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The Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 by the First Viscount Leverhulme with the instruction that its resources should be used to support "scholarships for the purposes of research."

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 Social & Historical Sciences 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 25 February 2021. 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 25 February 2017 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 2020 are not eligible. The Trust will consider candidates without a UK degree whose UK academic post commenced after October 2020 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 Trust 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

In response to the financial challenges facing the Higher Education sector in the forthcoming academic year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust has adjusted the value of the awards for the 2021 round. The Trust will contribute 100% of each Fellow’s total salary costs up to a maximum of £50,000 in year one of the award. The Trust 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. The Trust’s maximum annual contribution will be pro-rated if the Fellowship is held on a part-time basis. Each Fellow may request up to £6,000 per annum in research expenses 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 2021 and 1 May 2022.

Application Process

  • Applicants should contact staff members in the relevant department to act as their mentor and assist them with the preparation of their application.
  • Application forms are available through departments, and replicate the application found on The Leverhulme Trust online application system.
  • Further guidance can be found on The Leverhulme Trust website.
  • Each application submitted to the Faculty Office by Departments must include the applicant’s application form, the Head of Department’s departmental endorsement, and the mentor’s supporting statement. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.

Deadlines

  • Applicants should contact their proposed department regarding departmental deadlines.
  • Departments (not applicants) to submit applications – including the applicant’s application form, the Head of Department’s departmental endorsement, and the mentor’s supporting statement – to l.rego@ucl.ac.uk by 4pm on Thursday 19 November 2020.
  • Faculty will notify departments with their decision by Thursday 10 December 2020 at the latest.
  • The deadline for successful applicants to submit applications to The Leverhulme Trust is Thursday 25 February 2021, 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.