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Department of Archaeology



Postdoctoral Opportunities at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, the postdoctoral research hub of the Department of Archaeology, welcomes applications from potential postdocs/Early Career Researchers (ECRs). There are a number of national and international funding schemes that you can apply to which will enable you to come and work with us. If you are interested in any of the below schemes, please contact Mr Nicholas Ward on at least 6 weeks before the deadline.  

The list below is of major sources only. Any international researchers looking to apply for funding in their own country for a Fellowship or grant which they would like to hold in Cambridge should also contact Mr Nicholas Ward in the first instance.




ESRC New Investigator Grants

A 36-month Early Career Researcher award focusing on the Social Sciences, including heritage studies and some aspects of Biological Anthroplogy. Proposals can cover any research area, but the social sciences must represent more than 50% of the research focus and effort. The School of Humanities and Social Sciences operates an internal selection process which allows applications to go forward to submission. See ESRC new investigator grant – UKRI

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

3-year awards to enable ECRs (up to 4 years post-PhD), with a research record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. These are match-funding awards supported in Cambridge by the Isaac Newton Trust. See Early Career Fellowships | The Leverhulme Trust

Please note that this is a two-stage process and the department will initially shortlist the best 2 applications to go forward to the Isaac Newton Trust to be selected to apply to the Leverhulme

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships

These 2-year fellowships are intended to enable researchers to move from another country to the UK/Cambridge, provided that they have not spent more than 1 year in the three years prior to the deadline (14 September 2022) in the UK. They are not typical research fellowships or project grants but are for training-through-research rather than just research. Applicants must have their PhD at application deadline and may have up to 8 years FTE post-doc research experience. Cambridge Archaeology operates an internal selection process, with two deadlines each year (1 March and 1 June). Potential applicants should make contact with their project Supervisor as early as possible and well before these deadlines. Further details of the scheme can be found at Postdoctoral Fellowships | Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (

For initial enquiries please contact Mr Nicholas Ward,


NERC Independent Research Fellowships

For these 3-year awards applicants may have no more than eight years of full-time postdoctoral research experience at time of application. Those without a PhD must have submitted their thesis/dissertation before interview. Application s must fall at least 50% within the NERC (Natural Environment) subject remit. For some NERC schemes the University operates a selection/approval process. Therefore several months’ notice must be given. See Independent research fellowships – UKRI

Newton International Fellowships

Facilitated by the British Academy and/or Royal Society, these 2-year awards are intended for non-UK scientists with no more than seven years active full-time postdoctoral experience at the time of application who wish to conduct research in the UK. For those applying without a PhD, all requirements for the PhD must have been completed (including viva) before the fellowship starts. See

Royal Society University Research Fellowships

These 5-year awards are intended for outstanding scientists with three to eight years of postdoc experience who have the potential to become leaders in their field. Some aspects of Archaeological Science are eligible for consideration. These are substantial awards and those interested must contact us at least three months before the deadline. See University Research Fellowship | Royal Society

Wellcome Trust Early Career Awards

Of up to 5 years (may be shorter in the Humanities & Social Sciences), providing PI salary and up to £400,000 research expenses. You must have your PhD and may also have some postdoctoral experience in your proposed field of study, but generally no more than three years. Applicants must confirm that heir project fits well with the Wellcome Trust subject remit relating to health, medicine etc. See Home | Wellcome.

1851 Royal Commission Early Career Fellowships

Awards of 3 years, intended to enable early career scientists or engineers of exceptional promise to conduct a research project of their own instigation with the ultimate objective of contributing to the knowledge base required for a healthy and innovative national culture. You must have no more than 3 years of postdoctoral experience. Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851 (

Junior Research Fellowships

Information about Junior Research Fellowships, which are advertised by individual Cambridge Colleges can usually be found at College jobs - Job Opportunities - University of Cambridge at the relevant time of year.