We’re looking to fund fellowships of up to seven years (funded for four years in the first phase with the option to extend for a further three years) to support talented researchers and innovators who are transitioning to research and/or innovation leadership.
You must clearly demonstrate:
- how the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) award will support and enable your long-term career goals
- broad knowledge of the area of interest and a compelling vision for the excellence and importance of your proposed research or innovation
- your own original and ambitious plans/ideas
- you can take a leading role in your area
- the suitability of the proposed environment(s) for your research or innovation and its impact.
The scheme aims to:
- develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
- foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
- provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
- provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.
We support fellowships across our remit
We support fellowships in all areas of UKRI’s remit, including multi- and interdisciplinary projects. Fellowships can also lead and develop innovation. We define innovation as the practical translation of disruptive ideas into novel, relevant and valued products, services, processes, systems or business models, making them readily available to markets, government and society, creating economic and/or social value from ideas.
Future Leaders Fellowships are personal awards to support fellows develop as impactful and influential research or innovation leaders.
You are encouraged to think broadly about the type of activities you may pursue as part of your research and/or innovation objectives. This could include time for work in other environments, developing international links, and development of new skills (for example in policy or commercialisation).
You should also consider what career development support opportunities are appropriate, for example mentoring and professional training and development, and relevant training courses that will underpin your future career ambitions and learning. A clear programme of skills development is an essential component of this fellowship.
How much funding you can request
There is no limit to the amount of funding you can request under this scheme, but requests must be appropriate to the project and you must be able to justify the amount you need to meet the objectives of your proposal. You must notify UKRI at outline stage of any request for more than £1.5 million total UKRI contribution.
The fellowship will provide salary support. For academic and Catapult-hosted fellows, in partnership with the host, this is tapered throughout the fellowship, with host organisations required to commit to funding an increasing percentage of the applicant’s salary as the fellowship progresses. The precise details for non-business and business hosts are available in the guidance for applicants (PDF, 977KB).
The host’s supporting letter should commit to the salary of the fellow and, for academic applicants, should confirm an open-ended UK-based independent research and/or innovation position, to be taken up during or on the completion of the fellowship (in line with organisational employment policies and practices).
Collaborating with others
You may wish to work in collaboration with individuals or organisations. They may be added as a co-investigator, collaborator, or project partner depending on their role, however please ensure their inclusion is fully justified (such as through bringing complementary and different skills to the project, or providing access to samples or equipment).
Fellows can spend periods overseas or in other internationally leading research or innovation organisations if it can be clearly justified in terms of their programme of work and meeting the overarching aims of the scheme.
Please note each round has a mandatory published start date and you should ensure your host is able to facilitate setting up your award within this timeframe.