Olive Ayoub Intermediate / Late-Stage Fellowship

The latest funding opportunity from SRUK for an intermediate / late stage fellowship in scleroderma research with the aim of enabling one exceptional non-tenured postdoctoral research to transition from postdoc to research leader. 

The Olive Ayoub Fellowship

The Olive Ayoub Fellowship was established through a generous legacy bequeathed to SRUK in the will of Mrs. Olive Ayoub.

Olive was born and raised in Plymouth in 1922, before moving to London where she trained to become a teacher in Art and English and met her husband Abdu who was completing a PhD. Olive spent much of her working life in Egypt alongside her husband, where she continued to teach, eventually becoming a headmistress and enjoying the opportunities for international travel which came through Abdu’s academic work. Upon retirement, Abdu and Olive returned to the UK. When Abdu sadly passed away Olive forged a close friendship with her neighbour Helen who lives with scleroderma. Witnessing at close quarters Helen’s daily battle with the debilitating effects of scleroderma inspired Olive to bequeath a gift to SRUK in her will.

Olive’s friends tell us that she was an exceptional individual with a passion for knowledge, learning and teaching. SRUK believes that it is fitting that Olive’s legacy will likewise enable two exceptional individuals (a fellow and PhD student) to generate new knowledge and advance our understanding of scleroderma whilst facilitating the next steps in their career.

The Intermediate to Late-Stage Fellowship

The Olive Ayoub Intermediate to Late-Stage Fellowship will provide up to £600,000 of funding with the aim of enabling one exceptional non-tenured postdoctoral researcher working in scleroderma or a related field to transition from postdoc to research leader.


  • Four years’ salary for the fellow at 100% cost
  • Up to £30,000 per year in consumables
  • Stipend for a three-year PhD studentship to assist and carry out a research project relevant to the research programme.  


  • Applicants must have a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 6 years’ experience post-PhD; allowances will be made for time away from research for example due to maternity leave or serious illness.
  • Applicants must currently be working on research either within the field of scleroderma or a closely related/ or translatable field.
  • Applicants must not currently hold a tenured position at a university/ research institution either within the UK or overseas.
  • Applicants based outside of the UK may apply for the fellowship provided the research will be conducted at a UK based institution, which will sponsor their fellowship application. PhD candidates must be UK based.
  • Applicants must provide evidence of support from their host organization (UK based)
  • Proposals must be relevant to one or more themes of the SRUK Research Strategy. 

The Application Process

Applications should be submitted through the application form which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Applicants should ensure that they read the guidance contained in this document prior to completing the form, which can also be found on this page.

The fellowship competition is a one-stage application process. The call will open on the 29th of June 2022 and will run until the deadline of 1pm, 12th of October 2022. It is expected that candidates will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by the 17th of February 2023, and interviews are expected to be held in March 2023. Late applications will not be accepted. Applications should be sent to SRUKOAFellowship@sruk.co.uk

The stages in the assessment process are outlined below. Completed applications will be subject for an internal triage for quality and relevance to the SRUK research strategy before peer review by UK and international experts. Following peer review the Fellowship Committee will shortlist applicants for interview.

A Fellowship offer is expected to be made 10 months after the call opens.