Attracting funding: writing & applying for postdoctoral fellowships

Training course:

Attracting funding: writing and applying for postdoctoral fellowships

9th September 2021

For PhD students & early career researchers


Dates & times

This course consists of two components: 

1) A live online workshop session taught via Zoom on the morning of 9th September 2021 (0930 – 1230*)

2) An asynchronous online course that participants can complete after part (1) in their own time on the Electv Online Training Platform.

The second component is optional and participants can choose to fit it around their own schedules. Once they finish the second component, participants will be awarded a certificate of completion.

*All times are UK time.


A career in research is exciting, varied and gives you the opportunity to be at the cutting edge of discovery in your chosen field. It is also a highly competitive environment and researchers from all over the world aspire to reach the top of the profession. If you are aiming for a career in research it is crucial to publish regularly, be independent, grow an international network of contacts and attract funding for your own unique projects. You can start to do this early in your research career: if you are awarded a postdoctoral fellowship, not only will you stand out from the crowd, but you will demonstrate that you can propose innovative projects that attract research funding – this is a key requirement for a successful academic career. 

How do you go about the process of applying for your own postdoctoral research fellowship? There is more to it than filling in an application form: you will have to propose and design an innovative project, identify a senior researcher to advise you and approach them about being involved in your project, convince the application reviewers that you are the right person, name referees and much more. To be successful requires planning and preparation and you will need to use your network and be proactive. This workshop is suitable for PhD students (from 2nd year onwards) and will include information on what to expect, a walkthrough of a relevant application form, individual exercises and the instructor’s own experience of successfully obtaining a postdoctoral research fellowship.

The course includes a set of resources that participants can explore in their own time and consists of short lectures, discussions, individual exercises and anecdotes from the instructor’s own experience of obtaining a fellowship. Participants will also be given access to an additional online course that they can complete in their own time.

At the end of this course participants will have:

  • been introduced to the funding application process;
  • an understanding of what steps are involved, time frames, what a fellowship involves, international options, how to apply, the different types of fellowships available;
  • planned out a project and application strategy using the unique Electv® funding planning tool.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for PhD students (2nd year onwards) and early career postdocs working in scientific disciplines. No prior experience of writing funding applications is necessary and the course is open to all. Please note that this course will be online only.

Course content

Part 1: Live online workshop  (0930 – 1230)

  • Expectations of the applicant
  • The application process
  • Your project idea
  • Walkthrough of a sample application form 
  • Mapping out your application with the Electv® funding planning tool
  • List of relevant fellowships

The above content will be delivered as a live webinar via Zoom in the morning (0930 – 1230) of 9th September. At the end of the session, participants will be given access to Part 2 of the course: an additional, optional online training course for them to complete in their own time on the Electv Online Training School

Who is the instructor?

This course is delivered by Electv Training, a division of The Scientific Editing Company. We are based in the UK and we deliver training courses to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers at universities and research institutes around the UK & Europe. The company was founded in 2011 and we specialise in both face to face and online training. We also organise and manage the popular annual scholarly publishing event, the ReConEvent Conference, in Edinburgh every year and have done so since 2013; the conference attracts hundreds of delegates and we have hosted speakers from a range of scholarly journals, universities, funding agencies and companies over the years.

The instructor for this course will be Dr Joanna Young. Joanna obtained a BSc in Microbiology, then proceeded on to a four year Medical Research Council scholarship, gaining an MSc in Informatics and a PhD in Neuroscience and Informatics from the University of Edinburgh. After her PhD, Joanna completed a three year postdoctoral position at the University of Edinburgh, prior to being awarded a Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship in 2010. She has published several papers and has been training researchers for the last ten years.

Testimonials from previous participants

“Competent, encouraging and inspiring! Thank you for sharing your own experience of getting a fellowship too, very useful!” 

“Approachable, knowledgeable, well delivered and facilitated. Thank you!” 

“Excellent. Practical, hands-on mentorship that gets you into the fellowship funding rationale and provides you with the tools to proceed. I would recommend it to all early-career researchers.”

“Joanna was an excellent facilitator – the best online training session I have attended!”

Course fees

We are offering a special, discounted early bird rate for PhD students and postdocs if you book your place before the 7th September. The course fees are as follows:

  • PhD student or postdoc – early bird rate:         £30 + VAT       (£36) *
  • PhD student or postdoc – standard rate:          £50 + VAT       (£60)
  • Corporate rate:                                                   £100 + VAT     (£120)

*Early bird rate is available for booking before 7th September only.

You can book your ticket by clicking the “Register for the course” button above. Registration will give you access to the full course including: the live taught online session (part 1), an additional online course that you can complete in your own time (part 2), extra resources and an invitation to join the Electv community.

Funding to attend

Several of the previous participants on our courses have had their places funded/ reimbursed by their institutions. If you are a PhD student or member of staff at a university or research institute then you may be able to ask your department or institute to pay for your place on the course. You may wish to contact your superviser or training and skills department directly to ask about this. Please note we cannot manage these queries on your behalf.

For researcher developers & graduate schools: block bookings are available for this course. If you would like to book places for several students you can do so via the ticketing page or we can send you an invoice (please email us at if you would prefer to pay via invoice.)

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