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This is a University of Oxford fund intended to foster creativity and a proactive approach to research opportunities in all subject areas, and particularly interdisciplinary fields. It will make seed corn and start-up grants, and provide funds to stimulate applications to external funding bodies.

The John Fell Fund has three termly rounds of Main and Small Award applications.

Award types

Applications can be made for any of the following purposes:

a) Pump-priming 

b) Early career researcher

c) Other academic activities

d) Research facilitators 

e) Support related to bids for external funding 

f) Strategic investment in research assets

In addition, the Medical Sciences Division is allocated a separate annual funding stream; this is used to support Divisional strategic initiatives.

For prospective Category F applications please speak to the John Fell Fund Medical Sciences Divisional contact ( 

There is more information about the John Fell Fund available on the Research Services website.

For information on eligibility, please see Research Services website.

All applications to the John Fell Fund must be submitted online via the Internal Research Award Management System (IRAMS)To progress to the next stage, applications must be approved by the department before the deadline.

For prospective Category F applications please speak to the John Fell Fund Medical Sciences Divisional contact, Leila Whitworth ( 


  1. The Divisional John Fell Fund review committee consists of 10 senior academics from across the Division and is chaired by the Deputy Head of Division (Research). This committee reviews, scores and ranks proposals. 
  2. The Division then makes recommendations to the University John Fell Fund Committee. Small Award applications are dealt with by the Chair of the University Fell Fund Committee by Chair’s action. Main Award applications are considered alongside applications from all Divisions and service departments at the termly University Fell Fund Committee meetings.
  3. The John Fell Fund administration (located in Research Support) provides letters to each applicant on the outcome oF their application and deal with the administration of awards, including extensions to awards and reporting.

Applications, scores and reviewer comments may be shared with other internal University panels to ensure maximum value for money.

Please see the University John Fell Fund website for termly deadlines for Main and Small Award applications. Your department may have an internal process ahead of the advertised deadline so please check their procedure before you start writing your application.

If you cannot find the required information on the John Fell Fund website, or have further queries, please e-mail


ChairProfessor Gail Hayward

Secretary: Adelyn Wise


Professor Chris O'Callaghan (NDM)

Professor Richard Gibbons (WIMM)

Professor Gail Hayward (Primary Care Health Sciences)

Dr Jane Hirst (Women's & Reproductive Health)

Professor Jemma Hopewell (Population Health)

Dr Kassim Javaid (NDORMS)

Dr Susannah Murphy (Psychiatry)

Dr Francis Szele (DPAG)

University John Fell Fund Committee


Dr Manisha Nair and Prof. Marian Knight (Nuffield Department of Population Health) received a grant from the John Fell Fund to support their work in establishing an obstetric research system, based upon a UK model, in Assam, India. Find out more. 

Developing world-class human neurophysiological resources at Oxford 

Professor Charlie Stagg (Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences) discusses how Wellcome ISSF and John Fell Funding allowed her group to establish world-leading neurophysiological resources at Oxford. Find out more. 

Exosome switching, a new mechanism in cancer biology 

Professor Deborah Goberdhan (Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics) received money from the John Fell Fund to support her work investigating exosome switching. Find out more.