skip to content

Isaac Newton Trust


The Trust provides a contribution, on behalf of the University of Cambridge, for successful applicants to this prestigious programme for Early Career researchers of £1,000 per month towards the basic salary.

Please note that the Trust cannot routinely also support applicants for Humboldt Feodor Lynen Advanced Fellowships. Those who have obtained an Advanced Fellowship from the Humboldt Stiftung may however apply in the competition for an Isaac Newton Project Grant.

How to apply for INT support for a Humboldt Feodor Lynen Early Career Fellowship

The procedure will depend on the stage the applicant has reached in the Humboldt Foundation's application procedure:

A) You have yet to apply to the Humboldt-Stiftung but you have an agreement in principle to be accepted by an approved Humboldt host in the University of Cambridge:

  • You should ask the proposed Cambridge host to contact the Isaac Newton Trust’s Director, supplying items 1 to 3 in the list below.
  • INT will assess the request and, if content to offer support, will then issue a letter of support in principle amounting to a contribution (=£1,000 per month) for up to 24 months to the basic salary.
  • You can expect to receive this letter within one month of the approach to the INT.
  • If the application to the Humboldt Foundation is successful, you should then send (via the Cambridge host) item 4 to the Isaac Newton Trust;
  • The procedure is then the same as for the category below

B) You have already been offered a Feodor Lynen Early Career Fellowship by the Humboldt-Stiftung:

Most applicants in this category will be Humboldt Fellows who have been awarded fellowships to be held at another university and now wish to transfer to Cambridge (which then would have to supply the remainder of the institutional funding rather than the original institutional host).

Please note that the INT will not normally provide institutional funding for Feodor Lynen Fellows whose fellowship at Cambridge has been secured using a promise of institutional funding from the host faculty or department. If this original promise cannot be honoured, the department/faculty should discuss the circumstances with the Director.

You should ask your proposed Cambridge host to contact the Isaac Newton Trust’s Director, sending items 1 to 4 in the list below:

Required items

1)     The c.v  of the applicant

2)     Research proposal of applicant for the fellowship (as sent to Humboldt)

3)     a letter from the Head of Cambridge department of the proposed host confirming

  • that (s)he is willing to host the Fellowship
  • the start and end dates of the research in Cambridge

4)     the award letter from the Humboldt Foundation  – a German language letter is acceptable.


INT award letters

Prospective applicants to the Humboldt Foundation approved by the Trust will be provided with a conditional offer letter confirming that the INT would in principle be happy to provide the required host contribution (£1,000 per month towards the basic salary) in the event that the application to Humboldt is successful.

Successful candidates who have supplied evidence of their Humboldt award and the other documents required will receive a confirmation letter from the Trust setting out the amount of the INT offer.

The confirmation letter is copied to the host department and to the relevant person in the Research Office so that they are able to set up the grant in the host department.

Setting up the grant

All early career research grants awarded by the Isaac Newton Trust are set up as research grants through the University’s Research Office. The RO will collaborate with the host department to set up a grant in the department, specifically for this fellowship.


Feodor Lynen Fellowships are awarded for up to 24 months. 

A Fellow who has obtained an extension from the Humboldt Foundation may contact the INT to discuss the possibility of renewal; please note that INT extensions are not automatically approved but each will be considered by the Trustees on its merits. The maximum contribution by INT will normally be for 24 months in total.

Two documents are required at the point of applying to the INT for an extension:

  • a reference from your Cambridge host PI setting out the progress you have made while in Cambridge and the reasons why an extension is necessary/merited, and recommending an extension;
  • a letter from the host's Head of Department stating the start and end dates of the extension, and giving approval for you to be accommodated for this period, subject to funding being available.

If the Trustees are happy with your request, a letter from the Trust will be provided for you to submit to the Humboldt Foundation.

As soon as the result of your application to the Humboldt Foundation is known, you should send a copy of their letter to the INT, even if you have not been successful.


What about National Insurance and Pension contributions?  The Isaac Newton Trust, in line with the practice of the Humboldt Foundation, does not offer NI and pension contributions for new Humboldt Fellows. The INT makes a flat-rate contribution to salary.


this page was updated on 25.07.18

Trustees' Meeting Dates

Thursday 11 July 2024

Thursday 21 November 2024

Thursday 13 March 2025


Information about INT