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UPDATE! (29/07/2020) We're aware that UKRI have announced that the deadline for the FLF scheme will now be in January 2021. We are currently reviewing our internal timetable with this new information in mind, and will send out a communication as soon as possible. - Annabel

Aim 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."


Further 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
Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Fellows 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.

Who to contact with questions about applying

Your Department's Research Support Office:

University Fellowship Coordinator: Annabel Jenkins (

University processes - Round 6

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 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:



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

16th August 2020 (midnight)

Review by Selection Panel

w/c 24th August 2020

Notification of candidates

w/c 31st August 2020

External UKRI mandatory outline proposal deadline

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

External UKRI full application deadline 

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

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