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How to apply

There is general guidance for the UKRI community about our work and how it is changing with regard to COVID-19. It is being updated regularly but if there are any major changes impacting the Future Leaders Fellowships scheme they will be published here.

UPDATED: 22 June 2020

Round 4


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the significant upheaval in all our work situations, the UKRI FLF team has postponed the interviews from the previously scheduled w/c 13 July, to the w/c 27 July. Candidates being invited to interview have the option to postpone their interview to the w/c 28 September 2020 or to defer to the Round 5 interviews that are scheduled to take place w/c 22 March 2021. Candidates do not have to provide a reason for why they wish to postpone.

Round 5

Updated guidance for Round 5 is now available in the 'Documents' section below.


Following feedback and the impact that COVID-19 has had on our community, we have decided to extend the closing date for the Future Leaders Fellowships Round 5 call. The opening dates will remain the same and people are able to create applications at any point from the call opening.

The closing dates for both the outline and full submission stage have been extended by one month:

Outlines: previously 30 April, new closing date  2 June 2020

Full: previously  2 June, new closing date  30 June 2020

This will obviously have an impact on dates and times for peer review, PI responses and the sift and interview panels, and the revised timetable is now published below.

Important note: For data analysis purposes, we ask that applicants do not include the words ‘Cov-19’, ‘Covid-19’ or ‘Coronavirus’ in the Lay Summary, Tech Summary or Title sections unless the application relates to proposed research in this area.


We recognise that due to the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, applicants may be unable to secure Letters of Support (LoS) associated with their application. Should this be the case we ask that applicants complete a copy of the “FLF Missing Letter of Support Form” for each letter they are unable to provide. This form is found in the Templates section at the bottom of this webpage.

Reviewers will not disadvantage applicants who use this template and will presume that a LoS will be provided ahead of award for applicants who are recommended for funding. If you subsequently receive letters between submitting your award and assessment, please contact the FLF team. 

For LoS that are related to Project Partners, the template should be uploaded to the “attachments” area associated with the specific “Project Partners” heading in Je-S that is filled in for each specific partner. For LoS that are related to Collaborators, these should be uploaded using the “Letter of Support” document type in the attachments section, and the associated description should be given as “FLF Missing Letter of Support Form”. When uploading the template to Je-S please save the file as a .pdf prior to upload and keep the file name to below 40 characters.

If there are any concerns regarding Letters of Support for your proposal please contact us at fellows@ukri.org

Round 5 guidance

Updated guidance for Round 5 is now available in the ‘Documents’ section below.

Applicants must apply to the scheme with the support of their host organisation. This page provides information for the applicants and their host on how to apply.

There will be six calls for these fellowships between 2018 and 2021, awarding around 100 fellowships per call.

Contact the team

The Future Leaders Fellowships Team can be contacted at fellows@ukri.org to answer any queries not addressed by the guidance and documents below. However, UKRI cannot confirm eligibility prior to application and applicants must demonstrate how they meet the person specification as part of their submitted proposal.

Please note that we are experiencing a higher volume of emails than usual but will attempt to answer your email in a timely manner. We appreciate your patience and support in this matter.

Before applying

If you have further queries, see the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 157KB) (please note this document will be updated regularly).

Outline proposal

Outline proposals are mandatory for each applicant intending to submit to Round 5 of this scheme. The deadline for receiving these was 16:00 on 2 June 2020.

  • Applicants in host organisations that are not registered with Je-S  (for example, businesses that have not previously applied for a grant from a research council) can submit their outline proposal through an online form. You will still need to register with Je-S later if you wish to proceed and submit a full application.
  • Applicants in host organisations that are already registered with Je-S (universities, research organisations and some businesses) will need to submit their outline proposal through that grant management system. You should ensure sufficient time to create Je-S accounts for both the fellow and any co-investigators.

The outline proposal will need to cover basic details about the proposal, including any co-investigators and project partners, a summary of the proposed fellowship and other information as appropriate. Full information on what information you will need to include in your outline proposal is in section two of the Guidance for applicants.

If you did not submit an outline proposal for Round 5 before this deadline, then you will not be able to submit a full application to this round.

Full application

Full applications for Round 5 must be submitted by all organisations via Je-S by 16:00 on 30 June 2020.All applicants should ensure that they allow sufficient time for their application to pass through their host organsation’s internal and Je-S submission routes prior to the 16:00 deadline.

If you submit an outline proposal via the web form, you will need to create an account on Je-S in order to submit a full application and you should allow sufficient time to do this. Please note that individuals applying though a business host organisation will need to create a Je-S account in order to submit a full proposal, however, the host organisation will only undertake the full Je-S registration process if the fellowship is awarded and financial checks are completed successfully. This will be managed as part of our post-award processing. Business host organisations do not need to complete the IRO registration process in order to apply.

Full details of how to complete the application form, and the information you will require in order to do this, are contained in the Guidance for applicants. (PDF, 505KB) Links to other scheme documentation and templates are under Documents, below.

Planned timing / deadline   Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Je-S opens for mandatory outline proposals   2 April 2019 2 September 2019 26 March 2020
Je-S opens for full applications   16 April 2019 12 September 2019 21 April 2020
Mandatory outline proposal closes on Je-S   2 May 2019 8 October 2019 2 June 2020
Je-S full application deadline   30 May 2019 7 November 2019 30 June 2020
Latest possible PI response invite (Please note: 10 working days to respond)   25 October 2019 24 April 2020 27 November 2020
Shortlisting meetings   26-27 November 2019 w/c 1 Jun 2020 w/c/ 1 February 2021
Interview Panels   29-30 January 2020 w/c 27 July 2020** w/c 22 March 2021
Decisions communicated   w/c 2 March 2020* w/c 10 August 2020 w/c 19 April 2021
Mandatory latest start date for all awards   1 November 2020 1 February 2021 1 July 2021***

*date amended from w/c 11 February 2020

**The R4 interviews will now take place in the week commencing the 27 July 2020 and not the week commencing 13 July 2020, as previously published. UKRI will contact applicants following the Sift panels to notify outcomes and outline the virtual interview process.

***Applicants should note the mandatory latest start date and should ensure that this requirement has been discussed with their Research Support office and other related departments.

Expected closing dates for future rounds

  • Round 6: Outline early Jan 2021. Full application end Jan 2021 (tbc).


Call Documentation:


Assessment Information: