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Unit invites applicants for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

10 November 2017

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

The Constitution Unit would like to encourage academically-excellent candidates to propose projects to pursue with us as an Early Career Fellow, linked to forthcoming funding opportunities from the Leverhulme Trust. 

Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven record of research. The expectation is that Fellows should undertake a significant piece of publishable work during their tenure, and that the Fellowships should lead to a more permanent academic position.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships are available to candidates who have recently completed a PhD (or will have submitted their thesis by 1 March 2018), who can apply in partnership with a UK academic institution. They provide 50% of total salary costs up to £25,000 per year, with the host university (i.e. in this case UCL) providing the other 50%. Candidates propose their own projects, alongside an agreed supervisor. Annual research expenses of up to £6,000 can also be requested. Fellowships are expected to last for three years on a full-time basis and should commence between 1 September 2018 and 1 May 2019.

Fellowships such as these are highly competitive. UCL will support a very small number of candidates, and there is no guarantee that candidates supported by the Unit will win UCL support, nor that candidates with UCL support will ultimately win funding from Leverhulme. Nonetheless, we have had some success with this programme in the past, so exceptional candidates are invited to apply. In practice, to be considered exceptional by UCL, you are likely to have, in addition to a doctorate, a first class undergraduate degree and a distinction at Masters level, and some prior publications or publications in press.

The Unit would like to encourage applications from exceptional candidates to work with one of our researchers:

– Professor Meg Russell (Unit Director) is particularly interested in applicants with projects on parliament or parliamentary reform, in the UK or comparatively

– Dr Alan Renwick (Unit Deputy Director) particularly invites candidates wanting to work on electoral systems, the conduct of referendums or deliberative democracy, in the UK or comparatively

– Dr Jennifer vanHeerde Hudson particularly invites candidates with project proposals on political parties, elections and representation

You can read more about each potential supervisor's research interests at the links above and are encouraged to do so before contacting them about your project. You are also encouraged to study the Constitution Unit research pages to get a sense of our past projects.

More details of these fellowships can be found on the Leverhulme Trust website. Please read the eligibility criteria and application procedure carefully. Please note that while the Leverhulme deadline is 01 March 2018, the deadline for UCL prior approval is 09 January 2018. Before the UCL deadline you must have a full draft proposal, on which your supervisor may have provided some support and feedback.

We therefore invite expressions of interest as soon as possible, and by the end of November at the very latest. To express your interest, please contact the relevant person and send them the following:

  • details of your qualifications
  • a brief description of the area of proposed research

The sooner you contact your supervisor the sooner they can advise you on your suitability, and on preparing your proposal. Please contact your potential supervisor directly, giving an indication of the project you would like to pursue, summarising your qualifications and publications to date, and confirming that you meet the Leverhulme criteria.