Future Leaders Fellowships

Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) support talented people in universities, businesses, and other research and innovation environments. They also allow universities, research institutes, independent research organisations and businesses to develop their most talented early career researchers and innovators or to attract new people to their organisations, including from overseas.

The aim of the scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business. It is also open to international applicants looking to take up a role at a UK-based organisation.

You can apply for funding over four years both to tackle ambitious and challenging research and innovation and to develop your career. Funding can be extended for up to a further three years to support long-term focus on a particular area of research or innovation and continued career development.

You can receive funding for work in all research and innovation areas supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

How FLF is different to other fellowship schemes

The FLF scheme provides long-term support in order to enable fellows to tackle ambitious programmes or multidisciplinary questions, and new or emerging research and innovation areas and partnerships.

It is the first UKRI-wide investment and will provide assessment and support across UKRI’s remit, with no barriers to multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research or innovation.

In order to support excellent research and innovation wherever it arises and to facilitate movement of people and projects between sectors, FLF fellows can be based in universities, businesses or other eligible independent research organisations.

To ensure the successful development of the fellow, FLF come with a requirement for the host organisation to commit significant support. For academic-hosted fellows, this includes the commitment to providing an open-ended UK based independent research or innovation position, to be taken up during or upon the completion of the fellowship (in line with organisational employment policies and practices).

Support for diverse career paths

FLF support people on diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles.

They support excellent researchers and innovators whatever their background.

Fellows and host organisations benefit from:

  • a flexible scheme that allows part-time working and job share
  • the opportunity to network and collaborate with talented researchers and innovators from different disciplines and sectors
  • time and investment in training and professional development.

We support fellowships across the whole remit of UKRI, including those carrying out interdisciplinary and cross-sector research.

Fellowships awarded

We have so far awarded almost 500 fellowships under this scheme between 2018 and 2021.

See the Future Leaders Fellowships outcomes and EDI data.

View our database of fellows to find out who has an award, their range of disciplines and how to get in touch with them.

How to apply

See the latest open opportunity: Future Leaders Fellowships round eight, for information on applying.

Contact us for more information:

Email: fellows@ukri.org

Last updated: 26 February 2024

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