The Constitution Unit


Call for Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Applications 2022/2023

9 September 2021

The Constitution Unit welcomes applications for the 2022/2023 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships scheme.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships provide career development opportunities for researchers with a proven record of research. 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 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 a mere extension of the candidate’s doctoral research project.

Duration and expenses

The Trust will contribute 100% of each Fellow’s total salary costs in year one, up to a maximum of £50,000, and will then contribute 50% of the Fellow’s total salary costs, up to a maximum of £25,000, in years two and three, with the balance to be paid by the host institution. Annual research expenses of up to £6,000 will also be paid through this scheme. Fellowships are expected to last for three years on a full-time basis and should commence between 1 September 2022 and 1 May 2023.

Please see the Leverhulme Trust website for more information.

Areas of research

Potential candidates should identify an academic who would support their application and agree to act as a mentor. The Constitution Unit Director and Deputy Director welcome approaches in the research areas indicated below (candidates are encouraged to explore their webpages for more detailed indications of their own previous research):

Professor Meg Russell

Professor Russell is Director of the Constitution Unit. She welcomes applicants wishing to conduct research in areas including British and comparative politics, in particular parliaments and legislatures (organisation, policy impact, member behaviour, bicameralism, reform), political party organisation, and constitutions and constitutional reform.

Dr Alan Renwick

Dr Renwick is Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit. He welcomes applicants wishing to conduct research in areas including electoral systems, electoral reform, referendumsdeliberative democratic institutions, democratic reforms and innovations, and constitutions and constitutional reform.

Research at the Constitution Unit

The Constitution Unit is a politically neutral research centre based at University College London. We have over 25 years’ experience producing rigorous, timely and independent research on British political institutions, and have a close working relationship with policymakers, including representatives of all political parties. Our work has been influential in shaping various reforms.

In the last couple of years we have run major research projects such as the Citizens’ Assembly on BrexitOptions for an English Parliament, the Independent Commission on Referendums, and Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland, as well as projects on improving information and discourse in election and referendum campaigns in the UK and the impact of the UK parliament on government legislation. Current research projects include Brexit, Parliament and the Constitution and Democracy in the UK after Brexit.

The Constitution Unit is housed in the Department of Political Science at UCL. The department's status as one of Britain's leading centres for research in Political Science was confirmed by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise. The department acts as the bridge between UCL's world-class research and the policy-making community in Britain and internationally. We have weekly seminars featuring distinguished external speakers and hold regular high-profile events for policy makers and others. Visit the department's website for details of other potential mentors covering a broader range of political science topics.

Application guidelines & eligibility

Applying is a multi-stage process.

First, you must find a prospective mentor who is willing in principle to support your application, and who can give feedback on a draft.

Deadline: Please contact your preferred mentor as soon as possible, briefly indicating your project topic and broad proposed approach, and providing details of your previous qualifications (with grades) and any relevant publications. If your proposed mentor indicates support in principle for your project, you should then complete a full outline (see below). Your proposed mentor will be able to provide feedback on this if it is received by 1 October 2021.

The Leverhulme Trust has a range of eligibility criteriaYou should check whether you are eligible to apply before contacting your potential mentor – and confirm to them that you have done so. To be eligible, candidates must have had (or expect to have) a successful PhD viva between 24 February 2018 and 24 February 2022, with some allowances for career breaks.

Second, you apply to the department. You are required to complete the online Leverhulme application form for this call, which means firstly creating a profile via the Leverhulme website. Until the online application form is open you can request from us a Word document of the application. You must then submit your application to the department by 25 October 2021.

Third, if you are successful at the department level you will be invited to submit your application to the faculty for consideration.

Finally, if successful at the faculty level you will be invited to submit your proposal to the Leverhulme Trust by 24 February 2022.

If you are invited by your proposed mentor to submit a draft proposal, please do this in the format set out in the Leverhulme Trust application help notes.