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Living Systems Institute


Information for prospective fellowship candidates  

The LSI aspires to nurture the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers and will support talented individuals to obtain fellowships at all stages of progression from PhD to independent investigator. We are a dynamic, collaborative community, currently with 25 research groups and some 200 researchers. We are committed to diversity, inclusiveness and open research. We have a record of supporting candidates in successful applications to a range of funders including ERC, MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, UKRI Future Leaders, Wellcome, Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Independent group leader opportunities in interdisciplinary science

Are you ready to develop your own research at the interface between the physical and life sciences?

We seek outstanding scientists whose research interests match the LSI vision of decoding the fundamental rules of life. Areas of special interest include molecular dynamics, protein design, statistical physics of active matter, mechanobiology, mechanics of morphogenesis and collective cell behaviour. We particularly welcome proposals that involve multiscale modelling of living systems and integrate theory with experiments. 

Candidates will have a record of accomplishment from PhD and post-doctoral research. You will propose a research project that is original, ambitious and achievable. You should also outline the complementarity and potential for synergy with current LSI research themes. Successful applicants will be supported and mentored in applications for external fellowship funding to establish their independent research programme. Upon securing a fellowship you will establish your research group in the LSI, benefiting from outstanding facilities and colleagues, access to intra-mural funding, mentorship and opportunities to recruit undergraduate and postgraduate students. On successful completion of a Group Leader Fellowship, you may progress to an open-ended University appointment.

Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our research community. Please note, the application and interview process apply equally to University of Exeter internal candidates and external applicants.

To apply, please complete this expression of interest form and merge it into a single file along with:

    • A two-page summary of your proposed research programme
    • A two-page CV
    • A full publication list

Please submit your full application by email to with the subject heading FELLOWSHIPS. Applications will be reviewed monthly, and long-listed candidates will be invited to visit LSI to present and discuss research interests with members of the Institute. For short-listed candidates, interviews will take place in January and June.

If you would like to discuss this opportunity informally, please contact the Institute Director Professor Austin Smith (

Suitable fellowships include but are not limited to:

Early-career fellowships support awardees to undertake research in a host laboratory. Candidates require endorsement and support from the Institute Director as well as the proposed LSI PI host, who must agree to provide space and resources within their existing allocation. Please contact your prospective host LSI Principal Investigator directly in the first instance.

Early-career fellowship schemes that you may be eligible to apply for include: 

Please note that additional internal processes apply for some listed Group Leader and Early-career schemes. Please contact the LSI Research Development Manager Matt Amesbury ( for clarification or to discuss any unlisted scheme. For summary information on these and other fellowship schemes please here.

Applications for the LSI PhD studentships programme are now open.

Find out more