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Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher Exchange Scheme

Funding must be used to support Postgraduate or Early Career Researcher exchanges with academia and industry in Europe, North America, China and India only. Exchanges may build on existing, or establish new collaborations. Each exchange must be for a minimum period of at least one month. Funding decisions will be made by the SULSA Executive Committee and will be based on:

  • Evidence of the ability of the candidate (output, leadership);
  • Likely benefits to the research of the candidate (new skills, techniques likely to be acquired) as result of the exchange;
  • Likely benefits to the longer-term career of the Postgraduate or Early Career Researcher as result of the exchange;
  • Evidence of wider benefits to SULSA as a result of the exchange; and
  • Prospects of sustained collaboration as a result of the exchange.

Candidates may be the recipient of a single award, up to a maximum of £5,000. The funding must not be used for conferences, training seminars or research costs.

Eligibility Criteria
  • The SFC definition of ‘early career’ includes post-graduate students and anyone with a PhD employed as a Researcher, Research Fellow or Lecturer. Promoted staff (Level 9: Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow, or equivalent) are not eligible for PECRE funding.
  • The ECR must be employed with a SULSA department.
  • Visit must take place in Europe (not UK), North America, China or India only.
  • Visits may be used to build on existing, or establish new collaborations.
  • Visit must be for a minimum of one month. This can be applied as one extended trip or several smaller visits to accommodate child care commitments.
  • Eligible costs are restricted to economy travel with subsistence and accommodation rates limited to the values detailed below. If you will incur additional childcare costs to particulate in the exchange this can also be costed.
  • Funding must not be used for attendance at conferences, training seminars or similar. You may attend a conference in the country you are visiting but expenses associated with the conference (internal travel, subsistence, conference fees) cannot be claimed. Research costs (including reagents, animals, shipping, facility access fees etc.) are also not eligible under this scheme.
  • Applicants will be asked to provide information for SFC equality monitoring (downloadable form provided). This is a voluntary process and any information provided will be destroyed as soon as the awards have been made. General statistics may be retained for SFC.
  • A short report (2 pages A4) should be submitted to SULSA within three months of the exchange. In addition, a list of outputs should be provided (publications, grant applications etc).
  • Individuals who have previously received an award under this scheme are not eligible to apply for a new award.
Funding Information and Conditions
  • A maximum of £5,000 will be awarded for economy travel and subsistence only.
  • Funds will be awarded on receipt of valid, original receipts submitted to the SULSA Operations Officer within 3 months of the expenditure.
  • Failure to provide receipts or a report in a timely manner may result in the funds being re-allocated at SULSA’s discretion.
  • Any changes to planned exchanges must be approved by SULSA.
  • Requests for further information on outputs/career progression etc. from the exchange at later dates may be requested by SULSA, and must be provided from the recipient.
  • SULSA reserves the right to claw back funds should the grant not be used in accordance with these T&Cs.

Applications must be costed according to the following guidelines:

  • Return air travel limited to: Europe = £300; North America = £600; China & India = £1000
  • Accommodation is limited to £75 per night (for extended trips rented accommodation should be sought)
  • Subsistence will be limited to £25 per day (all receipts must be retained)
How to Apply

Application Deadline: CALL NOW CLOSED. Please check back later in the year for a new call!

How to Apply: Please complete the PECRE Application Form and return to

Funds Available: The awards are up to a maximum £5,000 each

For more information contact the SULSA Operations Officer –

Douglas Gibson - Visited The University of Illinois, USA

Pathogenesis of Endometriosis

Doug’s exchange provided him the opportunity to evaluate the therapeutic potential of a small molecule inhibitor as well as utilize a multi-target flow-cytometric assay, as well as to establish an international collaboration.

Since applying for the SULSA funding Doug and his collaborators have successfully obtained >£1.8 million in funding via an MRC program grant on which he is co-investigator. This will support 5 years of research funding to investigate pathogenesis of endometriosis allowing Doug to enhance the reputation of Edinburgh and Scotland as a world-leading center for endometriosis research.

Ruth Morgan - Visited The University of Basel, Switzerland

Exploring the Steroid Biochemistry of Novel Cortisol Metabolites

Ruth’s exchange allowed her to learn new techniques around protein kinetics, in vitro model development using multiple transfections, and the use of molecular modelling software to interrogate the relationship between ligands and receptor/enzymes.

During the exchange Ruth and the team developed the figure list for their publication. They also started writing two grant applications (Wellcome Trust and BHF) together which will incorporate a period of 6 months over a 3-year period at the University of Basel to pursue this project.

Since the exchange Ruth has secured a four year fellowship from the Wellcome trust. A large part of her application was based on the data gathered during her exchange and the fellowship includes a collaboration with Prof Odermatt in Basel.  Ruth’s collaborative paper with Prof Odermatt on Nature Scientific Reports has also been accepted.