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, 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 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

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.

Community engagement events

Earlier in 2022, UKRI held community engagement events for potential applicants to talk about its FLF scheme.

This webinar was an opportunity for applicants to:

  • find out more about the FLF scheme, including updates from rounds 1 to 6
  • talk to UKRI staff and ask questions about the scheme
  • discuss demand management approaches enforced for this round.

Watch a recording of one of the community engagement webinars

Video credit: UKRI
On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript are available on YouTube.

Community engagement webinar supplementary information.

Supporting business careers

FLF 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 FLF for your business (SurveyMonkey) and receive updates and bid-writing support.

Business webinars

UKRI held 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 watch the webinars in order to prepare a high quality and competitive application.

Webinars include:

  • guidance on writing a high-quality application, with tips from panel members and previously successful business fellows
  • information on registering for the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system, submitting an outline and submitting a full application
  • step by step guidance on completing the application forms

First webinar: introduction to the FLF scheme for non-academic applicants

Video credit: UKRI

On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript are available on YouTube.

Second webinar: application writing for business fellows

Video credit: UKRI

On-screen captions and an autogenerated transcript are available on YouTube.

Future Leaders Fellowships business webinar supplementary information.

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: 25 October 2022

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