UCL News


UCL researcher wins UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Impact award

8 February 2024

Dr Leonie Tanczer (UCL Computer Science) was recognised for the significant and wide-reaching impact of her leadership.

Leonie Tanczer

The Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) inaugural awards were celebrated at FLF’s annual conference in Manchester, shining a spotlight on the next wave of world-class leaders in academia and business. The future leaders are tackling ambitious programmes or multidisciplinary questions, and new or emerging research and innovation areas and partnerships.

There were four categories in total: Research and innovation, Advancing Culture, Leadership, and Public engagement.

Dr Tanczer won the Leadership Award for adopting a team-first mentality for her project setup, research and engagement strategy. This included creating a forum for peer support, delivering regular training to build her team's wider skillset, underpinning this with exposure to high-profile opportunities to embed their learning, which has delivered national and international impact.

Her work has also influenced development approaches in other teams and created opportunities for students outside of her group in other universities. 

Dr Tanczer said: “It’s a huge honour to win the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships Leadership Award. I feel fortunate to have been able to use my Fellowship to establish and grow my research team at UCL and provide them with a variety of support and career-enhancing activities. These range from monthly ‘reflective group practices’ facilitated by a psychotherapist, to training opportunities such as media coaching. I hope funding for such schemes will become more commonplace and established, and that far more research units will have access to these types of development routes for both senior- and early-career scholars.”

Each winner was awarded up to £10,000 to spend on further advancement or wider dissemination of their impact, learning or development opportunities for themselves or their teams.

Jennifer Reed, Head of UCL Engineering’s Policy Impact Unit, said: “Leonie’s dedication to team development and inclusion stands out a mile. She has embedded a team-first mentality throughout her activities, which is reflected in the range of upskilling sessions she has led and the high-profile events and engagements she has supported her team to deliver.

“I have met students from several external universities whom Leonie has taken under her wing and continually supported despite them not being part of her team. She offers the right balance between support and mentorship and enables independent impact in their own right – a balance which is not easy to strike.”

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) FLF Director, Dr Stephen Meader said: “It was fantastic to see so many real-world impacts from the work that our Fellows are doing, and I know the judging panel found it very hard to pick winners from so many outstanding entries.

These awards also provide us with a way to reward those FLFs making strides in important areas such as positive leadership and the advancement of cultural change, which don't always receive the attention and accolades they deserve.” 



  •  Dr Leonie Tanczer.

Media contact 

Matt Midgley

E: m.midgley [at] ucl.ac.uk