Future Leaders Fellowships guidance


Renewal scheme for current Future Leaders Fellows

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 aim of the renewal is to provide a continuation of the original FLF fellowship. The renewal funding will continue to support the development of a leading-edge fellow and further the fellow’s work to undertake adventurous, ambitious programmes that tackle difficult and novel challenges.

The continuation may be made up of a single programme of work or through multiple consecutive or concurrent interlinked projects led by the fellow (a ‘portfolio fellowship’). It should go beyond what other, smaller or project grants could support.

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

The renewal project should be a continuation of the original FLF application. 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.

It is expected that fellows may choose to alter their planned programme of research or innovation in response to new discoveries or techniques. This is to build on their own changing experience, or to reflect changing business requirements and market opportunities. 

Who can apply

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

How fellows apply

Eligible fellows will be contacted directly by the FLF Team to confirm the time period in which they can apply for renewal.

Fellows will be informed of their application window with a minimum of 16 months remaining on their fellowship. This is to ensure that the outcome of the renewal assessment is communicated at least six to 12 months prior to the end date of current fellowships.

There will be four renewal panel meetings per year. Fellows will be eligible to apply to two of these to ensure flexibility such that final arrangements allow sufficient time for processing and peer review. This information will be communicated directly to the fellow via email.

Further details on applying can be found in the FLF renewal: guidance for applicants documents.

Assessment of applications

Renewal applications are assessed by a minimum of two independent experts who provide peer review comments.

A moderating panel will then consider the applications based on the fellowship’s progression to date, and proposed plans for the renewal against the FLF renewal assessment criteria and provide feedback to the applicant.

The renewal will be awarded following peer review and the moderating panel if there is a prima facie case for progression, that the fellow has demonstrated in their proposal.

If a prima facie case for renewal is not agreed, a further formal discussion will be required. This will be with both the fellow, and separately, potentially the associated host organisation (Head of Department or equivalent) to determine whether or not the renewal award is made.

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, 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.

See the renewal scheme assessment process flow chart.

For the full terms and conditions of the FLF, please see the:

Information for reviewers

The Future Leaders Fellowships team delivers peer review in collaboration with all research councils and Innovate UK. As the scheme is hosted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) on the Je-S system, review requests will come from an MRC email address. Please do not be concerned by this, particularly if you are a reviewer from a non-medical discipline.

Read the Future Leaders Fellowships renewal reviewers’ guidance.

Ask a question about this process

Email: flfrenewal@ukri.org

Last updated: 19 April 2022

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