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Turing Artificial Intelligence World-Leading Researcher Fellowships

The timeline for this call was delayed by approximately 6 months due to the impact of COVID-19. See below for revised dates.


Outline proposals are invited for Turing Artificial Intelligence World-Leading Researcher Fellowships. Up to £18 million is available to fund a small number of fellows for up to five years starting by 1 October 2021. EPSRC, on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), is delivering this substantive phase of the Turing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fellowships, working in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Office for Artificial Intelligence.

This programme will invest in the retention and international recruitment of a small number of world-leading AI researchers to build new capability and capacity in the UK, contributing to the development of a diverse and sustainable UK AI research ecosystem. Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships will enable enhanced engagement between academia, business and other sectors through flexible career paths that encourage inter-sector mobility.

Through this strategic investment we are seeking to support world-leading researchers who will undertake ambitious and novel research with a primary focus on tackling the methodological and theoretical challenges in AI, which may be driven by real world applications. This research should show significant novelty in the development of AI technologies and should go beyond applying established AI approaches within applications.

We are seeking to support a cohort of fellows which includes international recruits, but potentially also researchers currently based in the UK. For UK-based applicants the case should be made for how the fellowship will retain them in the UK, and how it will be used to build new capability and capacity.

Alongside undertaking world-leading research, fellows will be expected to actively seek to develop their position of leadership in their host organisation, in the national and international research community, and engage with and influence the strategic direction of UK AI research. Fellows should initiate, grow, and maintain strong relationships and collaborations with stakeholders in the UK and internationally.

Outline proposals led by the host organisation will be assessed by an expert panel, successful outlines will be invited to submit a full proposal led by the proposed fellow. Full proposals will be assessed by postal peer review followed by an interview panel.

How to apply

A two-stage application process will be used.

Stage 1: Outline proposal - Outline proposals must led by the host organisation.

Stage 2: Full proposal - applications successful at the outline stage will be invited to submit a full proposal.

Key dates

  • Pre-announcement of call – 24 October 2019
  • Call published – 14 November 2019
  • Deadline for outline proposals – 17 September 2020
  • Outline proposal decisions – November 2020
  • Deadline for Full Proposals – 21 January 2021
  • Interview Panel – Early May 2021
  • Funding decision – May 2021
  • Latest grant start date – 1 October 2021


General enquiries should be sent to AI.Robotics@epsrc.ukri.org. Specific enquiries should be sent to: