Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: UKRI FLF Development Network Pathway programme

Apply for funding to join the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) Development Network Pathway programme.

You must be based at a UK research organisation eligible for UKRI funding.

This is a tailored programme to support the professional development of future leaders fellows.

The network delivers specialised leadership training, access to networks and mentors, and collaborative opportunities, so that members can pursue world-class interdisciplinary, cross-sector research and innovation.

A new cohort of 60 researchers from the UKRI community are invited to join the network through Pathway.

Who can apply

The UKRI FLF Development Network Pathway programme will support individuals on fixed term or open-ended contracts in eligible organisations who are either:

  • principal investigator on an active UKRI award
  • employed by a UKRI-funded institute and are implementing their own research ideas for the first time

What we're looking for

We are looking for researchers and innovators wanting to establish themselves as a leader in their field. They must be able to provide examples of leadership (formal and informal) to date that demonstrate their commitment, experience, and purpose as an emerging leader.

We are keen for applicants to:

  • outline the professional development provision at their host organisation
  • highlight opportunities from this programme that wouldn’t be available to them through their host organisation provision
  • explain what being part of this network would mean to them
  • UKRI will allocate places to those for whom the programme will have the greatest impact

How to apply


UKRI must receive your application by 12 January at 5pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time. You should ensure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.

How we will assess your application

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria, around which the application process is designed:

  • evidence of leadership and leadership potential
  • relevance of the pathway programme to career aims
  • impact on the individual, considering any circumstances which have affected access to relevant leadership or development opportunities
  • understanding of the research and innovation environment

The assessment process follows the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making and will include 4 stages:

  • eligibility check
  • potential preliminary sift: in the event of a large number of applications, applications will be sorted into primary council affiliation, and assessed against the added value of participation on this programme compared to participation in professional development activities at your host organisation. Shortlisted applications from this process will then be scored against the full assessment criteria
  • rating of eligible applications against assessment criteria
  • panel discussion of eligible applications against assessment criteria: at this stage the panel will ensure the final cohort is representative of the eligible research community to maximise diversity and disciplinary spread. After ensuring disciplinary spread, applications will be assessed on merit. Where applications are judged to be of the same merit, the panel may make their final selections based on geographical locations and protected characteristics in order to ensure a diverse cohort which is representative of the eligible research community

The panel will consist of members of the FLF Development Network, including:

  • board members
  • UKRI representatives
  • current future leaders fellows

Find out more about the network.

In line with UKRI principles any interests in, or connections with particular institutions held by members of the panel are declared, and where a conflict of interest is or may be perceived, those individuals take no part in any decisions relating to those organisations or their employees.

Contact details

Ask about this funding opportunity

Future Leaders Fellowships team


Include ‘UKRI FLF Development Network Pathway Programme’ in the subject line.

We aim to respond within 3 working days.

Additional info

Find out more about the UKRI FLF Development Network.

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