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The Trust limits its contribution to the salary level for Research Assistants and Research Fellows partly to promote the appointment of early career researchers but also, in the case of Fellowships, to create a level playing field across the programmes in which we match-fund external awards.

FAQs - Research Grant salaries

What level of salary will the Trust support?

Post-doctoral RA salaries should be paid on grade 7, between points 41 and 44 depending on experience in line with University of Cambridge policy. The Isaac Newton Trust’s contribution will be capped at point 44 and this should be taken into account especially where support is sought for more than one year.

We recognise that, in some cases, it will be necessary to offer a higher salary in order to secure the best candidate for the post.  If a Department wishes to pay at above point 44 at any point in the life of the grant, then the difference should be made up from another source.

Post-doc Fellowship salaries start at point 39 for those recently awarded a PhD. We will share 50% of salary - up to £24,000 pa including on-costs, which is the level at which the Leverhulme Trust currently caps its Early Career Fellowships. We do not pay research support elements for Fellowships.

Should I include on-costs (NI and pension) in the salary calculations?

Yes, and inflation, if the award is to be for more than 1 year.

Does the Trust make a contribution for the Apprenticeship Levy as part of the on-costs?

No.

The intended RA has not yet obtained his/her PhD –can the grant start now?

The Trust will not confirm a grant before the PhD thesis has been submitted.

Will the Trust fund RAs who do not hold a PhD?

The Trust is occasionally willing to fund researchers who have not gained a PhD qualification but are otherwise highly skilled, but only where this is specifically justified 

Do you fund PhD students?

No, neither salaries nor research costs (except those part-funded through the AHRC DTP)

Do RAs have to be employed by the University to be funded by the Trust?

Yes, the Trust will only support the salaries of people who are to be employed by the University or its constituent parts. The Trust will not support work done by employees of other institutions unless they also have official employment status in Cambridge. However, the Trust will occasionally help to pay modest costs associated with short-term academic visitors to the University as part of a Strategic Programme or Project.

Does the Trust pay parental leave/sick pay?

Where the Trust makes a grant for the support of a specific research project, even if that involves contributing to the salary costs of a research associate, the Trust will make no further contribution to cover the costs of any maternity or medical leave, provision for which remains the responsibility of the applicant's own institution. The Trustees will not entertain requests for an increase in the amount of grants, which are for fixed sums. However, the Trust will consider applications for no-cost extensions to the end date of the grant to accommodate parental or sick leave.

Where the Trust contributes to the funding of a research fellowship or comparable post as part of an existing scheme of support for such posts, the Trust will pay its proportionate share of the costs of maternity and medical leave according to the policy of the partner institution or funding body

If you have other questions on this topic, please contact the Trust.

We will add to these notes and FAQs periodically