About ECR Visiting Fellowships
To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Journal of Experimental Biology has launched two new grants to support junior faculty staff: Early-Career Researcher (ECR) Visiting Fellowships and Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants.
ECR Visiting Fellowships provide funding to junior faculty staff (e.g. Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Group Leader, Principal Investigator) to attract an early-career researcher (e.g. graduate student or post-doctoral researcher) to undertake a defined research project in their lab for one to three months.
Each grant is a maximum of £3,000 (or currency equivalent) and can be used towards the travel, accommodation and subsistence of the visiting ECR for a period of one to three months.
The grant does not cover research costs, and applicants must already have secured full funding for their research project.
ECR Visiting Fellowships
Applicants must be within five years of setting up their first lab/research group and be working in the field of experimental biology relating to animal comparative physiology or biomechanics.
Each application will be evaluated on the excellence of the candidate as well as the aims and approach of the proposed research project, the applicant’s track record, benefits to the applicant and ECR, and alignment of the research project to the core remit of Journal of Experimental Biology.
Please review the applicant handbook and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before completing and submitting your application.
Note: We are unable to pay awards to recipients in jurisdictions, countries or regions of the world subject to sanctions, embargoes or other political trade restrictions put in place by the United Nations, the EU or the UK.
- Applications will be considered only from junior faculty staff members (e.g. Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Group Leader, Principal Research Investigator) within five years (excluding any career breaks) of their first faculty position.
- Applicants must be working in the field of experimental biology relating to animal comparative physiology or biomechanics.
- Grants do not cover research costs — applicants must already have secured funding for their research project.
- Grants do not support attendance at scientific meetings, conferences or training courses.
- Grants will not be awarded to applicants with an existing collaboration with the ECR to be invited.
- ECR Visiting Fellowships can be awarded once only to an applicant.
- Applicants cannot apply for both an ECR Visiting Fellowship and a Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grant within a 12-month period.
- If an application is unsuccessful, the applicant cannot reapply within 12 months (i.e. they may not reapply in the following funding round).
- The date of travel of the ECR must occur within six months of funding being awarded.
- Applications will not be considered retrospectively.
Guidelines for completing the application:
- The application form and all supporting documents must be completed in English, and letters of support must be on institutional headed paper and signed.
- The total amount requested should not exceed £3,000.
- Expenses include travel, accommodation, subsistence and visa fees. Travel insurance costs should not be included in the expenses.
- Please upload the following documents to your application:
- letter of employment status and support from your Head of Department/School
- statement/evidence of research funding from your Head of Department/School
- Curriculum Vitae
- publication list
- It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the criteria required for the grant.
Terms and conditions for successful applicants:
- If your application is successful, you will be required to sign our ECR Visiting Fellowship Agreement.
- The start date of the ECR visit must occur within six months of funding being awarded.
- If for any reason the visit is delayed beyond six months of the award, you must seek permission to extend the funding.
- If you are unable to recruit an ECR or the visit is cancelled, the funds allocated will need to be returned, in full.
- Any unspent funds must be returned within one month of the end of the visit.
- You must keep all receipts related to the ECR’s visit. These must be scanned and uploaded via the online application portal within one month of the end of your visit.
- You must provide at least two bright, clear photographs and a 300–500-word summary of the outcomes of the ECRs visit within three months of completion of the visit.
- Funds can only be used to support the ECR visit specified in your application. You must seek agreement from us if any details change after your application has been submitted.
Deadline dates for applications and applicants handbook
- 15 July 2023 (for travel after 12 August 2023)
- 1 December 2023 (for travel after 2 January 2024)
- 3 June 2024 (for travel after 2 July 2024)
- 1 December 2024 (for travel after 2 January 2025)
Please submit your application in plenty of time as it can take up to four weeks from the deadline date to reach a decision.
Our applicant handbook provides further useful information on the application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I apply for a Visiting Fellowship if I already have an existing collaboration or partnership with the ECR?
No, we do not award funds for existing collaborations.
- Do I already need to have recruited the visiting ECR before I submit the application?
You may already know an ECR that is interested in visiting your lab to work on a project or you may need to advertise the opportunity if your application is successful.
- Will The Company of Biologists or Journal of Experimental Biology help in finding/recruiting a visiting ECR?
No, it is the responsibility of the junior faculty member to find, recruit and liaise with the visiting ECR. Any recruitment process should follow the guidelines of the faculty member’s institution/university/research centre. We also encourage consideration of equity, diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process (see https://www.biologists.com/about-us/edi).
- Do supporting letters have to be signed?
Yes, all supporting letters must be on headed paper with a signature. They can then be scanned and submitted with your completed application through the grant application portal.
- What information needs to be included in the Letter of Status/Support from my Head of Department/School?
The Letter of Status must include who you are, your position, and when you were appointed to that position at your institution.
- What information needs to be included in the Statement/Evidence of Research Funding from my Head of Department/School?
The Statement/evidence of research funding from your Head of Department/School should include a statement of support that the institution is willing to host an ECR, that the infrastructure and funds are available for the proposed research project and that the project is feasible.
- Can my Head of Department/School send you their letters directly?
No, the application letter and all supporting documents should be submitted through the grant application portal together, either as one document or as separate attachments.
- Is it acceptable to complete the application with estimated costs for expenses as I don’t know the exact costs at this stage?
Yes, that is acceptable, as you will be required to provide evidence of expenditure and return unspent funds.
- If I am awarded an ECR Visiting Fellowship, will I get the funding before the ECR’s visit?
Yes, we pay the funds directly into your institution’s bank account once the award has been granted.
- If my application is successful, will you publish the details of my submission?
Yes, we may publish a summary of your report on our website, on social media and in other promotional materials. We may also include details of your name, your institution, the project title and details of the ECR who will be visiting. This is a great achievement, and your success will inspire other junior faculty staff to apply for an ECR Visiting Fellowship. If you have any concerns about the use of your material or personal data in this way, please let us know.
- Would you like the original receipts mailed to you or can I scan them and send you copies electronically?
Receipts must be scanned and submitted via the Online Application portal.
- I assume any amount of money that I can't explain with receipts will have to be returned?
Yes, we do require evidence for every expense incurred and paid.
- Will I have an answer about the result of my application even if it is negative?
Yes, you will be notified even if your application is unsuccessful.
- Can the ECR hold a Travelling Fellowship from The Company of Biologists to provide additional support for the visit?
No, the ECR is not permitted to hold a Travelling Fellowship for the same project.
- Are career interruptions (parental leave, illness, carer’s responsibilities) taken into consideration?
Yes, all applications are considered relative to opportunity, including time elapsed since taking up first appointment as a junior faculty member.
- How does an ECR Visiting Fellowship differ from a JEB Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grant?
Both schemes have been initiated to support junior faculty staff members entering a critical stage in their careers, a stage where there are few funding initiatives. Research Partnership Kickstart Travel Grants are different from ECR Visiting Fellowships in that they are designed to initiate a new research collaboration by providing funds to support a junior faculty member to travel to another research lab for up to seven days to initiate a new research partnership and develop, write and submit a major grant application for collaborative research. ECR Visiting Fellowships are designed to attract and support an ECR (e.g. graduate student or postdoc, up to five years post-PhD) coming to the junior faculty member’s lab to undertake a defined research project.
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