Leverhulme Trust: Early Career Fellowships

Leverhulme Trust

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Grant amount: Up to £90,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 27, 2021 8:00am PST

Applicant type: Unaffiliated Researcher Working Professional Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Research, Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United Kingdom

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 4 years of receiving their PhD

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About this funder:



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

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.


The Trust will contribute 50% of each Fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £25,000 per year and the balance is to be paid by the host institution. Each Fellow may request annual research expenses of up to £6,000 per year to further his or her research activities.


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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • 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.
  • 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 by 4pm on the closing date
    • 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 28 February 2015 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 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 2019 are not eligible.
      • The Trust will consider candidates without a UK degree whose UK academic post commenced after October 2019 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.
  • Host institution
    • 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 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.
  • Matching funding
    • It is a condition that the host department has identified and secured the source of the matching funding for an applicant by the closing date, and that this is specifically allocated to the individual concerned.
    • The matching funding contributed by the host institution must be drawn from generally available funds and must not be associated with any other grants received by the institution.
    • 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.
  • 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.


  • Employment and funding status
    • 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
    • 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.
  • Other Applications
    • 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; candidates who currently hold a Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship for postdoctoral research are eligible to apply for an Early Career Fellowship.
  • Topic and fields of study
    • 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.