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The role of the Competent Bodies and the decision making process

The following national academies and organisations have been asked by the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to act as designated competent bodies (DCB) for the purpose of assessing applications for Tier 1 'exceptional talent' or 'exceptional promise' visas.

Fast Track Route – Pilot

From 1 April 2014 The Royal Society, British Academy and Royal Academy of Engineering are piloting a change to their endorsement process for researchers, in conjunction with Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust. This will be reviewed after 6 months.
Under this new process awardees of specific competitive and peer-reviewed fellowships and grants from these funders and the DCBs will be guaranteed an endorsement of their Tier 1 application, providing the relevant evidence and forms are submitted and are genuine. Once endorsed, the candidate can proceed straight to stage 2 of the process and apply for their visa. This will accelerate the endorsement process and provide greater assurance to applicants of their suitability.

Research Councils UK

Eligible grants and fellowships:

Exceptional Talent

EPSRC Established Fellow

ESRC Professorial Fellow

 

 

Exceptional Promise

AHRC Leadership Fellows & Leadership Fellow – Early Career route

MRC Senior Clinical Fellow

MRC New Investigator Research Grant

BBSRC David Phillips Fellow

MRC Senior Non Clinical Fellow

NERC Independent Research Fellow

ESRC Future Research Leaders

MRC Clinical Scientist Fellow

STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow

EPSRC Early Career Fellow

MRC Career Development Award

 


Research Council UK Tier 1 Guidance 
For further information contact:               Fellowtier1info@rcuk.ac.uk

Wellcome Trust

Eligible grants and fellowships:

Exceptional Talent and Exceptional Promise

Principal Research Fellowships

Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science

Senior Research Fellowships in Clinical Science

Sir Henry Dale Fellowships

Intermediate Clinical Fellowships

New and Senior Investigator Awards


For further information contact: tierone@wellcome.ac.uk

Designated Competent Bodies (DCBs) Contacts

For further information on eligible grants and fellowships from the designated competent bodies please contact:

The Royal Society cbrs@royalsociety.org
British Academy cbba@britac.ac.uk
Royal Academy of Engineering international@raeng.org.uk

Holders of grants or fellowships which are not eligible under the accelerated endorsement process may still apply under the usual processes, below.

Usual Route:

The following guidance is aimed to inform applicants of the full application process and how the criteria are assessed to help prepare for their application.


The Assessment Process

The first three academies have adopted the same assessment criteria. The Arts Council has some variations. See the UKV&I website for up-to-date information on criteria, the application process and to access the relevant forms.

The British Academy, The Royal Academy of Engineering, The Royal Society

Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise?

To qualify for this route you must:

 
Exceptional Talent (ET)
 
Exceptional Promise (EP)
  - Demonstrated to be world leaders        - proven potential to be world leaders
  - Long established    - early stage in career
       

Stage 1 – Eligibility Checks

"Criteria for Selection"

Mandatory Criteria*

Exceptional Talent (ET)

Exceptional Promise (EP)

Be an active researcher in a relevant field

tick

tick

Have a PhD or equivalent research experience

tick

tick

Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent, qualified UK resident, familiar with the applicant's work

tick

tick

Meet one or more of the qualifying criteria (below)

tick

 n/a

Be at an early stage in their career

n/a

tick

Been awarded, hold, or have held in the last 5 years, a prestigious UK-based / international research fellowship or equivalent

  _

tick

*please refer to published criteria in the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) guidelines for exact text specifying all criteria

 

 

     

Qualifying Criteria*

 

 

Be a member  / foreign member of their / UK national academy

tick

 

Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize

tick

 

Provide an official recommendation from an authorised senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in their field

tick

 

*please refer to published criteria in the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) guidelines for exact text specifying all criteria

 

 

     

 

 

Nature of Supporting Evidence

   
Mandatory / qualifying criteria What is expected  
  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field (HEI, Research Institute, Industry)
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience
  • Be at an early stage in their career (EP)
  • Referenceable evidence, e.g. publications, research output, patents , etc.
  • Been awarded, hold, or have held in the last 5 years, a prestigious UK-based / international research fellowship or equivalent (EP)
  • Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize
  • Internationally recognized
  • Rigorously peer-reviewed
  • Competitive fellowship / award for early career researcher (EP)
  • Be a member  / foreign member of their / UK national academy
  • National academy NOT a professional body
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation from an eminent, qualified UK resident, familiar with the applicant's work
  • Provide an official written recommendation from an authorised senior member of a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in their field (ET)
  • Appropriate source/ authority, e.g. CEO, Vice-Chancellor, Director
  • Relevant to Tier 1 ET/EP application
  • 'Strength' of recommendation

 

 

Stage 2 - Assessment

"Benchmark Standards for Assessment"*

 
Exceptional Talent (ET) Evidence / Support
  • Whether applicant is the winner of a prestigious prize or award
  • CV, application form
  • Whether applicant has secured significant funding in the past 10 years
  • CV, application form
  • Whether applicant is regarded as a leader in their field
  • Personal statement, Recommendation letter
*please refer to published criteria in the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) guidelines for exact text specifying all criteria  
   
Exceptional Promise (EP)  
  • Evidence of a relevant prize or award for early career researchers
  • CV, application form
  • Evidence to demonstrate potential to be a future world leader in their field
  • Personal statement, Recommendation letter
  • Significance of contribution  to their field relative to career stage
  • Personal statement, publications, Recommendation letter
  • Level of additional funding secured during or following tenure of a relevant fellowship
  • Personal statement, Application form
*please refer to published criteria in the Tier 1 (Exceptional talent) guidelines for exact text specifying all criteria  

What should the supporting statements highlight?

Personal Statement

Letter of Recommendation

Typical Candidate profile

'A candidate can be very good without being regarded as exceptional'

The Arts Council

Exceptional Talent in the field of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, literature, film / TV and museum and galleries work may be more open to subjectivity and taste.

“Nature of Supporting Evidence”
Candidates must provide:

For applicants wishing to work in Film/TV international awards for excellence means:

"Benchmark standards for assessment"
Assessment will be made based on:

HR Policy and Planning
February 2013