The Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship

The programme enables Israeli scientists of outstanding ability to pursue their research at the University of Cambridge, while fostering a scholarly exchange and greater understanding between researchers in Britain and in Israel.  

We are inviting applications from Israelis seeking to undertake their first postdoctoral funding in the fields of life sciences, physical sciences and engineering at the University of Cambridge. Fellows will receive an annual stipend of £30,600. Additional funding of up to £6,000, to support direct research costs including bench fees, conference attendance and visa fees, will be available through the respective university departments.

Fellowships will be tenable for up to two years. Funding for the second year is subject to satisfactory undertaking of the Fellowship and subject to approval of the grant committee. 

Applications for the 2021 fellowship are now open! The deadline for application has been extended until 8 November 2020, 23:59 IL time.

Please consult the Call for Proposal and the relevant guidelines below before completing your application.

1.Call for Proposals and Guidelines for Applicants

2.Guideline and form for the Host (See below).

3.Guideline and form for the Referee (See below)

Please be advised that all parts of the application must be submitted by the deadline. For further guidance please review the "How Do I Apply" section below.

For inquiries, email us, Subject Line: Blavatnik 2021


University of Cambridge

Am I eligible?

  • Applicants must be Israeli citizens or permanent residents; individuals with dual citizenship are eligible
  • Applicants need to be resident in Israel at the time of their application. We will accept applications from residents of East Jerusalem.
  • Candidates must have received their PhD from an Israeli university or other Higher Education Institution 
  • The fellowships must be the applicant’s first postdoc posting abroad;
  • Candidates must have completed their PhD degree not more than five years before the date of application 
  • It is expected that applicants will have spent less than 12 months as a post-doc in Israel prior to starting their fellowships (however exceptions may be made)
  • Applicants must be working in the field of life sciences, physical sciences and engineering;
  • Applicants must hold a doctorate degree by the start of the fellowship; applicants may submit an application before completing their PhD studies, but the fellowship offer will be conditional on the successful attainment of their PhD
  • We will only consider applications that have been jointly endorsed by heads of departments in both the applicant’s home and host institutions
  • Individuals may submit only one application at a time. Multiple applications from laboratories / departments / institutions are acceptable.

How do I Apply?

Applicants must complete the on-line application form by 8 November 2020, 23:59 IL time.

You must include a CV (limited to 3 pages) with your application; 

Your host lab and referees will be required to complete a separate paper forms. Please download these forms from the links above and forward to your host and referees. They should send the filled in forms by the deadline to

Two reference submissions should be sent. One of the referees should be from the institution to which the applicant is affiliated.

How does the selection process work?

Applications are assessed by an Academic Selection Board. The Board will evaluate applications using the following criteria:

  • general relevance to the fields of life sciences, physical sciences or engineering;
  • quality of the scientific content of the proposed activity;
  • whether the collaboration will continue beyond the period of the proposed activity;
  • compliance with Guidelines for Applicants and the relevant Application Form instructions.

The decision of the Academic Selection Board’s is final and confidential. No appeals will be considered. The British Council is unable to enter into any communication on the decision of the Academic Selection Board. 

What is expected of Fellows?

Fellows will be asked to:

  • attend Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme events;
  • participate in peer reviews, where relevant; and
  • promote the Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme Initiative and be available for press and media work;
  • to participate, as relevant, in the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust Leadership Programme. Full details will be provided to successful Fellows; 
  • complete an annual report.

In the event of early termination of the fellowship, funding that has been transferred for future use, will need to be repaid.


  • When will the candidates be informed about the committee’s decisions? Candidates will be contacted by the end of January 2021 via email.
  • When will the fellowship begin? Traditionally we follow the academic year, and we expect fellowships to begin in October 2021. Exceptions are discussed on a case to case basis.
  • Does one need to hold a PhD certificate before starting the fellowship? Yes. This fellowship is available only to candidates who have completed their PhD degree, by the starting time of the fellowship. Applicants may submit an application before being awarded a PhD, however offers will be made conditional on the completion of their PhD. 
  • I’m currently completing my PhD at the University of Cambridge. May I apply for the fellowship? No. It is imperative to be an Israeli resident and to have achieved a PhD from an Israeli institute.
  • Does it matter when one submits the application? No priority given. Please make sure all forms are completed by the deadline and all documents are included. 
  • Can I accept other fellowships awards alongside the Blavatnik Fellowship grant? The Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme will not accept any other public award intended as a maintenance allowance of over £20,000 without the approval of the Blavatnik Fellowships Funding Committee having first been obtained. The Fellow will be expected to prioritise the Blavatnik Fellowship in all engagements and accreditations. 
  • Who is expected to provide the additional funds of up to £6,000 and are those funds per year or in total for the fellowship? In addition to the annual stipend of £30,600, the Blavatnik Foundation will provide £6,000 per year to cover visa costs, purchase of equipment and participation in scientific events to each fellow. The funds will be transferred directly to the Fellow’s department at Cambridge, which will administer them according to the fellow’s requests. 
  • Who is expected to fill in the Host form? The person who will be working directly with the Fellow should complete the form and add a copy of their CV. We would typically expect this to be the Head of Group / Lab but appreciate that this might be another senior academic. In addition, as it is imperative that we get an approval for the initial request, to be hosted at the institute/ lab, from the Head of Department themselves. The Head of department should sign the Host form and the Department’s stamp should be applied.

How do I receive updates?

Via the British Council’s web site. Any further inquiries should be addressed to


"The British Council is honoured to be managing the Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme and is deeply grateful to the Blavatnik Family Foundation for their generous commitment to supporting scientific cooperation between the UK and Israel. The Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellows are clearly remarkable, conducting cutting-edge research at the University of Cambridge, and playing their part in advancing relationships between the two countries.”  Christian Duncumb, British Council Israel, Director

The partners of the Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme are the Blavatnik Foundation, University of Cambridge, the British Council (Israel) and the British Embassy.

*The Blavatnik Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme is delivered by the British Council in Israel