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Future Leaders Fellowships

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class. 

Who can apply

This cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research and user environments including research councils' institutes and laboratories.

The FLF scheme welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants and individuals should use the person specification to assess and justify their suitability for the scheme. The support of the institution will be a critical component of all fellowships which will enable the fellow to transition to or establish their research/innovation independence in any area supported by UKRI.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK 
  • to foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • to provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • to provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.

These Fellowships support applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles. We also encourage applications from those wishing to work part-time in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities. Review panels will take into account time spent outside an active research or innovation environment, whether through career breaks, flexible working or as a consequence of working in other roles. 

Length of support

The support offered will be long-term and flexible and will provide comprehensive package of support, including the fellow's salary and justified research, staff and training costs, with seven years of support available on a 4+3 model, with a review in year four. The case for support should make clear the long-term aims of the programme, and why they matter – while providing more specific plans and costings for the first four years.

For business applicants, those in the user community or other applicants, four years' support may be sufficient and there is no need to apply for a further three years of funding if this is not required. Successful applicants will have the intellectual and financial freedom to develop and change direction over this period. 

How to apply

There will be six calls for these fellowships; two calls per year between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (financial years), typically awarding at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI's remit (with the initial round being smaller, aiming to award ~50 fellowships).

This is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit, with no ringfenced budgets for specific areas and no barriers to interdisciplinary or cross-sector research.

Timing of First and Second rounds

It is mandatory for the first round of this call that host organisations submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for each of the applicants they intend to submit to the first round, by 7 June 2018

Full applications must be submitted via the Joint Electronic Submission system Je-S by 16:00 on 3 July 2018 for the first round.

Full details are available in the Overview of the scheme and Completing the application form documents below.

Planned timing / deadline

Round 1 (~50 fellowships)

Round 2 (~100 fellowships)

JeS opens

3rd April 2018

w/c 17th Sept 2018

Mandatory EoI closes

7th June 2018

4th October 2018

JeS Application deadline

3rd July 2018

31st October 2018

Shortlisting meetings

w/c 26th November 2018

w/c 13th May 2019

Interview Panels

w/c 21st January 2019

w/c 17th June 2019

Decisions communicated

w/c 11th February 2019

w/c 18th July 2019

Mandatory latest start date for all awards

1st May 2019

1st February 2020

Call documents

Further information

Queries not addressed by the guidance documents can be sent to fellows@ukri.org. However, UKRI cannot confirm eligibility prior to application, applicants must demonstrate how they meet the person specification as part of their submitted proposal.