UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships
UK Research and Innovation's Future Leaders Fellowship scheme is a fantastic opportunity for us to develop those early career researchers who are ready to establish their research independence. Not only is this an opportunity for us to support our rising stars, but it is also an opportunity for external candidates to join the research community at the University of Plymouth. The fellowships are open to applicants from varied backgrounds and career paths, and we welcome all applications, including those who are looking to return to research after a break or time in other roles.
Round 8 of this scheme will open on 27 March, and this opportunity is demand managed by UKRI so we are limited on the number of applicants we can support. Therefore we are running an internal competition to identify the strongest candidates, both at the University of Plymouth and elsewhere. The deadline for applications to the internal competition is 09:00 Monday 24 April. 
Please note that applications to UKRI where the fellowship is intended to be held at the University of Plymouth must be made via the process outlined below to ensure you have approved support from the proposed host Department.
For Round 8, UKRI have removed the requirement for candidates to submit an outline proposal, instead going straight to full application by 4 July 2023
This is a popular scheme designed to develop the most promising early career researchers who also have very strong support of their host institutions. As such, we are running an internal competition so that the University can identify the strongest candidates. 
If you have any queries on the process, please email the Research Funding Managers at
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Please expand the sections below for information on how to apply to the competition for both prospective internal and external fellowship candidates.
Institutional support
Internal applicants should have the support of their Faculty’s Associate Dean for Research (ADR) before submitting to this sift, so please arrange appropriate discussions with your ADR in advance of your sift application.
External applicants please contact someone in your relevant research area ahead of your sift application, to ensure support from the relevant department that would be hosting your fellowship. You can browse our current research activity, institutes and departments on our Research and expertise pages. If you are unsure who best to contact, please email and we will be happy to guide you.
This scheme is for early career researchers and innovators who are either:
  • transitioning to or establishing independence
  • may be developing their own original and ambitious plans within a commercial setting
You do not need to hold a PhD and there are no eligibility rules based on the number of years since your PhD. However, if you do not hold a PhD, you must be able to demonstrate equivalent research or innovation experience or training.
There are no eligibility rules based on whether you currently hold a permanent or open-ended academic position or job role. You can find more information about eligibility rules on the call page for this opportunity
How to apply
Interested applicants should submit the following documents to by 09:00 on Monday 24 April 2023:
1. Please complete the internal sift application Word document, which includes the following fields
  • Project Title
  • Applicant details
  • Co-investigators (if applicable)
  • Project Partners (if appropriate)
  • Objectives  (4000 characters max)
  • Summary for a lay person (4000 characters max)
  • UKRI relevance (research council area) (4000 characters max)
Please refer to the call guidance and specific ‘case for support’ advice listed on page 21 of the call guidance for academic applicants to ensure your proposed project meets the required assessment criteria.
2. CV and list of outputs template as specified by the call 
Assessment and decisions
Decisions on the supported applicants will be made after panel assessment, representative membership from each Faculty and R&I will be ensured. When applicants have received confirmation of support for the full application, there will be further communications on internal deadlines for a draft of the full application, to ensure time for feedback and peer review. 
There are resources available on our webpages to help applicants prepare their proposals – see guidance resources. Please ensure that you have read the UKRI information for applicants.