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The Pandemic Sciences Institute wishes to support and develop future leaders in Pandemic Sciences and related fields and enhance the multi-disciplinary, strategic goals of the Institute. The PSI Career Development Fellowships will facilitate this by supporting outstanding postdoctoral researchers to move to an independent research role and to develop and establish their own research group and programme as part of the PSI.  

PSI Career Development Fellowships will provide salary support for up to 3 years to allow fellows to focus on developing an independent research programme and submitting external funding applications to support this goal. The expectation is that by the end of the PSI fellowship, individuals will secure a competitive peer-reviewed fellowship or equivalent position.  

For the 2023/2024 call, we are seeking to recruit a PSI Career Development Fellow working on pandemic sciences research in humanities, social sciences or bioethics. We encourage researchers to use the fellowship to work collaboratively across more than one group at the PSI. The Fellow will be a member of the PSI and can spend some time in another University of Oxford department (e.g. on secondment) as appropriate for their research programme and career development.  

The PSI has an interest in developing the diversity of future leaders in pandemic sciences and encourages applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity at the institute.   



To be eligible to apply for a PSI Development Fellowship, an applicant must:

  • Be an outstanding post-doctoral researcher working in humanities, social sciences or bioethics who is at the stage in their career when they are trying to establish independence
  • Be looking to pursue a research programme that aligns with the PSI vision and contributes to the mission and strategic aims of the PSI (see the PSI 'What we do' page
  • Have support from one of the established PSI investigators as a Sponsor.

Outstanding postdoctoral researchers who have had a career break of up to two years are also eligible provided they meet the other requirements above.

Scope of Fellowship

  • A funded post for the fellow at the PSI for up to 3 years at an appropriate grade dependent on training and experience.
  • A small research budget for research costs, travel and training.
  • Opportunities to participate in engagement, outreach and policy activities and have access to expertise and resources in these areas at the PSI.

The fellow can pursue teaching activities including co-supervision of students, but the primary focus of the fellowship should be on research.  

The applicant should identify an appropriate PSI investigator as a Sponsor who will provide support and space to undertake the research. They can additionally identify a co-Sponsor if appropriate. 

We strongly encourage applicants to identify an independent mentor who is willing to provide career development guidance and support during their fellowship. The mentor should be Oxford-based but does not have to be part of the PSI. 

Application Process

The application should include the following:

  • A supporting statement explaining a) why they are applying for the fellowship and how they will use it to develop their career and prepare for future external fellowship applications, and b) how they meet the selection criteria for the fellowship using examples of skills and experience gained in employment, education or elsewhere. Please also include brief details about any proposed teaching and supervision to be conducted during the fellowship and indicate if this has been discussed with an Oxford department.
  • An outline of the proposed research programme and details of how it contributes to the PSI mission and enhances the portfolio of the PSI, with a summary budget and brief justification of the requested costs.
  • A CV including a publication list which details how they have contributed to other areas of knowledge (e.g. new ideas, tools and methodologies), to the development of others (e.g. supervision, teaching) and to the wider research/innovation community or other audiences (e.g. reviewing, committee or events work, positions of responsibility, professional bodies, knowledge exchange, public engagement, policy development or commercialisation).

The budget can include non-staff research, travel and training costs (up to £5,000 p.a.) 

The complete application should be a maximum of 6 sides of A4 

The applicant must also include a letter from their PSI Sponsor (and also, where desirable, co-Sponsor) confirming support and the availability of space to undertake the work. 

A committee including members of the PSI Senior Management Committee and co-opted members will shortlist applications and invite selected candidates for interview.  

Applications including supporting letter(s) should be submitted via the internal advert (Vacancy 169985; PSI Career Development Fellow). You need to be logged on via VPN to access the internal vacancies on HR Self-Service. You will also be asked to list two academic referees (in addition to your PSI sponsor), and to indicate whether they may be contacted in advance of interview. Closing date is Wednesday 24 January.

What we are looking for in the application

We will consider the following when reviewing the applications: 

  • The applicant’s potential: is the applicant in a strong position to deliver the proposed research programme, given their research outputs and contributions to date, and to use the fellowship to become an independent researcher and a future leader in their field?
  • The suitability of the fellowship: has the applicant articulated clearly why they are applying for the PSI Fellowship, how they will use it to prepare for external fellowship funding and how the PSI Fellowship fits into their overall career plans?
  • The merit of the proposed research programme: is the programme original, will it address important questions and put the applicant in a strong position to apply for external fellowship funding?
  • The strategic fit: does the proposed programme align well the PSI mission and scientific strategy and will it enhance the multi-disciplinary portfolio of the PSI?

The PSI Fellow's progress towards becoming an independent investigator with be reviewed by the Senior Management Committee at an appropriate point in their fellowship. 

Expected Commitment from Fellows

The PSI Career Development Fellow will:

  • Identify the research output from the programme of work carried out during their fellowship as associated with the PSI.
  • Acknowledge their status as a PSI Development Fellow in relevant publications and scientific presentations by including in the Affiliations section “Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.”
  • Agree to their photo and profile appearing on the PSI website and materials.
  • Be willing to contribute to the activities hosted and organised by the PSI e.g. participating in seminars and workshops and attending PSI events.