Before applying you will require School (and possibly) University approval – please start this process by submitting your expression of interest (EOI) form, publication list and a short 2-4 pages CV, and return them to STEM-SPS-HOS@open.ac.uk by 5pm on Friday 11th November 2022. You will need to identify a member of academic faculty as your sponsor / mentor for this process.
Be aware that fellowship applications need to be started at least three months before the final external deadline. At least 1 month before the external deadline (with the support of your mentor and the OU admin staff) you will be expected to have all your financial plans in place, and peer-reviewed drafts of the full application uploaded. The final fellowship paperwork should be fully uploaded to our internal application systems at least 10 days before the external deadline for the mandatory approvals process to be completed. This will include completing any online application forms. Before starting an application, please make sure you can achieve the deadlines, and that your selected mentor is available to support you through this process.
Be sure to have made contact with potential collaborators in the School of Physical Sciences to discuss your ideas and understand how your research will fit with our strategic aims. Your academic sponsor / mentor will help to provide a strategic justification for supporting your fellowship, advise you on your scientific case, and help develop any letters required to be written in support of your application by the Head of School or PVC-Research. Such information also takes time to generate and should be in place well before the 10-day internal deadline.
Make sure you have carefully read the terms and conditions of any scheme you want to apply to and that you meet the eligibility requirements.
We can offer advice about what costs can be included in a fellowship application, but you need to be realistic. Make sure laboratory costs, computing needs and technical support or facility access is included; match your ask to your case for support. We can help with this, and the proposal will only be approved for submission once this is complete. Financial approval is mandatory – see the deadlines above!
It is important that a fellowship is a stepping-stone in your career journey. Think about where you are coming from and going to with the fellowship. It is very important to realise that fellowship applications at the OU are not linked to a subsequent permanent academic faculty position - no undertaking in this regard can be made at the outset. However it is true that when vacancies arise, fellows are often well placed to apply for, and secure, lectureship positions, both at the OU and elsewhere.
We strongly encourage all individuals to be considered as fellowship candidates. It is not always possible to support every potential candidate, but we will try to provide you with useful critical feedback. If you have particular needs due to personal circumstances, it is important to discuss how they might be addressed early in the application process – sometimes we can find solutions, sometimes not. However, it is important to note that once fellowship offers are made by external bodies the turnaround time to accept them is often short, and it is almost impossible to open negotiations with the university at that late stage to address a need not originally raised at the time of application.