Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

Aims of the Scheme

The scheme seeks to provide opportunities for experienced academic researchers to focus on full-time research for up to one year, by relieving them of all their teaching and administrative duties during that period. Preference will be given to candidates who, as well as demonstrating scientific excellence, can show that such relief is particularly needed and timely. Applications from mid-career candidates are particularly encouraged.

Subjects Covered

Research must be within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/subject-groups.

Submissions from clinically qualified scientists may be considered. The Society does not support clinical or interventional research on humans at the individual or group level, social sciences or humanities, unless otherwise stated.

If there is any doubt about the eligibility of a project, contact the Grants team.

Value of Funding and Support Provided

The Fellow’s employing institution will be reimbursed for the full salary costs (including USS and NI) for the applicant (up to the equivalent of the minimum point on the lectureship scale as paid by the host university).

Research expenses of up to a maximum of £2,500 are available to cover costs of consumables, equipment, travel etc.

Duration and Start of Fellowship

Length of tenure: Between one academic term and one year.

Fellowships are expected to commence from 1 October 2021.

Number of awards: Up to seven per year.


Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent and hold a permanent post at a UK university or an eligible not-for-profit institution.

This is a senior fellowship scheme, and therefore applicants must be at a stage in their career when they have

a well-established, fully independent research programme of their own, and would particularly benefit from a period of full-time research. The applicant should also consider how the scheme will impact their career trajectory and scientific area.

Applicants should not have had sabbatical leave or other support relieving them from teaching and administrative duties for a total of one year or more in the three years preceding submission of the application.

The Royal Society recognises that diversity is essential for delivering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Society wants to encourage applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. We regularly review and revise processes to help ensure that all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per the assessment criteria. This includes ensuring all panel members are briefed on unconscious bias in decision making as part of our assessment process.

The Grants team will be pleased to answer questions about eligibility and/or points covered in this section.

Host Organisation Eligibility

Fellowships will be held at the applicant’s own university, or any university or not-for-profit research organisation in the UK. This includes industrial research organisations in the UK, approved by the Council of the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust.

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