Skip to main content

Our PhD Studentship awards are open for outline applications! Awards of three/four years are available including joint awards with the BHF.

NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Early Career Engagement awards

Key information about applying for an Early Career Engagement award

Scheme at a glance

Early Career Engagement awards provide funding for NC3Rs-funded early career researchers who wish to undertake dissemination activities to further maximise the impact of their 3Rs-focused research. The awards aim to support career progression, through skill development and networking opportunities, while building and sustaining an impactful 3Rs legacy.

Awards of up to £15k are available for NC3Rs Training Fellows and postdoctoral researchers employed on NC3Rs Project grants, and up to £10k for NC3Rs-funded PhD Students.

Since its launch in 2022, the Early Career Engagement award scheme has supported 27 researchers to undertake a range of activities including, but not limited to:

  • Presenting 3Rs approaches at scientific conferences to facilitate networking.
  • Establishing training resources for use within the scientific community.
  • Performing validation experiments to catalyse the adoption of 3Rs approaches.
  • Setting up collaborations to promote the development and uptake of 3Rs technology.
  • Undertaking training to increase skillset.
  • Organising workshops to train 3Rs-minded researchers in new research tools.

"I credit this award with giving me the confidence to apply for the Innovate UK ICURe Explorer Award… which led to an international study to roll out our technology globally."

Dr Ciara Doran, University of Sheffield

Who can apply?

  • Applicants must be an early career researcher employed either as an NC3Rs Training Fellow, NC3Rs-funded PhD Student or as a postdoctoral researcher on an NC3Rs Project grant.  This includes awards co-funded by BHF, CRUK and BBSRC.
  • Applicants must have less than 12 months (at the time of application) remaining on the NC3Rs funded grant/award. You will be contacted by the NC3Rs Office when you are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be based in a non-profit, academic institution.
  • Dissemination activities funded by the NC3Rs Early Career Engagement awards must take place within 12 months of receiving the award.
  • You may only apply once during the lifetime of your current NC3Rs funding. 

“(The award)… has enabled me to present at a number of large-scale conferences, allowing me to disseminate my work, network, establish collaborations, enhance my CV, and meet potential future employers. This has been especially important as I have previously been unable to attend conferences due to COVID restrictions.”

Dr Sian Wilcox, University of Oxford

Key dates

Key dates Details
16 October 2023 Eligible applicants contacted by NC3Rs Office
23 November 2023, 16.00 Deadline to submit application form
Week commencing 4 December 2023 Applicants notified of outcome
15 January 2024 Financial agreements to be in place
1 February 2024 Earliest start date for activities

Assessment procedure

Applications will be assessed by the NC3Rs Office. Final decisions will be made by the NC3Rs Chief Executive, please see the Early Career Engagement award assessment criteria for more information.

Early Career Engagement awards are available to PhD Student and postdoctoral researchers in the final year of their NC3Rs-funded grant. You will be contacted by the Office when you are eligible to apply.


Siobhan used her Early Career Engagement award to produce a video on replacement approaches in stroke research.

Siobhan Crilly

Jennie used her award for a number of activities including hosting the inaugural Galleria mellonella Workshop.

Drs Jennie Campbell and James Pearce stand at a podium presenting research about Galleria at an NC3Rs stakeholder event.