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titleUPDATE (02/09/2020)
 We have added a short question to the application form – asking you to provide the name (and institution/organisation) of the mentor that you will have during the fellowship (these mentors will be a key tool in providing career development support throughout your fellowship) - Annabel

titleUpdate (25/08/2020)
 We have added an FAQ about the CV length for the University application stage (see below) - Annabel

titleUPDATE (07/08/2020)
 We have altered the University deadlines in line with funder deadlines. Please see the 'University processes' for the new timeline - Annabel

titleAim of the scheme

"Future Leaders Fellowships will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure a vibrant environment for research and innovation in the UK. The scheme is open to researchers and innovators from across business, universities, and other organisations. We welcome applicants from around the world.

Investment of up to £1.5 million over four years, with the ability to extend to up to seven years, will enable the next generation to benefit from outstanding support to develop their careers, and to work on difficult and novel challenges.

We want to fund the best fellows no matter what their background. The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme has been developed with unprecedented levels of flexibility to support applicants from a wide range of experiences, disciplines and sectors."


titleFurther information
  • There are 6 rounds of the FLF, with deadlines twice a year
  • The 6th and final round will have deadlines in Autumn 2020
  • The University is limited in the number of proposals that it can submit – there is therefore an internal University demand management process on proposals

    We are currently supporting candidates during the preparation of applications to Round 6 of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, and this page now includes information to support this.

    If you're not currently preparing an application and are looking for more information on the FLF scheme, we are currently unsure of whether there will be future rounds of this scheme, or whether there will be a replacement for this scheme. If you'd like to explore other alternative Fellowship opportunities that are available, we have a list of currently available fellowship opportunities (sorted by Faculty area) that may help your initial searches.

    titleLink to Funder Guidance:

    Will there be further FLF calls?

    This is the sixth of six calls for these Fellowships. UKRI have not yet announced whether there will be further calls, or a replacement for this scheme.
    titleFrequently Asked Questions

    Do you have any examples of successful applications?

    Benjamin and Luke have shared their applications with us, and if you are applying an application, you should be able to access these here:

    Lichman -- application

    Mackinder -- application

    Please note that the guidance has changed a little since these were written, and so there may be some changes to what you are required to submit. Please always check and work from the current guidance.

    We are grateful to Benjamin and Luke for sharing their applications, and ask that you don't share these applications further without asking.

    If you don't have access, but would like to view them, please let me know

    titleFellows at University of York

    The University currently has three Future Leader Fellows:

    Dr Fay Alberti - Department of History (Round 1)

    Fay's project, About Face, traces the emotional and cultural histories of facial disfigurement, reconstruction and transplantation between the 1950s and the present. Building on Fay’s research on the history of cosmetic surgery (and advisory work for the Nuffield Council on Bioethics), and her work on heart transplantation and bodily identity, this project brings an interdisciplinary lens to the recent emergence of face transplants as a viable form of surgical innovation. About Face connects to Fay’s wider interests in identity, gender, technology and ‘looks', especially in the digital age, and the links between appearance matters, emotional health and wellbeing.

    Dr Benjamin Lichman - Department of Biology (Round 1)

    Benjamin's project investigates how a small tree, native to East Asia, could help in the creation of new medicines. The Daphniphyllum macropodum shrub produces an array of complex nitrogen-containing chemicals that are unlike any other known chemicals from plants, animals or microbes and have been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-HIV properties.

    Dr Luke Mackinder - Department of Biology (Round 3)

    Luke's project investigates how algae converts carbon dioxide into organic molecules during photosynthesis. The results of the research will be used to guide improvements in photosynthesis to help combat climate change and enhance crop yields. Luke and his team will explore how proteins (the building blocks of cells) are spatially organised in diverse algae and how these "protein-networks" change as the cells absorb or “fix” CO2 during photosynthesis.

    titleWho to contact with questions about applying

    Your Department's Research Support Office:

    University Fellowship Coordinator: Annabel Jenkins (

    The University is required to manage the number of applications that are submitted to the funder. As such, there will be an internal University of York selection process. In order to give candidates sufficient time to develop their applications, this process will occur with the outline dates below, as we await confirmation of these from the funder.

    1. Departments who wish to support a fellow are asked to undertake a selection process in order to nominate one candidate to progress to the University-level selection assessment. Both internal and external candidates are eligible to apply, and will be supported equitably through the application process. Under exceptional circumstances, departments may request permission to nominate more than one candidate (please contact for information about this process).

    2. The nominated candidates are required to complete an application form (via Google Forms) for this University selection process. This form, along with an academic CV, will need to be submitted by midnight on 4th October 2020 16th August 2020 to The fields in this form are similar to the funder's outline proposal form, with the addition of two fields that are intended to assist the University's selection panel with their choices (a description of the candidate’s career trajectory, and how the proposal aligns with Departmental and University research strategy). To ease preparation of the application, the questions are listed below, for information.

    3. The applications from nominated Departmental candidates will be considered by a selection panel (including the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Associate Deans (Research), and additional disciplinary co-opted members as required). Candidates will be notified of the outcome as soon after the selection panel meeting as possible.

    4. Candidates who are successful at the University selection panel meeting will be invited to develop their application to submit the funder (which includes both an outline, and full proposal), following Departmental and University submission processes.

    5. Candidates who progress to this stage will also be eligible to apply to the University’s Fellowship Coordination Committee (FCC) who may be able to provide limited financial support for match funding for equipment costs. The Committee will only consider match-funding items that clearly improve the chances of the fellowship being funded and the Committee will not consider match-funding salary costs for this scheme.

    Key dates:

    The questions that you'll need to complete in the application form are:

    • Project Title 
    • Host Department 
    • Confirmation of Departmental support (tick box)
    • Objectives - List the main objectives of the proposed research in order of priority [up to 4000 characters, including spaces and returns] 
    • Summary - Describe the research in simple terms in a way that could be publicised to a general audience [up to 4000 characters, including spaces and returns] 
    • Research Council/ Innovate UK Relevance - Applicants should enter a brief description of research topic, including the keywords / themes / strategic areas which describe the areas of proposed research/innovation that will be explored (this would assist UKRI in identifying reviewers for the proposal) [up to 4000 characters, including spaces and returns]
    • Keywords (funding organisations) - Applicants are required to detail which funding organisation(s) the applicant believes the proposal should be directed to in order to identify reviewers for the proposal. Where the proposal is either inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary, multiple funding bodies should be indicated. [Options are: AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, STFC, Innovate UK]
    • Project Partners - if you intend to have project partners, please name the partner/organisation and briefly explain their contribution to your project
    • How does your career trajectory align with the objectives of the FLF scheme? [up to 4000 characters, including spaces and returns]
    • How would the proposal align with the host Department and University Research Strategy? [up to 4000 characters, including spaces and returns]

    You can find the UKRI character counter at:

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Is there a length limit for the academic CV that I need to submit as part of the University application?

    We'd suggest that the submitted CV is in line with the UKRI FLF guidance, which for Round 5 states:

    "The CV should outline employment history. It should state the applicant’s current organisation and salary and include details of any career breaks, specifying the duration of any breaks in months. A summary should be given of formal training and qualifications, including any training and qualification being undertaken at the time of submission, and any prizes and memberships of professional bodies should be noted. The CV may also include an Outputs List. This can include sector relevant outputs, so may be more focused on patents/new products/processes/trade publications etc. 30 UKRI welcomes the inclusion of preprints in the Outputs list. The total combined length of the CV and Outputs list must not exceed three sides of A4." There is no need to use the UKRI FLF CV template at this stage, although the candidate may do so if they wish
    titleUniversity processes - Round 6



    Deadline for candidates nominated by Departments to submit their application to the University Selection Panel

    4th October 2020 (midnight)

    16th August 2020 (midnight)

    Review by Selection Panel

    w/c 12th October 2020

    w/c 24th August 2020

    Notification of candidates

    w/c 19th October 2020

    w/c 31st August 2020

    External UKRI mandatory outline proposal deadline

    10 December 2020

    Early January 2021 (TBC)

    to be announced (potentially early October, based on Round 4 dates)

    External UKRI full application deadline 

    19 January 2021 (*University deadline TBC)

    January 2021 (TBC)

    to be announced (potentially early November, based on Round 4 dates)

    Information for Research Support Administrators

    The following information relates to funder and University processes and is intended to assist members of Research Support teams (rather than applicants). If you have any queries, please get in touch with your RGO contact.

    For the Outline stage:

    • Worktribe records will need to be completed and approved in the normal way for the Outline application (see below for more information).
    • You'll need to request that these be moved back to the Bid Submission stage to allow you to make further changes before the full stage.
    • The costings in WT should be as accurate as possible at the Outline stage.
    • Standard University deadlines apply for submission at the Outline stage.

    Additional notes:

    These are UKRI awards, but all are administered by MRC, so MRC should be selected as the funder (for the benefit of newer people, 'Outline Bid' should be selected in the tags, Fellows are always DI costs on UKRI grants and any proposals with a Price to Funder above £1m should have a completed PVC-R approval form attached).

    MRC do not require any costings until Full Proposal stage, but we do need a Worktribe completing for Outline stage (as we would for any Outline as WT captures more than just budgets) and the Outline covering letter in JeS needs to state whether the total is >£1.5m or if the equipment totals over £138k.

    FLF proposals follow standard research council costing rules except for the salary for Years 3 and 4 of the fellow.

    UKRI expect fellows to commit 100% of their time for the duration of the fellowship (so overheads should be generated on 100% FTE) but the salary requested should taper to 75% in years 3 and 4.

    We've found the best way to do this in Worktribe is to keep all entries as standard, but create two entries for the Fellow:

    Entry 1 = Yrs 1-2 entered as standard
    Entry 2 = Yrs 3-4 change "Price to Funder" to a "Custom % of Cost to Funder" of 60%  (i.e. 80% of 75%)
    This should give you the correct figures for internal use at Outline stage

    JeS forms for Full Proposals require some adjusting, as MRC want the "RC contribution" to still show as 80% on the JeS form, but the excel form available on the MRC site will do these calculations.