Our senior research fellowships

We want to support outstanding scientists who will be future leaders in Parkinson’s research.

Our senior research fellowships are for people who want to specialise in Parkinson's research by establishing their own independent research group. 



The deadline for preproposal applications has now passed.

Applicants who are successful at the preproposal stage will be invited to submit a full application via our online application system. The deadline for full applications will be Wednesday 9 October 2024, by 4pm.

Online interviews are likely to take place in the week commencing Monday 25 November 2024.


Duration and value

Senior research fellowships are initially offered for up to £300,000 for 3 years.

Funding can cover:

  • the cost of the applicant's salary
  • appropriate start-up and running costs
  • support for additional research assistance such as a technician or research assistant
  • well justified costs for training opportunities such as attendance at relevant conferences or short courses

Senior research fellowship award holders can formally apply for a further 2 years of funding at least 6 months before the end of the award.

Fellowships awarded for more than 3 years may be dependent on the host research institution committing some funds towards the latter stages of the fellowship.



Applicants should have a strong track record of original and productive research in their area which shows impact across past appointments (typically at least one previous post-doctoral appointment). They should be able to demonstrate:

  • the progress they have made in moving towards independence through diverse collaborations and partnerships independent of their sponsors and past supervisor
  • receipt of small amounts of independent funding (such as a previous intermediate fellowship) and/or a track record of effective management of a small number of their own laboratory staff. 

Supervisors should hold employment contracts that extend beyond the period of the grant.

Researchers who hold tenure are not eligible to apply.

Grants are tenable only at a UK university, NHS Trust, statutory social care organisation or other UK research institution.

Co-applicants and collaborators may be based at institutions outside the UK or at pharmaceutical or biotech companies.

We actively encourage people from all sections of the community to apply for grants, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.


Review process

Preproposals will be independently reviewed by three scientific members of our College of Experts as outlined in the information for applicants.

Full applications will be independently reviewed by three scientific members of our College of Experts and a group of lay grant reviewers, who are people affected by Parkinson’s.


Success rates

There was a 29% success rate at the full application stage in 2023.

In 2023, the charity received 19 expressions of interest applications, 7 of these were invited to submit a full application, and 2 applications were recommended for funding. 

You can also download the latest list of all our active research projects.

All applicants are expected to work with people affected by Parkinson’s as much as possible throughout the research process and in the development of their application.

There are a number of ways that applicants can involve people in their research, including in identifying and prioritising research questions, shaping study design and providing feedback on Plain English Summaries. You can read some examples of patient and public involvement (PPI) in action.

You can also watch our short video to find out how researchers are benefitting from PPI.

Parkinson’s UK can support researchers to involve people affected by Parkinson’s through our PPI programme, including by helping to plan meaningful involvement activities and find people to involve.

Applicants are strongly advised to seek lay input on their research proposal as early as possible when devising their research questions and PPI plans.

Applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will be provided with further details if you need help to consult people affected by Parkinson’s for feedback on your application’s Plain English Summary.

See our PPI Guidance for researchers and also our PPI tools for lab based researchers for more information

Please get in touch with the team at [email protected] to request support for your application.

Parkinson's UK is here for everyone in the Parkinson's community. Our Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy sets out our overarching goal, ambitions and EDI promise. The charity wants equity for everyone who lives with Parkinson’s, and the people in their lives, in the UK.

Responses to Parkinson’s treatment can be different depending on a range of factors. We believe Parkinson’s research should involve, include and represent all members of the community. By having a diverse network of people involved with research, we’re more likely to make breakthroughs that change the lives of all people with Parkinson’s.

The charity's Race Equality in Research project sets out our long-term strategy to increase engagement and participation in Parkinson’s research with people from Black, Asian and Mixed Race backgrounds.

Please see the 'Writing a research grant application' appendix within the fellowship information for applicants for more information on how to consider equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of your research.

We consider the needs of everyone who applies for a grant at Parkinson’s UK. If you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition, are neurodivergent, or have care responsibilities and need support at any point during the application process, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. You can email [email protected].

Fellowship profiles

Parkinson’s UK has recently funded two future leaders in Parkinson’s research who are pushing forward our understanding of Parkinson’s: Dr Sophie Farrow at the University of Oxford and Dr Eduardo de Pablo-Fernandez at Queen Mary, University of London. 

Get updates on grants

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