Future Leaders Fellowships guidance

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Renewal scheme for current Future Leaders Fellows

Successful applicants to the Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) scheme have the opportunity to extend their four-year fellowship by up to a further three years.

The aim of the renewal is to provide a continuation of the original FLF fellowship. The renewal funding will continue to support the development of a leading-edge fellow and further the fellow’s work to undertake adventurous, ambitious programmes that tackle difficult and novel challenges.

The continuation may be made up of a single programme of work or through multiple consecutive or concurrent interlinked projects led by the fellow (a ‘portfolio fellowship’). It should go beyond what other, smaller or project grants could support.

Renewal applications can be submitted within or across any areas of research or innovation covered by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The renewal project should be a continuation of the original FLF application. However, it is recognised that the project will have developed and progressed, and a fellow may change the direction of their project over the period of the fellowship.

It is expected that fellows may choose to alter their planned programme of research or innovation in response to new discoveries or techniques. This is to build on their own changing experience, or to reflect changing business requirements and market opportunities. 

Who can apply

This funding opportunity is available to current FLF award holders only.

How fellows apply

Eligible fellows with a minimum of 16 months remaining on their current fellowship will be contacted directly by the FLF Team inviting them to submit an expression of interest (EOI) by SurveyMonkey to confirm which renewal meeting they intend to apply to.

This is to ensure that the outcome of the renewal assessment is communicated at least six to 12 months prior to the end date of current fellowships.

From 2023, there will be four renewal panel meetings per year and fellows will be eligible to apply to one of two meetings. The timetable for meetings can be found below.

The ‘eligible end dates’ are based on the current end dates on the UKRI funding system. If fellows are granted a no cost extension, the current end date will be extended to take into account the additional time requested.

Fellows will be contacted on the EOI opening date in line with their first eligible meeting with a link to the survey. For example, those eligible to meetings two and three will be contacted on 1 December 2021, those eligible to meetings three and four will be contacted on 21 February 2022.

Please note that the call remains open at all times on the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system with no formal closing date. The FLF team will assign applications to meetings when they are received between the ‘full application opening date’ and the ‘full application closing date’.

The renewal is not a substitute for a no-cost extension.

Further details on applying can be found in the FLF renewal: guidance for applicants documents.

Timetable for meeting and eligible end dates

Meeting one

Eligible current end dates: Mar to Apr 2023
EOI survey opening date: 1 Dec 2021
EOI survey closing date: 17 Dec 2021
Full application opening date: 17 Jan 2022
Full application closing date: 25 Mar 2022
Assessment: Apr to Jul 2022

Meeting two

Eligible current end dates: Mar to Aug 2023
EOI survey opening date: 1 Dec 2021
EOI survey closing date: 17 Dec 2021
Full application opening date: 28 Mar 2022
Full application closing date: 27 May 2022
Assessment: Jun to Sep 2022

Meeting three

Eligible current end dates: Jun to Nov 2023
EOI survey opening date: 21 Feb 2022
EOI survey closing date: 11 Mar 2022
Full application opening date: 30 May 2022
Full application closing date: 22 Jul 2022
Assessment: Aug to Nov 2022

Meeting four

Eligible current end dates: Sep 2023 to Feb 2024
EOI survey opening date: 16 May 2022
EOI survey closing date: 24 Jun 2022
Full application opening date: 25 Jul 2022
Full application closing date: 14 Oct 2022
Assessment: Oct 2022 to Feb 2023

Meeting five

Eligible current end dates: Dec 2023 to May 2024
EOI survey opening date: 22 Aug 2022
EOI survey closing date: 3 Oct 2022
Full application opening date: 17 Oct 2022
Full application closing date: 20 Jan 2023
Assessment: Feb to May 2023

Meeting six

Eligible current end dates: Mar to Aug 2024
EOI survey opening date: 8 Nov 2022
EOI survey closing date: 16 Dec 2022
Full application opening date: 23 Jan 2023
Full application closing date: 21 Apr 2023
Assessment: May to Aug 2023

Meeting seven

Eligible current end dates: Jun to Nov 2024
EOI survey opening date: 2 Feb 2023
EOI survey closing date: 17 Mar 2023
Full application opening date: 24 Apr 2023
Full application closing date: 21 Jul 2023
Assessment: Aug to Nov 2023

Meeting eight

Eligible current end dates: Sep 2024 to Feb 2025
EOI survey opening date: 1 May 2023
EOI survey closing date: 9 Jun 2023
Full application opening date: 25 Jul 2023
Full application closing date: 13 Oct 2023
Assessment: Oct 2023 to Feb 2024

Meeting nine

Eligible current end dates: Dec 2024 to May 2025
EOI survey opening date: 24 Jul 2023
EOI survey closing date: 1 Sep 2023
Full application opening date: 16 Oct 2023
Full application closing date: 19 Jan 2024
Assessment: Feb to May 2024

Assessment of applications

Renewal applications are assessed by a minimum of two independent experts who provide peer review comments.

A moderating panel will then consider the applications based on the fellowship’s progression to date, and proposed plans for the renewal against the FLF renewal assessment criteria and provide feedback to the applicant.

The renewal will be awarded following peer review and the moderating panel if there is a prima facie case for progression, that the fellow has demonstrated in their proposal.

If a prima facie case for renewal is not agreed, a further formal discussion will be required. This will be with both the fellow, and separately, potentially the associated host organisation (Head of Department or equivalent) to determine whether or not the renewal award is made.

The prima facie should demonstrate the following:

  • clear evidence of fellow development and leadership during the fellowship to date
  • contribution to the research and innovation landscape, including realisation of short-term impacts of the original proposal and how the fellow has responded to unforeseen challenges
  • a distinctive and outstanding research or innovation project, with robust methodology
  • that the fellow articulates a continued route to realise potential and clearly demonstrates the added value of continuing the fellowship mechanism of support
  • that the host organisation has confirmed that an open-ended contract has been attained or described a definite route to an open-ended contract, which will be attainable by the completion of the fellowship.

See the renewal scheme assessment process flow chart.

For the full terms and conditions of the FLF, please see the:

Information for reviewers

The Future Leaders Fellowships team delivers peer review in collaboration with all research councils and Innovate UK. As the scheme is hosted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) on the Je-S system, review requests will come from an MRC email address. Please do not be concerned by this, particularly if you are a reviewer from a non-medical discipline.

Read the Future Leaders Fellowships renewal reviewers’ guidance.

Additional information

Equality impact assessment: FLF renewal

Ask a question about this process

Email: flfrenewal@ukri.org

Last updated: 5 July 2022

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