Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) Scheme

Our 2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme is now closed. Thank you to all who applied. You can keep up to date with all future SGSSS competitions by signing up for our Newsletter, registering for GradHub, or following us on Twitter.

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science is delighted to announce six new ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships to be based at one our partner institutions

The Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) Scheme is aimed at those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

Six post-doctoral Fellowships are available from the SGSSS-DTP to start in October 2019. At least one of these MUST be aligned with the industrial strategy. In order to align with the industrial strategy, your Fellowship should seek to address skills gaps in advanced quantitative methods and data skills/science, and/or follow a programme of activities that involves direct engagement with partners in business or industry (for example, a placement opportunity or the development of a collaboration research project). Please note that additional funding may be available from SGSSS-DTP to support an innovation placement with business or industry.

All Fellows are required to have a mentor based at the institution where the fellowship is held. The mentor should have experience and a strong interest in the applicant’s field of research but should not normally be the applicant’s PhD supervisor. We anticipate that many applicants will identify potential mentors independently, or with advice from previous supervisors/academic contacts. However, should candidates need assistance in identifying a suitable mentor, they should get in touch with the relevant HEI contact or alternatively contact SGSSS directly.


The call is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a DTP or CDT and who are within 12 months of completing their PhD. At the submission deadline, the applicant must either have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date.

  • The deadline for Stage 2 applications is 22 March 2019

Contact your Mentor

Candidate: Before submitting your Stage 1 application, you must first seek out a Mentor at the HEI you are applying to. If you do not have a Mentor in mind, click here for a list of HEI contacts who will be able to point you in the right direction. 

Mentor: Must check the Eligibility of the candidate and then support them to produce the Stage 1 application, as well as provide a one-page statement of support for the candidate to upload alongside their application.

Stage 1 Application

  • Download the Stage 1 Application form
  • Fill in the form with support from your Mentor
  • Register with GradHub
  • Submit your Stage 1 Application to SGSSS by 15 January 2019
  • Including your separate one-page statement of support from your mentor

Initial Candidate Selection

HEIs will review all Stage 1 applications internally. Candidates and their mentors will be notified of their application status by the end of February 2019. Successful candidates will be invited to submit a Stage 2 application.

Stage 2 Application

All stage two applicants are required to contact their mentors as soon as possible for support in preparing their submission. For additional support please contact your relevant HEI champion or SGSSS.

  • Download the Stage 2 Application form
  • Fill in the form with support from your Mentor
  • Submit your Stage 2 Application to SGSSS by 22 March 2019

Final Candidate Selection

SGSSS will review all applications internally. Candidates will be notified of their application status by June 2019. Feedback will be provided for all Stage 2 applicants.


HEIs will appoint PDFs and work with SGSSS to ensure proper induction, mentoring, and support.