Information for supporting academics

College of Science and Engineering

Information for supporting academics  - College Fellowships Process

The College of Science and Engineering expects each fellowship applicant to have a supporting academic who will ‘mentor/champion’ them through the application process.

The College application process can be found here

If you are asked to become a supporting academic for a PDRA or ECR applying for a fellowship this document outlines what will be expected of you and provides some help to provide guidance and input to the candidate.

The aim of having a supporting academic for each candidate is to ensure the quality of each application we submit, and to provide a realistic appraisal and guidance to the candidate if there are areas they need to address before being ready for a fellowship proposal.

We need to address the number of fellowship applications coming forward that are not competitive for funding. The supporting academic has a crucial role in managing the expectations of the applicants.

The role of the supporting academic:

College fellowship application process:


  1. Discuss the candidate’s ideas for the fellowship and their future career plans – do these align with the fellowship scheme? a)We have created a document “Fellowship conversations” to help with this process. b) There is also a hints and tips for fellowship applications, is the candidate addressing these aspects in their plans?
  2. Review their fellowship template – do you believe that their proposal has a high chance of success? a) Is the research they intend to undertake likely to be transformative? b) This is a key question, the Research Development Team, the Directors of Research can review a proposal and determine if it is well written but it is important that an academic close to the candidate’s field of research can determine if the research will be truly transformative.
  3. Is the candidate a potential future research leader? a) Have they demonstrated leadership/management skills? b) This could be taking the lead on organising an event, identifying skills gaps in their CV and seeking the necessary training or experience, and would they be able to articulate their leadership potential in a candidate interview?
  4. Supporting academic statement. a) Once you have discussed the candidate’s plans and reviewed and provided input to their fellowship application template – if you are supportive of their application please provide a statement of why you are supportive, focusing on the transformative nature of the planned research and the candidate’s suitability as a fellow. b) Submit the completed template to the school contact as per the college process. b) The school contact will review the template and advise if they are supportive of the candidate proceeding with the fellowship application, and an application for the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Leadership Fellowships (University support of up to £100k for external fellowship applicants).

The full application process

If approved to proceed the candidate will be allocated a Project Coordinator (PC) and a Research Development (RD) contact will support them with costings and guidance on the process, and input to the application.

As supporting academic you should provide input on the research aspects of the proposal, and general guidance on writing funding applications. The Research Development team will contribute to ensure the career development, impact, advocacy (where relevant) aspects are addressed appropriately.

It is expected that the supporting academic, the PC and RD will work as a team to guide the candidate through the application process, ensure they meet deadlines and prepare all parts of the application.

These could be:

  • Track record
  • Case for Support
  • Letter/statement of support (from Head of School/other)
    • there are templates for these but the candidate should work on this and tailor it to their application. They should also include any support that they are getting from the school, e.g. the fact that you are working with them. They should also include the LKAS commitment and how they plan to use the Early Career Development Programme to advance their career, in addition to a more tailored career development plan integrated in to the fellowship application.
  • Letters of support from external partners –
    • often the applicant will have to draft templates for the partners and indicate the kind of support and the value of that support (£ either cash or in kind) to the partner to help them.
  • LKAS application
  • Justification of Resources
  • JeS / other funder portal


Please note the support available from the College for fellowship applicants listed at the end of the College Fellowships Process.