Leadership Fellows

The AHRC’s Leadership Fellows scheme provides time for research leaders, or potential future research leaders, to undertake individual research alongside collaborative activities with a potentially transformative impact on their subject area and beyond.

In addition to demonstrating support for high quality, world-leading research and associated outputs, proposals should include collaborative activities to support the development of the Fellow’s capacity for research leadership in the arts and humanities.

Leadership Fellowships are held in partnership with research organisations, and applicants must have been employed by their research organisation for at least one year prior to the submission of the application. At that stage, they must also have at least two years of postdoctoral experience in an academic/research environment or have an equivalent level of professional/practice experience of direct relevance to the proposed research.  Applicants should discuss any potential application with their research organisation at an early stage, as strong evidence of institutional support for the proposed Fellow’s career and leadership development is required as part of the application process.

Applications to the scheme will be welcomed for research in any subject area within the AHRC’s remit. Proposals may be for research at a range of stages of development, provided that substantial high quality research outputs are planned to emerge directly from the Fellowship. A range of activities, including knowledge exchange, can be included in proposals. The scheme incorporates elements of the former Fellowships in the Creative and Performing Arts and Knowledge Transfer Fellowships programmes.

The scheme’s standard route provides opportunities for mid- and senior career researchers who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the Leadership Fellows Funding Guide (PDF, 1.2MB).There is also a separate route to support applications from early career researchers with outstanding future leadership potential. In order to be eligible for this early career route, applicants must be within eight years of receiving their doctorate (or equivalent professional training) or within six years of their first academic appointment.

The scheme provides funding for a period of between six and 18 months. Only proposals with a full economic cost of between £50,000 and £250,000 will be considered.

Further details about the scheme’s aims, eligibility requirements and assessment criteria are detailed in the Leadership Fellows Funding Guide (PDF, 1.2MB).

Closing dates

The Leadership Fellows scheme does not operate under fixed deadlines. Proposals may be submitted at any point during the year.

Please note that the assessment process for applications submitted to the scheme (standard and early career routes) takes approximately 30 weeks, and the earliest start date for a project should be no earlier than nine months after submission to the AHRC.

Occasionally, there may be a delay in obtaining the peer reviews for an application and this could result in the assessment process taking longer. In such circumstances, the AHRC will contact the applicant to inform them of any delay.

How to make an application

For both routes of the Fellowships scheme applications must be submitted through the cross-council Joint Electronic Submission - (JE-S) System. If applicants require assistance in using the system, they should contact the JE-S helpdesk by telephoning 01793 444164 or emailing JesHelp@rcuk.ac.uk.

Further information

All applicants should carefully read the scheme’s Funding Guide (PDF, 1.2MB) prior to submitting their application.

Leadership and Peer Review College

Members of the Strategic Reviewer Group of the AHRC’s Peer Review College met in February 2014 at two separate meetings.  One of the areas they discussed was leadership in the context of the Fellowship scheme and a PDF has been produced to summarise their comments (PDF, 121KB).

Support for research leadership

The AHRC has produced a film on Leadership in the Arts and Humanities which is available from the following page.

Applicants on part-time contracts

The duration limits will be pro-rata the limits for those on FTE contracts, e.g. the maximum duration for someone on a 0.5 FTE contract will be 36 months for the standard route and 48 months for the Early Career route.

Contact Us

The AHRC work with the UK Shared Business Services (UK SBS) to deliver all of its funding activities. All queries regarding eligibility for funding and applications in progress, and also queries regarding current awards, should be directed to the SBS team dealing with the relevant subject area using the contacts page.