The Leverhulme Trust is inviting applications for Early Career Fellowships for early career researchers, with a research record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work.
The Leverhulme Trust Board, through its Research Awards Advisory Committee, is offering approximately 145 Fellowships in 2023. These provide career development opportunities for researchers with a proven record of research.
The Fellowships are intended to assist those at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, and it is hoped that the appointment would lead to a more permanent position for the individual, either within the same or another institution. The objective is for Fellows to undertake a significant piece of publishable research during the tenure of the award, and the project put forward should therefore not be a reworking or mere extension of the candidate’s doctoral research project.
Fellowships can be held at universities or at other institutions of higher education in the UK. The Fellowships are intended to assist those at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, and it is hoped that the appointment would lead to a more permanent position for the individual, either within the same or another institution.
Applications will be considered in all subject areas with the following exceptions:
- Studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals
- Research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications
There are two reasons for this:
- Substantial funding is available from other sources for applied medical research;
- The Trust’s priority is to support investigations of a fundamental nature.
- The scheme is based on a pattern of joint support whereby the Leverhulme Trust will contribute 50% of the Fellow’s total salary costs (including National Insurance, superannuation and London allowance, where applicable) up to a maximum of £26,000 in each year of the award, and the balance is to be contributed by the host institution. The Trust’s contribution in subsequent years will normally increase in line with pay awards and normal increments up to the annual maximum of £26,000. The Trust’s maximum annual contribution will be pro-rated if the Fellowship is held on a part-time basis. The Fellow may request up to £6,000 per annum in research expenses to further his or her research activities.
- Duration: Fellowships are tenable for 3 years on a full-time basis. The Trust will support requests to hold the award part-time over a proportionately longer period for health related reasons, disability or childcare commitments.
- Applicants must not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK university or comparable UK institution, nor may Fellows hold such a post concurrently with the Early Career Fellowship. The Trust will consider applications from candidates whose permanent post does not include any research. Those in receipt of a stipendiary Fellowship may not hold this at the same time as an Early Career Fellowship. Applicants who have existing funding in place for a duration equivalent to or greater than the duration of the Early Career Fellowship should not apply.
- All candidates must hold a doctorate by the time they take up the Fellowship. Those who are or have been registered for a doctorate at any time may apply only if they have submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination by the closing date of 4pm on 23 February 2023. Those who at the time of commencing the Fellowship are registered for or are intending to register for degrees, professional or vocational qualifications are not eligible.
- All candidates must have submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination not more than four years prior to the application closing date. Hence those who formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination before 23 February 2019 are not eligible unless they have since had a career break. Those wishing to make a case for a career break should present the case for interruption by a period of maternity leave, family commitments, illness, or other exceptional circumstances. Please note that time spent working outside academia does not qualify as a career break.
- Due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the Trust will accept applications from candidates who submitted their doctoral thesis for examination up to five years prior tothe closing date if they can make a case for their work having been impacted by the pandemic. Hence those who formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination between 23 February 2018 and 23 February 2019 are eligible to apply if their work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and they should explain their case in their application.
- Applicants must either hold a degree (any degree) from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or at the time of the application deadline must hold an academic position in the UK (e.g. fixed-term lectureship, fellowship) which commenced no less than 4 months prior to the closing date. Hence, those who do not hold a UK degree and whose UK academic position commenced after October 2022 are not eligible. The Trust will consider candidates without a UK degree whose UK academic post commenced after October 2022 if they have been in continuous UK academic employment for more than 4 months prior to the deadline. The intention is to support the career development of those building an academic career within the UK.
- Candidates who have been, or are currently a Principal Investigator on a three-year postdoctoral research project, or have held or currently hold a comparable three-year postdoctoral position to pursue their own research are not eligible to apply.
- The Research Awards Advisory Committee believes that the development of an academic career is best served by gaining experience at different institutions. Applicants who have not already moved institutions in the course of their academic career (i.e. between their undergraduate university and proposed host institution) should nominate a new host institution, or otherwise demonstrate clear evidence of the academic and/or personal reasons for remaining at the same institution, such as access to highly specialist equipment or a highly specialised research team.
- The matching funding contributed by the host institution must be drawn from generally available funds and cannot be associated with any other grants received by the institution. The host department must secure the matching funding for the applicant before the closing date and it must be specifically allocated to the individual concerned. Applications that do not meet these conditions are ineligible and will be rejected.
- A candidate may submit only one application per year. Previously unsuccessful applicants may reapply.
- Candidates may not apply for both an Early Career Fellowship and a Study Abroad Studentship in the same year. Candidates who have held a Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship for postdoctoral research are not eligible to apply for an Early Career Fellowship. Candidates should consider carefully which of these two schemes best suit their requirements. Please note, this only applies to the 2019 award schemes onwards.
For more information, visit Early Career Fellowships.