What are Future Leaders Fellowships

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

You could 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.

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

How is this different to existing 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, FLFs 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 and/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

Future Leaders Fellowships 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.

Community Engagement Events

UKRI will be holding a number of community engagement events in July 2022 to talk about its Future Leaders Fellowships scheme. These events are aimed at potential host organisations interested in supporting a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow.

Host organisations looking to support a fellow can be any UK-based organisation currently registered as eligible to apply for funding from the Research Councils, for example:

  • Higher Education Institutes (HEIs)
  • Research Council Institutes and Laboratories
  • eligible Independent Research Organisations (IROs).

Alternatively, they can be hosted by innovative UK-based organisations who are registered on Companies House at the point of application.

A separate online webinar for UK-registered businesses will be held in parallel.

The events listed below will primarily be focussed on academic host-organisations. Webinars targeted at businesses are detailed further down the page.

  1. 12 July 2022: Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN.
  2. 13 July 2022: Clayton Hotel, St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1GD
  3. 14 July 2022: Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH
  4. 19 July 2022: Online webinar held via zoom conferencing.

The in-person events will be an opportunity to:

  • find out more about the Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, including updates from Rounds 1- 6
  • discuss some of the most commonly asked questions
  • talk to UKRI staff and ask questions about the scheme
  • attend breakout sessions providing opportunities for more focussed discussions
  • network with others.

The academic focussed webinar event will be an opportunity to:

  • find out more about the Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, including updates from Rounds 1- 6
  • discuss some of the most commonly asked questions
  • talk to UKRI staff and ask questions about the scheme.

A provisional schedule for the in-person events are as follows. Please note that this may be subject to change.

  • 10:30 Arrival
  • 11:00 Welcome and overview presentation
  • 11:45 Q&A
  • 12:15 Lunch and networking opportunity
  • 13:00 Breakout sessions (opportunities for more focussed discussions for delegates)
  • 15:00 Wrap up and reflections
  • 15:30 End of day.

To register for attendance for the engagement events, you must complete the relevant registration survey. Please follow the links below:

  1. To attend the event in London on the 12 July 2022, please register here.
  2. To attend the event in Cardiff on the 13 July 2022, please register here.
  3. To attend the event in Edinburgh on the 14 July 2022, please register here.
  4. To attend the virtual event via zoom conferencing on the 19 July 2022, please register here.

Supporting business careers

The Future Leaders Fellowships support both fellowships based at businesses and fellowships working collaboratively with businesses. We have the flexibility to accommodate business needs and changes in business circumstances.

Register your interest in a Future Leaders Fellowship for your business and receive updates and bid-writing support.

Business webinars

UKRI will be holding two sets of webinars to support potential business hosts and fellows in applying for the scheme. We encourage all potential applicants from business host organisations to read the FLF guidance documents and attend the webinars in order to prepare a high quality and competitive application.

Business Webinar 1: Introduction to the Future Leaders Fellowships Scheme Round 7

  1. An introduction to the FLF scheme and what it can offer you and your business.
  2. Information on the application process and relevant dates
  3. An opportunity to ask UKRI staff any questions you may have

Webinar 1 Dates and registration (please note that the content of the webinars on these dates will be the same)

  • Wednesday 20 July 2022 at 10:00 to 11:15 BST
  • Thursday 21 July 2022 at 10:00 to 11:15 BST

Registration survey for attendance (Select which date you plan to attend when completing survey)

Business Webinar 2: Future Leaders Fellowships Scheme, How to Apply

  1. Guidance on writing a high-quality application, with tips from panel members and previously successful Business fellows.
  2. Information on registering for JeS, submitting an outline and submitting a full application.
  3. Step by step guidance on completing the application forms.

Webinar 2 Dates and registration

14 September 2022 10:00-11:15 BST.

Registration details to follow, if you have any questions, please email fellows@ukri.org

Fellowships awarded

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

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 7, for information on applying.

Contact us for more information.

Email: fellows@ukri.org

Additional information

Future Leaders Fellowships outcomes rounds 1 to 6.
Future Leaders Fellowships Round 6 awards equality, diversity and inclusion data.
Future Leaders Fellowships Round 6 diversity data.

Last updated: 15 June 2022

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