Surrey Future Fellowships

Please note, the Surrey Future Fellows campaign is now closed. For other opportunities at the University of Surrey please visit our job opportunities page. 

Your fast track to excellence in research

Become a leading name in your field with the University of Surrey. The Surrey Future Fellows programme is an opportunity for early and mid-career researchers to push forward the frontiers of knowledge and make a real impact from their research.

Surrey Future Fellows

Research students

We’re looking for up to 40 Research Fellows to bring their ideas and unshakable curiosity to shape the next generation of world-class research at our university. Here at the University of Surrey, you’ll find the supportive ecosystem, structured mentorship, and academic opportunities to thrive and become future leaders in your chosen field of scholarship.

  • Our early career Future Fellowships go beyond just transforming your career prospects, allowing you to make a real impact on the most significant issues of today. With the University of Surrey, you could create research that informs the global direction on topics from sustainable futures, to artificial intelligence, or 6G technology, amongst other diverse strategic areas
  • The mid-career senior Future Fellowships will appeal to researchers who have done an initial post-doc and are on the threshold of building and leading teams to solve real-world problems.

We believe that the best ideas don’t happen in isolation. That’s why as a Surrey Future Fellow, you’ll find strong peer-to-peer networks, support from world-renowned mentors, and flourishing governmental, NGO and industry partnerships from within the UK and worldwide. This exceptional environment and academic network will unlock your potential to be a future leader whose research will make a difference to society. We hope you’ll develop your long-term career at the University of Surrey, where you’ll be able to conduct forward-thinking research, empower research students and partners, and generate innovative breakthroughs in your field.

Do you have exciting and ambitious research ideas?

Whether you’ve already completed postdoctoral research or will shortly be awarded your PhD, apply for the Surrey Future Fellows programme.

Hear more from our world-leading research community at the University of Surrey on what a Surrey Future Fellowship could mean for you and your postdoctoral academic career. View the interactive experience below to discover more. If you require subtitles, please select the icon on the bottom right after playing the video.

Duration and salary

Earn up to £51,805 per annum.

Senior fellows see more below.

Generous research start-up packages available.

Presumption of a permanent role following successful completion of initial 3-year fixed term contract.

If you’re more advanced in your academic research career, senior fellowships with an enhanced salary are also available. If you are interested, choose the senior fellow option on the application form to be considered.

As employees of the University, all Surrey Future Fellows will also be able to enjoy the full range of benefits we have available and become truly valued members of our vibrant academic community.


Research themes

As a leading research-intensive university, our research makes a difference to some of the greatest challenges that humanity faces today. Our impact comes from focusing on research intensity to ensure our teams are large enough to thrive; it also comes from an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving which requires effective and creative collaboration internally and externally.

Discover some of the vital research questions being answered by our University of Surrey research community. Could you contribute to these research areas or even bring your own original ideas to our fellowship programme such that you help to build a new strategic priority? We look forward to hearing about your research proposal.

Find out more about our key strategic priorities:


What do you need to thrive as a Surrey Future Fellow?

At the University of Surrey, we know that the valuable ideas and contributions of many top academics take shape from even the very beginning of their academic careers.

If you’re an original thinker with the passion and ambition to transform your skills alongside other emerging research talent, then we’ll provide the structured learning and support to ensure your success.

To best succeed as a Surrey Future Fellow, you will have achieved your PhD within the last seven years (or will shortly be awarded your PhD), and be:

  • Creating original, inspirational and realistic research proposals
  • Able to motivate, lead and inspire others to achieve their best
  • Interested in managing and delivering every aspect of a research programme
  • Already putting together high-quality research with potential to achieve awards and funding
  • Growing a reputation both within and outside of your current institution, e.g. through conference presentations, invited seminars or other collaborations.

We are drawn to prospective researchers and proposals that resonate with our research community’s own goals and values. That could include a focus on innovation, positive social impact, and opportunities to collaborate across disciplines. If your ideas for prospective research align with these, please clearly highlight these connections in your application. We look to both build on existing strengths but also invest in complementary new areas, and as such welcome alternative suggestions and contributions as well.

Senior research fellows

Depending on your qualifications and previous experience, you may be more suited to a senior research fellow role.

To be considered, please apply for a Surrey Research Fellowship and choose the senior fellow option in the application form.


How to apply

Ready to claim your place on the Surrey Future Fellowship programme? It all begins when you start your application. When applying please complete the application form, attach your CV and research proposal (both of which must not exceed two pages of A4 and 1,000 words per document). If you wish, you may include up to two letters of support. Please note the closing date of midnight Friday 18 November 2022.

In your application, please include details of your prior academic experience and background, your prospective research area and a brief overview of your successes so far. This should include examples demonstrating your research excellence such as publications or bid/grant feedback, citations, prizes, awards, or conference presentations to the wider research community. Please also include details of any mentoring, leadership or teaching experience you have gained.

If you’re successful in your application, you’ll be contacted by the University of Surrey with an offer to join the Fellowship.

We’ll be excited to welcome successful candidates to begin their Surrey Future Fellowship journey with us from early 2023.