Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships 2023 for International Researchers

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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

Application Deadline: 23rd February 2023

Type: Fellowship


Employment and funding status

  • 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.

Academic status

  • All candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience 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 4pm on the closing date of 23 February 2023. 
  • Candidates must not be registered for degrees, professional or vocational qualifications at the time of commencing the Fellowship.
  • Applications are invited from those with a doctorate who 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 25 February 2017 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.
  • 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 post-doctoral research project, or have held or currently hold a comparable three-year post-doctoral position to pursue their own research are not eligible to apply.

Place of tenure

  • The Fellowships are tenable in any university or institution of higher education in the UK.
  • Fellows are employees of the institution at which they hold their award and subject to that institution’s terms and conditions of employment.
  • The Fellow must be resident in the UK for the duration of the Fellowship.
  • The Trust 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.

Requests to transfer

Once awarded a Fellowship, a request to transfer the place of tenure will normally only be considered where there is clear evidence of career development opportunities and such requests are very unlikely to be approved unless the Fellow has been in post for at least one year at the time of the request. Requests to transfer an award prior to take-up of a post will not be considered.

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Matching funding

  • 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.

Other applications

  • 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 Leverhulme Trust 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.

Topic and fields of study

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.

Applications will be considered in all subject areas except:

  • Studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals
  • Research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications

The Trust excludes these areas because substantial funding is available from other sources for applied medical research, and the Trust’s priority is to support investigations of a fundamental nature.

Selection Criteria: 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.

Eligible Countries: International

To be Taken at (Country): Fellowships can be held at universities or at other institutions of higher education in the UK. 

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: The Trust will contribute 100% of each Fellow’s total salary costs up to a maximum of £50,000 in year one of the award. The Trust will then contribute 50% of the Fellow’s total salary costs up to a maximum of £25,000 in years two and three, with the balance to be paid by the host institution. The Trust’s maximum annual contribution will be pro-rated if the Fellowship is held on a part-time basis. Each Fellow may request up to £6,000 per annum in research expenses to further his or her research activities.

Duration of Award: 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.

How to Apply:

To make an application, please access the Leverhulme Trust Grants Management System. The recommended browser to use is Google Chrome.

When completing the online application form, please refer to the Application Help Notes. 

  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.

Visit Award Webpage for Details