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Fellowships

C-DICE is pleased to announce that the C-DICE Fellowships are now open to new applications.

To find out more about the C-DICE Postdoctoral Fellowships, read on. For C-DICE Peer Reviewers, click here.

What is a C-DICE Fellowship?

The Centre for Postdoctoral Development in Infrastructure, Cities and Energy (C-DICE) invites applications for C-DICE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships from outstanding postdoctoral researchers and early career researchers (ECRs). These Fellowships are designed to promote research aligned to infrastructure, cities, and energy, that will accelerate the progress towards a net-zero society by 2050, whilst providing the opportunity for researchers to develop their independence, with significant support from C-DICE. A multidisciplinary approach would be an advantage. There are two C-DICE Fellowships available for start in 2023.

The C-DICE Postdoctoral Research Fellows (“C-DICE Fellows”) will create their own research project with a minimum duration of 1 year, worked full-time or part-time. The Fellowship will support the transition of postdoctoral researchers and ECRs to fully independent research leaders by developing and expanding their research experience and research portfolio through the Fellowship project. Alongside this, the C-DICE Fellows will need the support of a named Academic Mentor, as well as accessing a cohort of C-DICE Fellows and other support from the C-DICE project.

The Fellowship can be designed around your needs, full-time, part-time or any variation thereof. The C-DICE Fellow will need to be hosted at a C-DICE partner university (the “host university”) and will preferably be encouraged to utilise UKCRIC and/or ERA facilities during the research.  The research will ideally take place in partnership, for example, with industry (with a big company, an SME, or a start-up), with policy makers (in government or with a local authority), at a non-profit organisation, at other suitable universities, in a research facility, or a combination of these (the “delivery partners”). To assist in creating a network of delivery partners or to strengthen existing partnerships, C-DICE is offering a Fellowship Development Networking Grant. This is an award of up to £1,000 which can be used for travel and subsistence to meet with potential delivery partners. For more information, click here.

Each application for Fellowships is capped at a maximum grant of £140,000, with a maximum of £65,000 for directly incurred costs (e.g. salary, travel and subsistence, consumables) and a maximum of £75,000 for directly allocated costs (e.g. estates, indirect costs, infrastructure or pool technician). Note that C-DICE funds the Fellowship at 100% full economic costing. Matched commitments from external delivery partners are encouraged, and a Statement of Support from all delivery partners (including the host university) will be required.

For shorter-term (6 months or less) C-DICE opportunities, go to: Postdoctoral Researcher Development Funding Opportunities. C-DICE is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all under-represented groups. To support applicants in the EDI portion of the research proposal, C-DICE will hold an online “Embedding EDI into Research” workshop on 2nd November 2022. It is C-DICE’s policy to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged or receives less favourable treatment because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. If you have special needs requiring assistance with the application process, please email Amy Beierholm at a.beierholm@cdice.ac.uk.

To support applicants during the preparation of their proposals, C-DICE will hold two information webinars (on 12st October 2022 and on 11th January 2023).

It is a condition of funding that C-DICE Fellows engage with C-DICE in relation to the funded activity. C-DICE Fellows are expected to participate in C-DICE events and attend C-DICE Fellow Cohort meetings for the duration of the project. C-DICE Fellows will also be invited to present at the C-DICE Annual Conference, will be expected to run an activity to benefit other postdoctoral researchers and ECRs, and will be asked to present a Case Study at a C-DICE Business Engagement Event.

Fellowships are intended to fund an individual to progress their research career with the expectation that this will lead to a full fellowship application via UKRI or similar. The funding can be used to support the eligible activities normally supported under UKRI research funding, including but not limited to staff time, travel, subsistence, and overheads. The applicant is encouraged to seek matched funding for consumables and experimental costs. These costs may be admissible for C-DICE funding in exceptional circumstances. All costs must be fully justified as relevant to the research. The funding is provided by Research England Development Fund and information on the eligibility of organisations and individuals to receive Research England funding is available in the following T&Cs.

C-DICE Themes

The overarching goal of C-DICE is to accelerate progress towards a net-zero society by 2050 by building and sustaining the advanced skills base required to create a pipeline of world-class talent for the Infrastructure, Cities and Energy sectors. C-DICE Fellowships must contribute to the acceleration of progress towards a net-zero society by 2050 and align with two or more of the following:

  • Research in infrastructure, cities, and/or energy.
  • Research using the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) facilities. Priority will be given to proposals which bridge ERA and UKCRIC.
  • Knowledge exchange between collaborating C-DICE universities.
  • Development and networking benefits for postdoctoral researchers and ECRs.

Benefits of a C-DICE fellowship

A C-DICE Fellowship introduces postdoctoral researchers and ECRs to new perspectives, skills, and techniques, while giving them new opportunities & responsibilities. A C-DICE Fellow can “sector-hop”, test innovative thinking and skills in a different environment, and gain access to world-leading facilities and research teams. Furthermore, a C-DICE Fellowship allows for mobility to gain breadth of experience. They can combine academic research with an industrial placement to suit their needs. Sector-hopping may include a short-term placement in an industrial setting. Mobility may include visiting a research lab in another university or developing skills in an ERA or UKCRIC facility. It would also be possible to access multiple universities in one region – e.g. the C-DICE Fellow may do their research with two local C-DICE universities and an industrial partner. Note that Statements of Support must be obtained from all delivery partners.

A C-DICE Fellowship is a unique tool for career development and a means to expand the C-DICE Fellow’s network. A distinct benefit will be the support provided to the C-DICE Fellows through cohort activities and additional support from within the project.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Applicants must have either a PhD or at least four years’ experience as a postdoctoral researcher in a relevant field by the start of your fellowship.
  • PhD students are eligible to apply but must have been awarded their PhD (or passed the viva with minor corrections) before 14 February 2023 or the Fellowship offer will be withdrawn.
  • Applicants must not hold a permanent academic position (e.g. assistant professor or lecturer) before the start of the C-DICE Fellowship.
  • The C-DICE Fellow must be hosted at a C-DICE university, although partnership with other organisations is encouraged.
  • The applicant must identify an Academic Mentor, who is different to their PhD or postdoctoral research supervisor.
  • Before submitting an application, it is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the host university and delivery partners and gain the formal approval from the relevant head(s) of department/school in the form of a Statement of Support.
  • Note that the host university must provide a Statement of Support stating that they will provide an employment contract for the duration of the Fellowship.
  • Statements of Support must also be included from other named delivery partners.
  • C-DICE Fellowships must commence as soon as possible after 1 May and no later than 1 November 2023, unless there are exceptional circumstances. The minimum duration of the Fellowship is one year, but may be pro-rated on a part-time basis. Awards may be held on any part-time or full-time basis. All awards must be completed by 30 April 2025. Proposals for a C-DICE Fellowship shorter than one year are not advised. Consider applying for Networking Grants or Visiting Fellowships for shorter placement opportunities.
  • There are no nationality and age restrictions for applicants. The host university is responsible for securing all necessary visas, work permits, and related costs for the C-DICE Fellows.

Funding Level

Applications can be submitted for projects up to £140,000 in value, with a maximum of £65,000 in directed incurred and £75,000 in directed allocated costs. The Fellowship award will be funded at 100% full economic costing. Eligible costs are as defined in the standard UKRI  terms and conditions for research grants and should be justified in the application. Project awardees can invoice 100% of the full economic costs quarterly in arrears. To support Fellowship applicants in understanding research proposal budget, C-DICE will hold an online “Creating a Research Proposal Budget” workshop on 18th October 2022.

Timeline

Call Issue20 September 2022
Info webinar12 October 2022 (14:00-14:45)
Creating a Research Proposal Budget – online workshop18 October 2022 (10:00-11:00)
Embedding EDI into Research – online workshop2 November 2022 (13:30-15:00)
Interviewing Skills – online workshop14 December 2022 (10:00-11:00)
Info webinar11 January 2023 (11:00-11:45)
C-DICE Fellowship Development Networking Grant14 January 2023 at 16:00
Closing date for submissions14 February 2023 at 16:00
Interview datesw/c 20 March 2023
Award decisions made by Review Panel Meeting29 March 2023
Email notification of award31 March 2023
Offer letters and contracts issued7 April 2023
Project acceptance required by14 April 2023
Earliest project start date1 May 2023
Latest project completion date30 April 2025

How to apply

  • Sign up to Inkpath and link to C-DICE. For more details on how, click here.
  • Apply using Inkpath, search for C-DICE activity code DFAB0005 or use the button below.
  • When you sign up for the activity, you will receive a link to an online application form.
  • If you need additional assistance with completing an application or Inkpath, contact Amy Beierholm at a.beierholm@cdice.ac.uk
  • You will need:
    • Applicant and host university details
    • Narrative CV and track record
    • Research proposal concept and objectives (max 1250 words)
    • Cover letter, including alignment to C-DICE themes (max 250 words)
    • Budget justification and requested funding
    • Career development plan (max 250 words)
    • Statement(s) of Support
    • Reference Letters

Download the full C-DICE Fellowship guidance below. Please note that the guidance was updated on 14 Oct 2022. If you have downloaded it before this, please download it again.


C-DICE Peer Reviewers

C-DICE is looking for Peer Reviewers to review applications for C-DICE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships 2023. Peer Reviewers should be Postdoctoral Researchers, including early career researchers (ECRs), or PhD students in their final year, active in net-zero, infrastructure, cities or energy research. Up to three positions are available, two of which are reserved for Postdoctoral Researchers. Please note that if you are chosen to be a Peer Reviewer, you will not be eligible to apply for a C-DICE Fellowship 2023.

Why should I be a C-DICE Fellowship Peer Reviewer?

  • To gain valuable insight into the grant proposal process
  • To benefit from the mentorship of senior academics who sit alongside you in the review panel
  • Peer Reviewing improves your future grant applications and ultimately increases your chances of winning future grants

C-DICE is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from all under-represented groups. It is C-DICE’s policy to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged or receives less favourable treatment because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Eligibility

Essential Criteria

  • Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher, including ECRs, or a final year PhD student
  • Area of research aligning with one or more of the following: net-zero, infrastructure, cities or energy
  • Applicants who have passed their viva (or passed with minor corrections) before 25 January 2023 will be considered for one of the postdoctoral places
  • Currently enrolled at or employed by a C-DICE partner institution
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to meet deadlines

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge of diversity and inclusion issues and a demonstrated commitment to making progress on these issues, with experience of improving outcomes.

Timeline

Call Issue20 September 2022
Info webinar (optional)12 October 2022 (14:00-14:45)
Info webinar (optional) 11 January 2023 (11:00-11:45)
Closing date for submissions25 January 2023 at 16:00
Applicants selected as C-DICE Peer Reviewers contacted via email30 January 2023

Peer Reviewer Responsibilities

C-DICE Peer Reviewers will be asked to familiarise themselves with the C-DICE programme by reading the briefing note that will be sent to them. They are expected to review research project proposals and score them objectively using a provided scoring sheet in a timely manner. Peer Reviewers will then attend a shortlisting panel meeting online to decide which Fellowship applicants are shortlisted for interview. After the interviews take place (w/c 20 March 2023), Peer Reviewers will attend an online panel meeting to make the final award decisions. After the peer reviewing experience, Peer Reviewers will be expected to complete a reflective piece, in the form of a blog, video blog, written report, or similar. Upon submission of the “final report”, Peer Reviewers will receive a £300 honorarium.

Peer Reviewers to receive applications to review21 February 2023
Applications reviewed by6 March 2023
Shortlisting panel meeting (online)9-11 March 2023 (TBC)
Award decision panel meeting (online)27-29 March 2023 (TBC)
“Final report” due30 April 2023

Application

  • Sign up to Inkpath and link to C-DICE. For more details on how, click here.
  • Apply through Inkpath, using activity code DFAB0006 or use the button below.
  • When you sign up for the activity, you will receive a link to an online application form.
  • If you need additional assistance with completing an application or with using Inkpath, contact Amy Beierholm at a.beierholm@cdice.ac.uk
  • You will need:
    • Applicant details
    • Narrative CV (for guidance, click here)
    • Cover letter (max 300 words)
    • Letters of reference from 2 referees

Useful Links:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Will the info webinars be recorded and made available afterwards?
    Yes.
  2. Will the budget, EDI, and interview workshops be recorded and made available afterwards?
    Yes.
  3. Since Research England provides the funding for the fellowships, can applicants apply from outside England?
    The eligibility criteria is that your host institution (which will provide your employment contract) be in the C-DICE Partnership. From the list of 18 universities, there are universities in Scotland.
  4. Who would be my line manager? Am I able to stay at my current group?
    If you were the recipient of this fellowship, you would be the lead on this grant. However, you would have an Academic Mentor of your choosing from your host university or one of your delivery partners.
  5. Can a referee be from the same institution as the applicant?
    Yes
  6. Should bids be costed by our Research Office in the same way as other external funding?
    Yes. We’ll need full economic costing figures. C-DICE will fund the Fellowship at 100%FEC. If your university would reduce their overheads, your funding could stretch further.
  7. My current research position is part-time and I’ve had gaps in my academic research positions. Am I eligible?
    Yes, we encourage researchers who have had to take time away from academia to apply. The Fellowship can be held on a part-time basis as long as they are completed by 30 Apr 2025.
  8. Can PhD students apply?
    Yes, if they have passed their viva with minor corrections by 14 Feb 2023.
  9. How many C-DICE Fellowships are available?
    There are 2 available.
  10. I am working as a postdoctoral researcher, but I do not have a PhD. Am I eligible?
    To align with EPSRC eligibility requirements for Postdoc Fellowships, we are including those who have had the equivalent of at least 4 years’ postdoc research experience in a relevant field by the start of your fellowship.
  11. Is there a page limit for the Statement of Support?
    There’s no official limit, but Statements of Support are typically 1 or 2 pages long.
  12. Is one year a hard limit for full-time support for research time?
    C-DICE can pay for 12 months at 1.0FTE of salary and overheads (at 100% FEC). If you have contributions from your delivery partners to pay further months of salary and your host university can contribute by waiving some of the overheads, then it would strengthen your application.
  13. If a candidate was employed at a C-DICE university, but is no longer employed there, are they eligible to apply?
    If a C-DICE university is willing to host a postdoc for a C-DICE Fellowship, then they can apply. The employment contract would have to be issued through that institution and the funds would flow through it.
  14. Can C-DICE help with work visas?
    No. The host university providing the employment contract would be responsible for sponsoring the work visa.
  15. What is the timeline like?
    Application deadline is 14 Feb 2023
    Interview dates w/c 20 Mar 2023
    Email notification of award 31 Mar 2023
    Contracts issued 7 Apr 2023
    Project acceptance by 14 Apr 2023
    Earliest project start date 1 May 2023
    Latest project completion date 30 Apr 2025
  16. Will there be another call for C-DICE Fellowships?
    At this time, we do not foresee another call for C-DICE Fellowships
  17. Can the academic mentor be from one of the delivery partners, but not from the host university?
    Yes, they can.
  18. From this statement in the call, “Research using the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) facilities. Priority will be given to proposals which bridge ERA and UKCRIC.” Is the preference is limited to using both ERA and UKCRIC facilities or it also encourages collaborative proposal amongst ERA and UKCRIC partner universities but only using ERA facilities?
    It also encourages collaboration between ERA and UKCRIC partner universities.