The Griffith Edwards Academic Fellowship, named after a former editor of the Society’s journal, is awarded annually to a high-calibre, post-doctoral SSA member to help them develop their career in addiction science. Applications are now closed for the 2024 scheme. Please check back in early 2025 for information about how to apply in the next cohort; the window for applying is typically January to March.

About the scheme

The purpose of the SSA fellowship scheme is to:

  • provide opportunities (either clinical or non-clinical) to pursue post-doctoral career development in addiction science in a UK university or UK university-affiliated NHS clinical setting
  • further the aims of the SSA

One person is typically appointed per year, and this will typically last for a duration of three years, during which time it is expected that they will become suitable for appointment to lecturer level.

All SSA academic fellows are expected to attend the Society’s events (e.g. annual meetings), and be available to present poster or oral presentations about their research. No restrictions are placed on the precise area of addictions study, except that it must address areas that support the aims of the SSA.

Fellows meet annually to share their research experiences, their experiences of being an SSA fellow, and to help guide the future development of the scheme. Over the past few years, SSA fellows have taken the lead in the planning and delivery of the annual PhD Symposium, held on the day before the SSA Annual Conference.


Funding support will be provided for a maximum of three years for full-time higher academic post-doctoral study, or proportionately longer in the case of part-time study, up to a maximum of five years.

The annual funding will provide a basic academic salary, in accordance with the criteria and scales of the host university. It is in the £35,000–£45,000 annual salary range, plus associated mandatory expenditure for national insurance and superannuation.

The Society will also make available a budget for research costs up to a maximum of £20,000 over the duration of the fellowship. Any expenditure from this budget must be applied for separately on each occasion, with itemised costings and explanations of how and why each instance is necessary and relevant to the aims of the fellowship. In the first instance, this extra budget is to help cover project costs, but in exceptional circumstances, the fellowship panel may agree to a maximum of £2,000 per annum being used to enable attendance at relevant conferences or other networking activities related to a fellowship project. In such cases, the fellow must: seek prior approval; at a minimum be presenting a poster at the event, although ideally be more involved (e.g. giving an oral presentation or organising a workshop); and produce content suitable for publishing on the Society’s website (to be agreed with the SSA’s Website Editor).

Academic fellows will be required to report to the Board of Trustees on the progress and the outcome of their work, and in accordance with the role description. In the event that a fellow’s focus of study changes, so that it no longer has a clear addiction basis, the SSA will cease funding.


  • Applicants must be current members or associates of the SSA.
  • Applicants must be resident in the UK.
  • Applicants must be employed and supervised within a UK university for the fellowship component of their appointment; they may also have a separate part-time appointment in a clinical service where research studies may be carried out in a clinical NHS setting. If an applicant wishes to be considered for a clinical academic fellowship, they will be expected to secure partial funding support for continued clinical activity and training, with the level of SSA support reduced to a part-time component.
  • Applicants will be expected to already hold a higher degree (e.g. PhD) in an area of study of direct relevance to the addiction field.
  • Applications must be submitted within five years of completion of their higher degree, although individual exceptions will be considered (e.g. maternity or medical leave).
  • The SSA encourages applications from people with lived experience and from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Employees of the alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries are not eligible for the scheme.

Process for considering applications

A panel will be convened from the SSA Board of Trustees, who may invite other independent, appropriate senior addictions academics to assist in part or all of the shortlisting, interview, and appointment process. Members of the panel who have a pre-existing and current professional relationship with one of the applicants, or whose institution would gain in any way from the acceptance of the candidate’s application, will stand down from the assessment and appointment process.

The process will involve gathering references and independent academic opinions, and interviewing shortlisted applicants. The SSA will aim to provide a decision on applications within four months of the submission deadline.

The academic fellowship panel will make its recommendation to the trustees, and the final recommendation will rest with the trustees. In exceptional circumstances the trustees could seek additional information from the recommended applicant before accepting the recommendation.

Assessment criteria

The panel will score each application in three areas:

  1. The candidate: The academic fellowship selection panel and the Board of Trustees will consider the potential and the trajectory of the applicant as an SSA academic fellow, as a maturing clinical or non-clinical academic researcher and teacher, as well as on their future leadership potential.
  2. The proposed host institution: The academic fellowship selection panel and the trustees will consider the overall academic standing of the proposed host institution within the addictions field, and more generally also.
  3. The proposed body of addictions academic study: This will include the quality of the proposed body of addictions academic study; the potential of the described body of addictions academic study to meet SSA objectives; the potential contribution to wider addictions training; the quality and experience of proposed immediate colleagues; and the applicant’s established addictions expertise.

Contractual arrangements

Financial support under an SSA fellowship is provided subject to a contract between the SSA and the host institution. Therefore, any offer or agreement by the SSA to provide funding is subject to contract. Once funding for a fellowship has been discussed and agreed, the SSA will provide the host institution with a contract for the funding in the SSA’s standard form. The terms of this contract will only be amended under exceptional circumstances and the SSA may withdraw any offer or agreement of funding if the contract terms are not agreed by all parties within a reasonable period.

The successful candidate must declare the SSA’s support clearly, and will be expected to describe themselves as an SSA academic fellow.