The Leverhulme Trust has given advance notice of the next round of their Early Career Fellowship scheme. The 2014 round will open on 2nd Jan and close on 6th March. Although the scheme is not yet open to applications, the guidance notes [.doc] are already available.
Who can apply?
Early career fellowships (ECF) are, as the name suggests, intended for researchers at an early stage in their career. Researchers based in any discipline are eligible to apply. The aim is to fund a substantial research project which will lead to publishable outcomes, but also to enable the fellow to move towards a permanent position. To be eligible to apply you must not yet have held a permanent academic post.
All candidates must also hold a doctorate or “equivalent experience” by the time the Fellowship begins. You can apply if you are in the final stages of your doctorate as long as you submit your thesis by 4pm on the closing date, 6th March. You can only apply if you are within 5 years of your doctoral viva (unless you’ve had a career break for family or other reasons).
Note that priority is given to “applicants who show evidence of mobility during their academic careers to date”. Given that the scheme is so competitive, it’s unlikely you’ll be in with a chance unless you have moved between institutions.
An ECF provides 50% of the Fellow’s salary costs (up to £23,000) for a standard 3-year full-time Fellowship, plus up to £6,000 per year towards the Fellow’s research expenses. A part-time fellowship over a longer period may be an option provided the applicant can justify the need for this arrangement. The remainder of the Fellow’s salary must be met by generally available funds from the institution (i.e. not matched with funding from another grant).
The Leverhulme Trust are expecting to fund 80 fellowships in the forthcoming round. Note that the success rate last year was 12% [PDF], and that it has generally hovered between 11% and 14% since 2008.
How do I apply?
You need to apply online on the Leverhulme Trust’s e-grants system. Note that before the scheme opens on 2nd Jan you can’t access the form, but you can consult the extensive online application guidance notes [.doc] which take you through each field. You should also take note of the guidance on choosing the right referee recently published by Leverhulme.
If you’re interested in submitting an application, please get in touch with the Research Funding and Policy Manager for your Faculty at an early stage to discuss.