Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Research


UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships

The School of Social and political Science will consider applications for the second round of the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships. 
The scheme will be highly competitive and will require that the University is committing to a permanent position for these fellows at the end of their funding.  Both a school and college selection process will be implemented.  
The School would particularly welcome proposals from current Career Development Fellows or any applicants with a focus on qualitative methods or equalities (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.

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

  1. Contact the relevant Subject Area to discuss your project ideas and intention to apply.  You should 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, – we will provide the EoI template.
  3. SSPS School deadline, 3 September: Please email your completed on-line Expression of Interest (EoI) form, CV and 2-page summary on proposed project (1 page) and teaching/research contributions to subject area (1 page), confirming high-quality publications eligible for REF 2021 (an essential requirement for School support)
  4. Feedback by 20 September with decisions made on applicants invited to proceed to EOI submission stage.
  5. SSPS Research Office submits successful EoI to College Research Support Office, deadline: 25 September.
  6. EoI submitted to UKRI via College RSO: 4 October.
  7. SSPS RO deadline for final application in the ESRC Joint-Electronic Submission form (Je-S): 15 October.
  8. Final Application to UKRI: 31 October.

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.

Key point to note

  • Subject Areas are only likely to support applications in which there is a persuasive case about the 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 type of reviewers for full applications only.

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,

Edinburgh Students