UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships – Round 6

Tuesday 8 September 2020

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme (FLF) aims to develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK. Providing up to seven years funding, for at least 550 early-career researchers and innovators, the scheme will tackle difficult and novel challenges.

UKRI FLFs can be held at any UK-based organisation currently registered as eligible to apply to the research councils (for example higher education institutes, research council institutes and eligible independent research organisations) or Innovate UK. Companies or other privately owned research organisations are encouraged to host UKRI FLFs if they can provide an innovation and/or research environment of international standing.

There will be six calls for the FLFs, with two calls taking place each year over three years (this is the sixth call). These calls will typically award at least 100 fellowships per call across UKRI’s remit. Applications can be submitted in any area of research or innovation covered by the Research Councils and Innovate UK.

The submission deadline is 19 January 2021, with a mandatory Expression of Interest required to be submitted by 10 December 2020.

University of St Andrews Application Process:

Due to the competitive nature of theses fellowships, the University only expects to submit a small number of high quality applications and therefore applications are restricted to only one per school/department. If you are interested in applying for a UKRI FLF, please discuss your potential application with the Head of School and Director of Research in the relevant school. Heads of School are requested to submit the following to [email protected] no later than 4pm on 29th October 2020:

  • A completed Expression of Interest form
  • A completed FLF CV template


Internal deadline: Schools/departments to propose applicants (including both applicant and school requested data) through completion of EOI form and applicant CV template to Research and Innovation Services at: [email protected]. 4pm on 29th October 2020
Internal selection panel meet to review panels Early November 2020
Successful applicants informed Early November 2020
Deadline for submission of Expression of Interest to UKRI 10 December 2020
Final deadline for submitting proposal to UKRI 19 January 2021


  • Applicants are expected to hold a doctorate by the start date of the fellowship or to be able to demonstrate equivalent research experience and/or training.
  • These fellowships are for early career academics and innovators who are transitioning to/establishing independence. Senior academics and innovators are not permitted to apply. There are no eligibility rules based on years since PhD or whether the applicant currently holds a permanent/open-ended academic position or job role. Applicants should use the person specification to assess and justify their suitablity for the scheme with reference to the objectives of the programme.
  • Applicants must have significant support from their hosting organistation(s). Host organisations are also encouraged to bring outstanding individuals to the UK from abroad.
  • Applicants are welcome from those returning to research or innovation from a career break or following time in other roles; there are no limits in respect of time spent outside a research or innovation environment.
  • Fellowships may be held on a part-time basis in order to combine research/innovaton with personal responsibilities. Applicants can propose to hold a fellowship on a part-time basis for four years or can choose to request a part-time fellowship over a longer time-period which would have equated to four years full-time as they wish; job shares are also possible.
  • It is expected that fellows’ full working time will be committed to these fellowships or activities related to the fellowship from the start of the award. Those with substantial ongoing research commitments as a result of participation in other grants must relinquish these in order to hold a UKRI FLF award. Fellows in receipt of full-time awards would not be expected to be spending more than in the region of six hours a week (pro-rated for part-time Fellows) on these other committments during the first two years of the fellowship. Awardees will have the flexibility to develop a breadth of experience and partnerships, and secure further research/innovation funding later in the award, but should ensure that these other activities do not compromise their focus, or achievement of the aims of the fellowhip.

More detail about the scheme, including eligibilty criteria and person specification can be found at: Overview of the Scheme.

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Research and Innovation Services at: [email protected]