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The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the First Viscount Leverhulme to support "scholarships for the purposes of research and education.

Since that time, the Trust has provided funding for research projects, fellowships, studentships, bursaries and prizes.

The Trust places special weight on:

  • Originality – the research achieves more than the incremental development of a single discipline
  • Importance – the work will enable further research or enquiry
  • Significance – the proposed research has relevance outside a single field, and is able to excite those working in other disciplines
  • Merit – the quality of the research design and methodology, and the suitability of the researchers and institution for the realisation of the proposed research objectives

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities has approved the submission of 4 applications for this funding:

Eligibility

  • 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. 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.
  • 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 for viva voce examination by the closing date of 4pm on 27 February 2020. Those who at the time of commencing the Fellowship are registered for or are intending to register for degrees, professional or vocational qualifications are not eligible.
  • 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 before 27 February 2016 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 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. 
  • Candidates who have been, or are currently a Principal Investigator on a 3-year post-doctoral research project, or have held or currently hold a comparable 3-year post-doctoral position to pursue their own research are not eligible to apply.
  • The Research Awards Advisory Committee 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.
  • The matching funding contributed by the host institution must be drawn from generally available funds and cannot be associated with any other grants received by the institution. The host department must secure the matching funding for the applicant before the closing date and it must be specifically allocated to the individual concerned. Applications that do not meet these conditions are ineligible and will be rejected.
  •  A candidate may submit only one application per year. Previously unsuccessful applicants may reapply.
  • Candidates may not apply for both an Early Career Fellowship and a 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.

Value

The Trust will contribute 50% of each Fellow's total salary costs up to a maximum of £25,000 per annum and the balance is to be paid by the host institution. Given the prestige of the awards each Fellow may request annual research expenses of up to £6,000 to further his or her research activities. Please ensure that applications do not include any of the ineligible costs listed here on Budget Tips.

Duration

Fellowships are tenable for 3 years on a full-time basis and are not renewable. The Trust will support requests to hold the award part-time over a proportionately longer period for health related reasons, disability or childcare commitments. Fellowships must commence between 1 September 2020 and 1 May 2021.

Application Process

  • Application forms can be accessed through The Leverhulme Trust online application system.
  • Further guidance can be found on The Leverhulme Trust website here.
  • Each application submitted to the Faculty Office by Departments should be on a complete Leverhulme application form. Applications not on the Leverhulme application form will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.
  • Applicants should contact staff members in the relevant department to act as their mentor and assist them with the preparation of their application.

Deadlines

  • The Faculty is no longer accepting applications.
  • Faculty will notify departments with their decision by Thursday 13 February 2020 at the latest.
  • The deadline for successful applicants to submit applications to The Leverhulme Trust is Thursday 27 February 2020, 4pm.

Point of Contact

Departments should send applications to the Faculty Office not applicants.  Applicants should contact their proposed department as stated above. Appropriate office space will be assigned to successful applicants.