Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Renewal scheme for current Future Leaders Fellows

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Successful applicants to the Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) scheme have the opportunity to extend their four-year fellowship by up to a further three years.

The renewal funding will continue to support the development of a leading-edge fellow and further their work to undertake adventurous, ambitious programmes that tackle difficult and novel challenges.

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is available to current FLF award holders only.

What we're looking for

Renewal applications can be submitted within or across any areas of research or innovation covered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The renewal project should be a continuation of the original FLF fellowship. However, it is recognised that the project will have developed and progressed, and a fellow may change the direction of their project over the period of the fellowship in response to new discoveries or techniques if required. This is to build on their own changing experience, or to reflect changing business requirements and market opportunities, and should be explained in the case for support.

A fellow may also request to move host organisation or sector where appropriate and justified.

The FLF renewal must not be used to request funds for a completely new, independent project, and must not be used as a substitute for no-cost extensions.

The renewal will be awarded if there is a prima facie case for progression, and the fellow is able to demonstrate this in their proposal.

The prima facie should demonstrate the following:

  • clear evidence of fellow development and leadership during the fellowship to date
  • contribution to the research and innovation landscape, including realisation of short-term impacts of the original proposal and how the fellow has responded to unforeseen challenges
  • a distinctive and outstanding research or innovation project, or both, with robust methodology
  • that the fellow articulates a continued route to realise potential and clearly demonstrates the added value of continuing the fellowship mechanism of support
  • that the host organisation has confirmed that an open-ended contract has been attained or described a definite route to an open-ended contract, which will be attainable by the completion of the fellowship

How to apply

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

You can find advice on completing your application in:

  • the Je-S handbook
  • renewal guidance document in the ‘additional info’ section

We recommend you start your application early.

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance.

Submitting your application

Before starting an application, you will need to log in or create an account in Je-S.

All investigators involved in the project need to be registered on Je-S.

Any investigators who do not have a Je-S account must register for one at least seven working days before the funding opportunity deadline.

When applying:

  1. Select ‘documents’, then ‘new document’.
  2. Select ‘call search’.
  3. To find the opportunity, search for: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Renewal.

This will populate:

  • council: MRC
  • document type: Fellowship proposal
  • scheme: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships
  • call/type/mode: UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Renewal

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.


The funding opportunity remains open at all times on the Je-S system with no formal closing date, but with submission windows. The FLF team will assign applications to meetings based on when they are received.

There will be three assessments periods per year, with submissions typically closing in April, July and December.

The meeting in which fellows should apply to will be dependent on the end date of their initial FLF award. If fellows are granted a no cost extension, the initial end date will be extended to take into account the additional time requested, and this date should be used instead.

If there is a reason which means you are unable to submit to your allocated meeting, please advise the FLF renewal team as soon as possible.

A full list of confirmed meetings and which meeting you should apply for can be found in annex A of the renewal guidance document in the ‘additional info’ section.


Your application must include the following attachments:

  • case for support
  • justification of resources
  • head of department supporting statement
  • additional activities (academic only)
  • finance form for non-academic fellows (non-academic only)

There are a number of different documents you may need to submit with your application, depending on your proposed area of study and host organisation. These could include:

  • cover letter
  • data management plan
  • project partner letter of support
  • support for NHS costs
  • signed animal usage declaration
  • use of rodents overseas form
  • facility form
  • technical assessment (or equivalent) form
  • British Antarctic Survey logistic support
  • NERC ship time and aircraft requests

For full details, refer to the renewal guidance document in the ‘additional info’ section.

How we will assess your application

An assessment panel will consider the applications based on whether a prima facie case for progression has been demonstrated. The prima facie is supported by the FLF renewal assessment criteria:

  • research and innovation excellence
  • fellow and their development
  • impact and strategic relevance
  • research and innovation environment and costs

Across all four factors assessed, a key issue will be whether the added value of continuing the fellowship mechanism of support is clearly demonstrated. For example, the continuing benefits from the scale, flexibility and duration of the fellowship funding offered is clear, as opposed to the benefits gained from standard project grant support.

For business applications, consideration of the added value will include, for example:

  • whether the previous outputs are maximised
  • whether the levels of risk involved in the project mean that the fellowship is continuing to support beyond the normal activity of the business

If a prima facie case for renewal is not agreed during the initial meeting, a formal discussion will be required. This will be with the fellow to determine whether the renewal award is awarded, and any questions raised by the panel will be shared prior to the discussion.

Further information may be sought from the host organisation should there be queries with regards to the host support or commitment to an open-ended position. We will aim to resolve this via email communication, a formal discussion may be held in exceptional circumstances.

Guidance on assessment

To fully understand how your application will be assessed, you should read the following attachments in the ‘additional info’ section:

  • renewal assessment criteria
  • renewal scheme assessment process flow chart

Outcomes and feedback

All fellows that apply for the renewal will receive feedback, which will be included with the system-generated email sent by the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system with the final outcome.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

Ask about this funding opportunity

FLF Renewal Team


We aim to respond within five working days.

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