneously?

If you will be dedicating 100 percent of your normal contracted working time to the Fellowship, you will not be eligible to be a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on any other AHRC award, or to have commitments to undertake research with other award-making bodies during the Fellowship period.