Doctoral Fellowship Guidelines

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Doctoral Fellowship Guidelines

The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund is a registered charity which was established primarily to aid the research into learning disability and to aid the care and relief of those affected by learning disability by making grants to voluntary organisations working in this field.

In November 2015 the Fund launched the inaugural round of its Baily Thomas Doctoral Fellowships.

The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund will award up to two Baily Thomas Doctoral Fellowships per year. Submissions should be emailed to by the deadline of 1st March each year. Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place in June.

The fellowships will include:

  • an annual stipend for three years full time, set at £2,000 higher than the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) prevailing rate over the duration of the Fellowship, equating currently to £16,777 outside London, or £18,777 within London (2018/19),
  • the PhD registration fee, for three years, matched at the UKRI annual prevailing rate, currently £4,260 (2018/19),
  • a training and support grant of £5,000 per annum, inclusive of consumable costs,
  • a £300 per annum travelling and conference allowance, to attend and present at scientific meetings, or visits to collaborators.

Applications are accepted for part-time PhD training, pro-rata, as well as full-time training.

Applications with matched-funding are accepted.

The award can be hosted at any UK University. The supervisory team may be based at one University, or supervisors collaborating from different Universities, where this is appropriate and adds to the supervisory environment for the Fellow.

The lay summary of the projects of successful applicants will be displayed on the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund website.

During the PhD, an annual progress report is required in August of each year for successful applicants.

A final report is required, within one month of the award of PhD. A lay summary of this will be displayed on the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund website.

All outputs from the PhD should acknowledge the Baily Thomas Doctoral Fellowship award.

The awards are competitive, and the decision will be based equally on each of the following domains:

  • the personal qualities of the applicant:
    • motivation,
    • evidence of importance of research to career,
    • potential for leadership,
  • the importance of the proposed project to the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or their families:
    • originality,
    • relevance,
    • potential impact,
  • the proposed project methods:
    • clarity of aims and objectives,
    • appropriateness,
    • scientific rigour,
    • feasibility of completing the project,
    • intellectual/methodological challenge,
  • training:
    • relevance to the project,
    • generic and specific skills,
  • supervision and environment:
    • whether supervision arrangements match requirements,
    • whether there is the right inter-disciplinary mix of supervisors,
    • how progress will be monitored,
    • strength of the research environment to develop the fellow.