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School of Social and Political Science: Research


UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships

The School of Social and Political Science invites applications for the fourth round of the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships. 

The scheme is highly competitive and is focused upon early career colleagues with notable published contributions and a career profile that attests to their potential to become a global leader in their field. This scheme also requires the University to commit to a permanent position for any Fellow at the end of their funding. 

The School would particularly welcome proposals from applicants with a focus on qualitative methods or equality and diversity (e.g. gender or race studies). 

Scheme Eligibility: 

These fellowships are for early career academics and innovators who are transitioning to / establishing independence. Senior academics and innovators are not permitted to apply. There are no eligibility rules based on years since PhD or whether the applicant currently holds a permanent/open-ended academic position or job role. While the UKRI scheme guidance does not define ‘early career’, we assume this would typically refer to researchers at grade 7 or 8 (although there may be a case for a grade 9 researcher applying, for example if they are within 6 or so years of their PhD). The scheme welcomes applications from both UK and international applicants and can provide a platform for institutions to recruit ‘outstanding individuals’ from abroad.  Applications are welcome from those returning to research or innovation from a career break or following time in other roles; there are no time limits in respect of time spent outside a research or innovation environment.

Please note – there is a limit to the number of hours that a Future Leaders Fellow can teach in years 1-2 (6 hours per week). If you hold a current lectureship contract, please discuss the implications of a Future Leaders Fellowship with your Head of Subject Area. 

If you have a current fellowship application submitted to the ESRC or other research council, you will have to wait until this application has been processed and results communicated before applying to the Future Leaders Fellowships scheme.

School Selection Process

Please note there are two online application documents required for the Future Leaders Fellowship scheme, an Expression of Interest (EoI) and full application. The following process relates to both documents, created and submitted on the UKRI's joint electronic submission system (Je-S). Applicants supported by the School after the internal panel will need to register on the Je-S system,

Any questions, please email

  1. Contact the relevant Subject Area to discuss your project ideas and intention to apply.  Please note that SSPS requires a mentor (SSPS core staff) for all early-career fellowships. In order to apply, you must identify, contact and have an agreed mentor for your proposed project. You should also ensure that the Head of Subject is aware and fully supportive of your potential application at this point.

  2. Contact the SSPS Research Office with your intention to apply,

  3. 23 August 2019, 12 pm SSPS deadline: please email your CV and 2-page summary on your proposed project comprising: 1 page research proposal and 1 page teaching/research contributions to subject area, making reference to your publication record. All documents minimum 2 cm margins and Arial 11.
  4. End of August: feedback with decisions made on applicants invited to proceed to UKRI EoI submission stage – we will provide the outline proposal form template. Invited applicants will begin developing the full application with support from their mentor and Research Office (RO) as required.
  5. 10 September: deadline for the completed outline proposal form (required information for UKRI Expression of Interest (EoI) submission online through the UKRI's Je-S system),  please email to
  6. Mid September: SSPS RO submits outline proposal form to University Central Research Support Office (RSO). This will be the basis for the UKRI’s online EoI Je-S form, with EoI submission to UKRI coordinated by RSO by 8 October. 
  7. 30 September, 12 pm SSPS deadline: complete draft of full proposal on the Je-S system for review (this is a separate application from the outline proposal (EoI). Please pull off a pdf copy with all required attachments included and email to You will need to work with the SSPS RO to complete the budget before this point,
  8. 2 October: deadline for completed EoI application in Je-S system by applicant.
  9. 7 October: feedback on full application comments returned to applicants, applicant will continue to revise final application with mentor based on review from SSPS RO.
  10. 8 October: EoI Je-S form deadline to UKRI, submitted by University RSO for all applicants.
  11. 17 October: complete peer-reviewed draft to SSPS RO and central University RSO for final review, please pull a pdf copy from Je-S with all required attachments and email
  12. 7 November  2019: deadline for submission of full proposals to UKRI.

Further information:
For further information please follow this link:

If you have any questions regarding the FLF or the selection process please contact the Research Office,

Key point to note

Subject Areas are only likely to support applications from stellar candidates in which there is a persuasive case about the strategic longer term teaching contribution of the post to the subject area, as it transitions into a permanent lectureship. It is expected that each EoI is an indication of a firm intention to submit if supported by the School and should not be a speculative interest in the scheme. While an expression of interest must be submitted in order to be eligible, the EoI is not for assessment by the funder and is required to gauge numbers and expertise of reviewers for full applications only.

Please note: The review process will be ongoing, from the first School panel to the final draft review period. While the focus of feedback will be on strengthening proposals, the School or College may advise against submitting a proposal if problems are identified in terms of quality, design, feasibility or school priorities and for which solutions cannot be developed before the deadline. 

Summary of Scheme Objectives

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.

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