Early Researcher Award Scheme (ERAS)

As part of their Human Resources Strategy, universities have been tasked by the Funding Councils with devising and implementing a mechanism for identifying and supporting members of staff who are at the start of their research career.

The Early Career Researchers’ Award Scheme is a developmental Fellowship opportunity that supports the development of staff at the university who are new to research (within 5 years of being awarded their doctorate). 

There are two elements to the scheme:

  • An individual research project that will yield outputs in terms of publications, further research and/or development of funding opportunities.
  • A support programme to develop and enhance wider research-related skills through workshops, action learning, mentoring and progress reports.

The ERAS scheme application process is outlined in the sections below

Application process

The ERAS scheme application process is outlined here for information  ERAS applications page.

Please see Timeline below and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the next section before you apply.  


  • The closing date for submission of the application and CV is Friday 31st May 2024
  • The selection panel will subsequently meet to consider the applications. 13th June 2024
  • We intend to appoint a cohort of up to 10 fellows by the end of June 2024.
  • The Induction will take place on the 2nd July 2024
  • The Programme will start on 1st August 2024

The programme will finish on 31st July, 2025 unless you have negotiated to deliver ERAS over 24 months), by which time your project will be complete and your budget spent

The ERAS scheme application process is outlined here ERAS applications page.  for information. Below is the Scheme Eligibility Criteria

1) Any member of staff who can demonstrate that they are at postdoctoral level now or have attained this level within the last 5 years.  Normally such evidence would include:

  • A doctoral qualification that has been awarded on or after January 2019
  • A doctoral thesis that has been submitted for examination but has not yet been examined. A confirmation letter from the Director of Studies will be required.

2) An exemption to point 1 (above) will be considered by the selection panel in cases of, but not limited to: career breaks, career changes, parental leave, periods of extended ill health, caring responsibilities, and first academic position. A request for exemption should be attached to the application form.

3) There is no age limit. ‘Early researcher’ is interpreted here as ‘at the beginning of a postdoctoral career’, and does not correlate to chronological age of the applicant.

4) Applicants must be members of staff of the University of Wolverhampton who have a current payroll number and whose contract exceeds the duration of the scheme.

5) Staff who have received the ERAS award before are not eligible to apply a second time.

6) Staff at Reader/ Associate Professor level or above are not eligible to apply.

7) Staff who have taken part in the Lord Paul Fellowship, Maria Wasdell & Malkito Kaur Gangar, The Grants Academy or other mid-career researcher funding given by the University of Wolverhampton are not eligible to apply.

8) Staff who are part-time (FTE 0.5 and below) are eligible to apply to deliver ERAS over 24 month. Evidence that you are a part-time member of staff will be required.

Please note: ERAS aims to support the development of early career researchers. The activities involved in the programme provide many opportunities of researcher development, as well as offering the chance to learn from research leaders at the University.  If you feel that you fit the criteria above but would not describe yourself as an early career researcher, this opportunity may not be right for you. 

You can apply for a budget of up to £5000 to support the completion of your project. You will be asked to provide a detailed indicative breakdown of how you intend to spend the money as part of your application.

Normally, you may use your budget to cover research costs such as fieldwork, research/library visits, consumables, research assistant time and specialist conference attendance (beyond that which would be supported through normal Faculty procedures). You may also use your budget to provide teaching support through VL cover, in which case you should use the rate (UW9 point 32) per teaching hour. Remember to factor in overheads, on-costs and any holiday entitlement. You must have your line manager’s express approval for any proposed VL cover.

Please note that the selection panel will not normally approve proposals to attend more than one conference unless a robust justification is made.

Because of the need to plan for maintenance and replacement costs, your budget cannot normally be used to purchase equipment.

As part of your application, we ask that you 'please provide the name of an individual who has agreed to act as your ERAS mentor'. Ideally, you should approach someone who is an experienced or active researcher within a discipline that doesn't have to be the same but at least compliments your own. Your mentor needs to be someone who can give you constructive feedback on your research.

They should also be willing to and have time to meet or correspond with you but how often and to what extent will need to be agreed between yourselves. You must share your application with your intended mentor for comment/feedback before submission.

If you have any questions regarding ERAS mentoring please contact Dr Debra Cureton (DoctoralCollege@wlv.ac.uk) who will advise you further.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting your application you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of this grant. Non-compliance with the T&C will result in the grant being rescinded.

On your part:

1)      You undertake to participate fully in the researcher development programme, and deliver the project outcomes within budget and on time.

2)      You should be aware that it will not be possible to defer either the uptake of the award or completion of it (apart from reasons of parental leave or extended sick leave), and that the ERAS fellowship therefore represents a firm commitment.

3)      If you leave the University voluntarily (i.e. resignation) during or up to 12 months after completion of the programme, the University reserves the right to reclaim all or part of its investment (in accordance with standard University practice).

4)      You will be assigned to an action learning set which we expect will meet at least 4 times during the duration of the scheme; short written updates will be required.

5)      In addition to the action learning sets you must be available to attend the mandatory ERAS workshops and events:

  • Induction – 2nd July: 10 am – 1 pm
  • Workshop 1 – 15th Oct: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Workshop 2 -  14th Jan: 10 am – 12 pm
  • Workshop 3 -  11th Mar: 10 am – 12 pm
  • ERAS Writing Retreat -  13th May All day event
  • Festival of Research - dates TBC, All day event (ERAS Fellows will be presenting on one of the five dates depending on the Conference Programme)

On your Department/School/Institute’s part

1)      They will recognise your fellowship as part of your workload allocation

2)      They will provide 300 hours on your workload for you to complete your research and attend ERAS related events or activities.  This may include the research hours that you are allocated and some of your SMRSA hours. If you are a part time member of staff (FTE 0.5 or less) and have opted to deliver ERAS over two years, it is expected that your workload allocation for ERAS will be 150 hour for each year of the project

NB: The 300 hours include: 150 hours to complete the research programme; 50 hours to attend ERAS events or activities; 100 hours for dissemination activities (conference attendance and travel, peer-reviewed publications, social media activities etc)

On our part:

1)      We undertake to honour your commitment to the programme so that you are fully able to complete it satisfactorily.

2)      We will endeavour to provide a genuinely valuable support programme that is tailored to meet the needs of the group as far as possible.

You will be required to disseminate your work to the wider research community via a presentation at the Festival of Research

At the end of the project, you will be required to submit an Executive Summary of your project and an evaluation form. The Executive Summary will be available to the research community on the ERAS web pages.

You will also be expected to publish and disseminate the research from this programme.