Leadership Fellowship Scheme - Standard
The proposed leadership activity must be integrated within a research proposal that is world-leading in terms of its scholarship, originality, quality, scope and importance, and demonstrate that it has transformative potential in the subject area and beyond.
The research can be at any point of development, but the proposal must demonstrate that it will lead to substantial research outputs and outline what the planned outputs and outcomes of the Fellowship will be. The nature of these outputs can vary, according to the research, but should be connected with the leadership and transformational aims of the Leadership Fellows scheme. It is your responsibility to justify the value and appropriateness of the output(s) in the Case for Support. See the Case for Support Section for more information regarding what to include in the document.
Fellowships Scheme - Overview
The Leadership Fellows Scheme is designed to develop and promote research leaders – individuals who set research agendas, lead research communities, provide intellectual leadership in their own disciplines and beyond, have a transformative impact on their subject area, and also act as advocates for the value and benefits of arts and humanities research to publics beyond academia. The Scheme offers opportunities for researchers and their research organisations to work in partnership with the AHRC in strengthening leadership capacity and capabilities in the arts and humanities.
The aims of the Leadership Fellows Scheme are to provide time and support for researchers:
- to develop their capabilities as research leaders
- to carry out excellent individual research which has the potential to generate a transformative impact on their discipline, and which is of exceptional intellectual scope and importance
- to develop and undertake innovative and collaborative leadership activities which are connected to their research and which will result in benefits for their own discipline(s) and beyond; and
- It should be noted that the Leadership Fellows Scheme is intended to support projects of research and leadership which cannot effectively be supported through routine provision of sabbaticals or other forms of research leave commonly funded through QR.
Where a highlight notice is issued, the Leadership Fellows scheme also seeks:
- to sustain and enhance research capacity in areas which may currently be under- supported for a variety of reasons
- to support the AHRC in delivering its strategic priorities and national capability needs.
Research and Leadership Activities
A proposal submitted to the Fellowships scheme must outline both the activities that will enable you to develop and take forward research leadership and the individual research that will be undertaken. Your proposal will be assessed on both the leadership and research activities which you propose for the Fellowship.
The following are examples of possible ways of formulating a proposal; they are for illustrative purposes only:
- You could request 6-12 months at 100% time with all leadership activities integrated for the duration of the funded time
- You could request funding for 12 months for concentrated research activities at 100% FTE, followed by 6 months at 20% time to conduct leadership activities building on this research
- You could request 6 months at 100% time for concentrated research activities, followed by 12 months at 40% time continuing the research alongside leadership activities.
Developing research leadership in the arts and humanities is a core element of the Leadership Fellows scheme. In framing your proposal you will need to clearly articulate a set of research leadership activities which demonstrate how you will develop or enhance your leadership role, and make clear how these activities enhance the transformational potential of your research and its broader influence and importance.
You are encouraged to think creatively about what leadership means in your field, and consider carefully how best to exercise leadership. The types of activity that individuals may wish to pursue will vary greatly from field to field, but might include aspects of the following:
- provide intellectual leadership
- shape research agendas
- foster wider impact from your research
- develop emerging research areas, methods or approaches
- foster interdisciplinary research in your field
- encourage new research collaborations and partnerships, international collaboration
- be creative and inspire creativity in other researchers
The leadership activities outlined should be commensurate with your current career stage and trajectory, but should also reflect the enhancement and development opportunity provided by Fellowship funding. In addition, the leadership activities proposed should go beyond the kinds of activities that researchers generally undertake in establishing themselves in their disciplines, or in the ordinary course of their duties.
The Fellowship scheme enables you to include the time and costs for the activities you propose. Exercising research leadership or developing your leadership role involves working with other groups, bodies, organisations, etc. The proposal should include a substantial programme of collaborative activities which will enable you to exercise leadership in your field – and you should think creatively about what is needed to support these activities.
The following list is merely illustrative, and you are encouraged to be innovative in your proposal, whilst also providing a clear rationale as for why the proposed activities are appropriate. Examples include:
- research networking or other activities aimed at inspiring or supporting the development of other researchers
- knowledge exchange activities, and engagement with non-academic partners or wider publics / communities
- international collaborations
- public engagement activities
- interdisciplinary engagement
- shadowing, placements or visiting roles
- engagement with policy makers or public policy bodies
- working with others to produce innovative collaborative outputs.
The extended duration of Fellowships and flexibility in time commitment is intended to facilitate such activities in addition to the provision for concentrated time for individual research activities. You and your Research Organisations should ensure that the flexibility afforded by the Leadership Fellows scheme is used innovatively and appropriately in support of your research leadership. It is your responsibility to justify the value and appropriateness of the proposed leadership activities in the Case for Support.
Proposals that are exclusively or largely focused only on a period of research time without planned leadership activities will not be considered to have met the requirements of the scheme.
Applying for Other Funding
If you will be dedicating 100 per cent of your normal contracted working time to the Fellowship, you will not be eligible to be a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on any other AHRC award or to have commitments to undertake research with other award-making bodies during the Fellowship period.
The AHRC will not provide duplicate funding for activities funded by other bodies. It will, however, provide funding which complements that provided by other sources. The proposal therefore asks you to provide information about any funding for the same work, or for work related to the proposal, that you are receiving or for which you have applied. You must keep the Council informed of the progress of any such proposals. If you fail to do so, this could have an adverse effect on your application. If you are successful in securing funding from any other bodies, you may need to choose which source of funding you wish to pursue.
Research Organisation Commitment
The provision of strong, active institutional support is an important criterion under the scheme and the Research Organisation should outline as clearly as possible the specific support that it has provided, and will provide, in supporting your individual career and leadership development. This information should be provided in the Head of Department statement attachment , and should distinguish between generic support available for leadership development available in the institution, and specific support that has been, and will be provided.
This statement also needs to include details of how you will be relieved from existing duties in order to fulfil the time commitment of the Fellowship, and how any teaching duties related to sustaining your research area (e.g. specialist subject modules) will be delivered while your time is allocated to the Fellowship.
The Research Organisation will need to demonstrate that it has been highly selective in the proposals submitted and provide evidence of commitment to your career and leadership development before, during and after the proposed Fellowship.
In the event that you move institution, transfer of the award would be subject to provision of an institutional support statement by the new Research Organisation outlining at least equivalent support for the Fellowship and your subsequent career development.
As the amount of time to be dedicated to the Fellowship is a known amount, your salary costs should be recorded as a Directly Incurred cost.