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HomeMaster & FellowsJunior Research Fellowships > JRF: Information for Applicants 2014
JRF: Information for Applicants 2014
Information for Applicants Notes for
Testimonial Referees
Notes for
Research Supervisors
Contact

Trinity College intends to hold an election of Junior Research Fellows in 2014. The purpose of Junior Research Fellowships is to offer men and women of exceptional intellectual calibre, for whom the fellowship would be their first substantial paid academic or research appointment, an opportunity to pursue research for up to four years. The Fellowships are available in all branches of University studies.

Applications must be submitted by 12.00 noon (GMT) on Friday 30 August 2013


JRF Further JRF Apply JRF Eligibility JRF SHORTLIST JRF EEA JRF FAQ JRF Contact

Further Particulars

PDF download graphic Click to Download Further Particulars as PDF.

The purpose of this note is to provide information about the nature and status of a Junior Research Fellow of Trinity College (a Fellow under Title A). Details on how to apply can be found below.  If you have queries that are not answered here or on any of the other web pages (including the FAQ section), you may contact the Secretary to the Electors by e-mail: jrf@trin.cam.ac.uk, giving details of your case. The Secretary to the Electors will not be able to respond to enquiries over the telephone.

Research Fellowships

A Research Fellowship provides an opportunity to spend up to four years in Cambridge undertaking post-doctoral research or scholarly work at an early stage of an academic career; this research may be on a topic essentially of the Fellow's own choice, though for an experimental scientist suitable arrangements must be made with one of the laboratories in the University. The basic obligation of a Research Fellow is to engage full-time in research and its dissemination. Like all Fellows, Research Fellows are welcome - indeed encouraged - to engage fully in the life and activities of the College. Research Fellows are not required to contribute to teaching, though a Fellow who wishes to do so may undertake for extra payment some limited teaching within the College and University. The number of Research Fellows elected varies from year to year depending on the strength of competition; in recent years it has been between 5 and 8.

Emoluments, Rights and Privileges

Fellows under Title A who reside within the University precincts and devote themselves to study and research receive a stipend. For each year spent doing research in Cambridge, a Research Fellow receives a stipend from the College of £24,416 (reviewable in line with academic stipends), less any emolument received from a source outside College. However, a Fellow who is registered for a further course of study in the United Kingdom (e.g. a PhD degree) will normally receive, instead of a stipend, a student maintenance grant at the rate of £17,909 per annum until completion of the course of study. A Fellow who is following a comparable course of study outside the United Kingdom will receive a stipend of £23,184 per annum.  Stipends will be reduced in respect of any emolument received from a source outside College.  In addition, a Research Fellow enjoys all the other privileges of a Fellow - if single, a residential set of rooms in the College free of rent (if available and subject to certain conditions); otherwise, a housing allowance of £6,000 per annum and the opportunity to rent a College-owned flat; free meals at the High Table; access to funds for the support of research and attendance at conferences; and use of all the College's facilities.

Taking up a Fellowship

The decisive meeting to choose the new Fellows will take place on 13 January 2014, and applicants will be informed of the results immediately afterwards. The formal meeting at which those chosen become Fellows will be on 6 October 2014. It will however be possible for those who so choose to take up the emoluments and privileges of the position, without the status of Fellow, before then (a ‘preliminary benefit period’), in return for foregoing their entitlement to the stipend and privileges of a Fellow for an equivalent period at the end of their Fellowship. It is also possible, subject to the approval of the Council, to postpone or interrupt enjoyment of the stipend and privileges of a Fellow. Subject to detailed provisions in the College's Ordinances, postponement or interruptions may amount to up to two years. Those studying for a PhD outside the UK might wish, if necessary, to apply for a deferral in order to complete their studies. They would then become eligible for the higher rate of stipend on arrival in Cambridge. Applicants from outside the European Economic Area who do not have an automatic right to work in the United Kingdom should note that, although they would still be elected to a Fellowship on 6 October 2014, employment and the payment of stipend cannot commence until a Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued by the College and appropriate leave to enter or remain has been granted by the Home Office.  For further details see the note for applicants from outside the EEA.

Eligibility

The competition is open only to those for whom this Fellowship would be their first substantial paid academic or research appointment, discounting (i) any scholarship or studentship to assist study for a degree and (ii) up to nine months of post-doctoral work, counted from the date of submission of their PhD thesis to the date of the decisive meeting of the Fellowship Electors on 13 January 2014. The Electors will take into account any advantage that they may consider a candidate to have derived from the length of time taken in study or research. For further information read the note on the declaration of eligibility that all applicants are asked to confirm.

Election Procedure

Eligible candidates are elected to Research Fellowships at Trinity on the basis of the quality of the research they submit, and the evidence that it provides of high originality and promise. A short-listing procedure (which demands written work and references) is used to select the strongest candidates, who will then be required to submit a dissertation on a subject connected with some branch or branches of University studies, and also a separate statement of about 2,000 words. For details of what this statement should contain, see the procedures for Short-Listing and Election. At their final meetings the Electors will have before them reports from several referees on the dissertation which each short-listed candidate has submitted. There are no interviews.

Level

This Fellowship is aimed at those who have been engaged in full-time research long enough to be able to demonstrate their exceptional talent: usually, therefore, those who are in the second, third year or later year of their full-time doctoral research or, in some cases, already have a PhD. Research Fellows normally obtain their doctorates during the early stage of their Research Fellowship, and move on to pursue post-doctoral research. This Fellowship does not, therefore, require a doctorate to be obtained before taking up the position. It is not, however, intended as a studentship for commencing research for a PhD degree. A Research Fellow who is registered for the PhD degree is encouraged to complete the requirements of the degree as soon as possible after election.

The College wishes to encourage applications from a wide range of candidates and the Fellowships are available in all branches of University studies. Nevertheless, those who contemplate applying for a Fellowship at Trinity should realise that candidates will be judged against the very highest academic criteria. In particular, the standard of research expected for election to a Fellowship is much higher than that which is merely adequate for a PhD. Potential candidates could usefully consult their research supervisor or some other knowledgeable person before deciding whether to apply.

Each candidate intending to compete must follow the instructions on how to apply, register on-line and upload the required supporting documents by 12.00 noon (GMT) on Friday 30 August 2013. A short-list of candidates will be drawn up in the week beginning 7 October 2013. Only those placed on the short-list will be invited to submit a dissertation and a 2,000 word summary, for which the deadline is 12.00 noon (GMT) on Monday 28 October 2013.

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How to apply

Please note that you must complete these four steps before your application can be considered.

  1. Register: enter your personal and academic details
  2. Submit supporting documents
  3. Arrange for your research supervisor to submit a statement
  4. Arrange for two references from testimonial referees (other than your research supervisor)

To access the online application system, click on the link below.

JRF Application

Step 1: Registration . You will be asked for your personal and academic details and for the names and contact details for your dissertation supervisor and two testimonial referees. You will also be asked to confirm your eligibility and to give information on your research. Please check that you are eligible to apply by reading the Eligibility notes.

Step 2: Submission of supporting documents. You will be asked to upload the following documents in pdf format:

  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of publications (if any). The last part of the curriculum vitae must include a statement (in about 1000 words) of your current research and the scope of the dissertation that you intend to submit should you be short-listed.

  • A sample of your work, with an explanation of its place in your current and projected research work. A sample of work could be a chapter from your dissertation, or published article or articles, up to about 10,000 words. If you wish to submit more than one article, they should be merged into one file. This sample is supposed to show the intellectual qualities of your work. You should avoid submitting, for instance, an introductory chapter of a dissertation which is mainly a survey of previous work or an announcement of your ideas in general terms. You are welcome to add a short explanation of how the piece or pieces you are submitting fit into the plan of your dissertation as a whole.

Step 3: Statement from your Research Supervisor. You must ensure that your Research Supervisor fills in the required form and provides the information requested. Please send your supervisor, in good time, the link to the on-line Notes for Research Supervisors: www.trin.cam.ac.uk/jrf/supervisors.

Step 4: Testimonial references from two referees, other than your supervisor (Step 3). It is essential that your testimonial referees understand the nature of the competition, so please send them, in good time, the link to the online Notes for Testimonial Referees: www.trin.cam.ac.uk/jrf/referees.

Please make it clear to the Research Supervisor and the Testimonial Referees what is required and encourage them to submit their references as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that their application is complete by the deadline of 12.00 noon (GMT) on 30 August 2013. Please allow for unexpected computer or network problems and submit your material in good time to allow for this. No late applications will be accepted. An application is not complete until all parts of the application have been submitted. Please note that it is not necessary for applicants to establish the availability of laboratory spaces before applying.

No documents submitted, other than those requested above will be taken into account.

Receipt of application will be acknowledged by e-mail.

Trinity College recognises its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of the data that it maintains on computer and in relevant filing systems in respect of applicants for Junior Research Fellowships.

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Eligibility

The Fellowship competition is open to all applicants who fulfill the following Eligibility Criterion:

‘This Fellowship will be the candidate’s first substantial paid academic or research appointment, discounting:

  • any scholarship or studentship to assist study for a degree and
  • up to nine months of post-doctoral work, counted from the date of submission for a doctoral degree.’

This criterion is interpreted in the following way. ‘Substantial paid academic or research appointment’ includes temporary posts but excludes non-academic employment. In the case of part-time academic or research posts, candidates should discuss their eligibility with the Secretary to the Electors. Occasional tutoring, examining or lectures, paid on an individual basis, are not counted as employment. Scholarships or studentships to study for a degree are discounted, even if generous. The relevant dates for counting the 9 months of post-doctoral work are the date of submission (not oral examination or acceptance) of the candidate’s doctoral dissertation and the date of the decisive meeting of the Fellowship Electors (13 January 2014). Provided that the total amount of time in paid academic or research employment between these two dates amounts to less than nine months, the candidate will be eligible. (Any candidate, then, whose doctoral thesis submission date is April 14 2013 or later will be eligible under this clause).

Note that it is not required that candidates have or are about to finish a PhD. Most successful candidates, however, are at an advanced stage of doctoral work or have completed their doctorates.

In addition to this criterion, which determines whether or not a person is eligible to enter the fellowship competition, the College Ordinances state that, in reaching their decisions

‘The Electors shall take into account any advantage that they may consider a candidate to have derived from the length of time taken in study or research.’

Details Required

In order to enter the competition, you will be asked to give details of:

  1. any scholarship or studentship you received to assist study for a degree;
  2. any post-doctoral or other teaching or research position you are engaged in, have arranged or expect to arrange before the date for submitting your fellowship dissertation, specifying the location, nature and duration of this post;
  3. which post-graduate courses, whether taught or research, you have taken since your first degree. (Candidates from Germany and any other countries where the level of a first-degree is higher than that of a BA should give details of any dissertations or research work done in the fourth or subsequent years of their first-degree course).

Eligibility Declaration:

Before submitting your application, you will be asked, on your honour, to confirm that:

  1. you have read and fully understood the Eligibility Criterion;
  2. you have not accepted any post which would make you ineligible;
  3. you agree to inform the Secretary to the Fellowship Electors immediately should you accept any post which makes you, or might possibly make you, ineligible;
  4. if requested, you will submit additional documents, to confirm any details of your CV relevant to you eligibility or to the amount of time you have been engaged in study or research.

This note is intended to provide sufficient information for you to decide whether you are eligible to compete in this competition or not. If, however, you find that the explanation provided does not cover your case adequately, you may contact the Secretary to the Electors by e-mail: jrf@trin.cam.ac.uk giving details of your case. The Secretary to the Electors will not respond to enquiries over the telephone.

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Short-listing and Election

A short-list of candidates will be drawn up in the week beginning 7 October 2013. Candidates will be told as soon as possible thereafter whether they have been short-listed. Those on the short-list will be invited to submit a dissertation and a statement, in about 2,000 words.

Short-listing and the 2000-word statement

A short-list of candidates will be drawn up in the week beginning 7 October 2013. Candidates will be told as soon as possible thereafter whether they have been short-listed. Those on the short-list will be invited to submit a dissertation and a statement, in about 2,000 words, intelligible to the non-specialist so far as reasonably possible, explaining the general scope of the dissertation, the place which it is intended to fill in the development of the subject and, where this is relevant, the aspects in which it may be of interest from the point of view of other subjects. The Electors will attach importance to its arrangement and style. It should conclude with a brief account of the candidate’s general research aspirations for the next two or three years and should also include a list of references of published work or work accepted for publication: in the case of joint authorship, a brief indication of the contribution of the candidate should be given. The title of the dissertation and the name of the candidate should appear at the head of the statement.

The dissertation and 2,000 word summary must be submitted by 12.00 noon (GMT) on Monday 28 October 2013. Candidates will be asked to submit one hard copy and one electronic copy.

If any candidate at any time finds that he or she must for any reason withdraw from the competition for a Fellowship at Trinity, it is important that the Secretary to the Electors be informed at once.

In December the Secretary to the Electors will ask short-listed candidates to confirm in writing that they remain in the competition. Failure to confirm will mean that they will not be considered further in the competition.

Form of the Dissertation

The form of the dissertation submitted by short-listed candidates will of course depend greatly on the subject of research. All dissertations must be in English and submitted on-line as PDF files, except if, for special reasons, the Secretary to the Electors gives permission for a different form of submission. Every dissertation must contain a statement explaining what portions of it are the candidate’s own work, and from what sources the rest is derived.

There is no specified maximum or minimum length for a dissertation. The Electors are looking for evidence of high originality and promise in research. Candidates should therefore write enough to set out their ideas properly, and to show that they are properly backed up by scholarly or scientific evidence — but should realise that accumulation of evidence merely for its own sake is unlikely to impress. A dissertation should present a coherent argument in a logical fashion — it is not usually enough to send in a collection of published papers (though the Electors should be told if part or all of the work has already been published). It is not necessary for a Fellowship dissertation to be in the fully polished form required for a doctorate. It is sensible, however, to see that the Fellowship dissertation has the full scholarly or scientific apparatus, e.g. footnotes, full bibliography etc, required in a Ph.D. thesis — quite often parts of a successful Fellowship dissertation will coincide with a chapter or chapters of the eventual Ph.D. thesis; in the arts and humanities, successful candidates most often have submitted work which is roughly the length of a doctoral dissertation (65,000-80,000 words), and sometimes longer.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Rights

It is the intention and practice of the College that the dissertations submitted by short-listed candidates in the Election are treated as confidential. They are made available only to those Electors and referees who need to see them for the purpose of the Election. But those responsible for deciding which candidates are short-listed may need to consult quite widely within the University and elsewhere, and to show some of the material submitted with the application form to several people outside the College.

Intending candidates are therefore advised to take steps to protect their rights in the submitted material, where that seems appropriate. Anyone who in consequence finds difficulty in making the strongest possible case for election should consult the Secretary to the Electors.

Election

  1. At the final meeting on 13 January 2014, the Electors will have before them reports by referees on the various dissertations, the 2000-word explanatory statements provided by candidates and the testimonial references and Research Supervisor statements received with the initial applications. Candidates will be informed of the Electors’ decisions immediately after this final meeting. The Electors’ decisions are final. Those elected Fellows will normally be admitted in Chapel on Tuesday 7 October 2014, following the meeting at which they are formally elected, and will be invited to the Fellowship Admission Dinner at 8 p.m. on that day.

  2. The Secretary to the Electors is required by College regulations to deposit one copy of each successful dissertation in the College Library. Permission to consult or publish extracts from a dissertation will not be granted against the author’s will.

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Applicants from outside the EEA

Applicants from outside the European Economic Area who do not have an automatic right to work in the United Kingdom should note that, although they would still be elected to a Fellowship on 6 October 2014, employment and the payment of stipend cannot commence until a Certificate of Sponsorship has been issued by the College and appropriate leave to enter or remain has been granted by the Home Office.

Please note that any information provided here is subject to change. Candidates should in all cases consult the Home Office website for official and up-to-date guidance. The College is unable to answer questions on immigration rules from applicants and will liaise with successful candidates on the requirements for their individual situation when elected.

Nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to immigration control and the points-based system (PBS). The PBS was introduced through the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, replacing work permit and other immigrant worker schemes. Under the PBS migrants have to accumulate a minimum number of points which are awarded against such factors as qualifications, prospective earnings and English language competence in order to obtain entry clearance and leave to remain in the UK.

Candidates studying for a PhD degree at a UK University

Those appointed to Junior Research Fellowships who are studying for a PhD degree at a UK university at the time of election will remain on their current student visa until their degree has been approved. It is the Fellow's responsibility to ensure that their leave to remain as a student is extended as required although the College will cover the fee in connection with an application for extension. As soon as the Fellow's PhD degree has been approved, the procedures set out below will be followed.

Applications under Tier 2 of the Points-based immigration system

For successful candidates who do not have an automatic right to work in the United Kingdom (including those who are completing a PhD at an overseas institution) an application will be made under Tier 2 of the points-based immigration system. Under this system:

  1. The College has to issue an electronic Certificate of Sponsorship (reference number)

  2. The individual then has to apply to the Home Office (British Embassy or Consulate if overseas) for a grant of leave to remain or leave to enter using the reference number of the Certificate of Sponsorship. The individual will be assessed against the requirements of the points-based system: the Certificate of Sponsorship does not guarantee that a grant of leave will be given.

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Contact

If you, your research supervisor or your referees have any queries about the online application procedure or are unable to use the online application form, please refer to the FAQ web page in the first instance or e-mail:jrf@trin.cam.ac.uk or telephone: 01223 765750 (International: +44 1223 765750) for further advice.

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