UK Research and Innovation

Future Leaders Fellowships

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class.

Who can apply

This cross-UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) scheme will support early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential in universities, UK registered businesses, and other research and user environments including research councils’ institutes and laboratories.

The FLF scheme welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants and individuals should use the person specification to assess and justify their suitability for the scheme. The support of the institution will be a critical component of all fellowships which will enable the fellow to transition to or establish their research/innovation independence in any area supported by UKRI.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
  • to foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • to provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • to provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.

These Fellowships support applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles. We also encourage applications from those wishing to work part-time in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities. Review panels will take into account time spent outside an active research or innovation environment, whether through career breaks, flexible working or as a consequence of working in other roles.

How to apply

There will be six calls for these fellowships; two calls per year between 2018-19 and 2020-21 (financial years), typically awarding at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI’s remit (with the initial round being smaller, aiming to award ~50 fellowships).

This is a single scheme across the entire UKRI remit, with no ringfenced budgets for specific areas and no barriers to interdisciplinary or cross-sector research.

Timing for Second and Third Rounds

Outline Proposals (Expressions of Interest) are mandatory for each applicant intending to submit to the second round of this call. Host Organisation support for the submission of the Outline Proposal must be sought and agreed before the Outline Proposal is submitted. The call for Outline proposals for Round 3 will open on 2 April 2019.

  • Outline Proposals for applicants to be based at academic host organisations or business host organisations who are Je-S registered should be submitted via the Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S) (available from 2 April 2019).
  • Outline Proposals for applicants to be based at business host organisations who are not currently Je-S registered should be submitted via an online form (available from 2 April 2019).
  • Full applications for Round 3 must be submitted via Je-S by 16:00 on 30 May 2019 or the second round of this call. Full details are available in the ‘Overview of the scheme’ and ‘Completing the application form’ documents below.Expected closing dates for future rounds:
    • Round Four: October 2019
    • Round Five: May 2020
    • Round Six: October 2020