UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships - Round 8

About Future Leaders Fellowships

This scheme offers early career researchers funding for up to four years, with the option to apply to renew for a further three years. There is no minimum or maximum award value.

The scheme is open to early career researchers and innovators who are transitioning to or establishing independence, or who may be developing their own original and ambitious plans within a commercial setting.

You do not need to hold a PhD, and there are no eligibility rules based on the number of years since your PhD. However, please note that for SAME’s internal application round, the school may prioritise candidates who have completed their PhD and have a strong track record of publications. If you do not hold a PhD, you must be able to demonstrate equivalent research or innovation experience or training. There are no eligibility rules based on whether you currently hold a permanent or open-ended academic position or job role.

The fellowships support applicants from diverse career backgrounds, including those returning from a career break or returning to research following time in other roles. There are no time limits in respect of time spent outside a research or innovation environment. We also encourage applications from those wishing to work part-time or in job shares in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities. Assessors will take into account time spent outside an active research and innovation environment, whether through career breaks, flexible working or as a consequence of working in other roles.

Fellows hosted by an academic organisation may spend up to six hours a week (pro rata for part-time applicants) on other commitments or related activities, provided they enhance career development. Those with substantial ongoing research commitments as a result of participation in in other grants must relinquish these in order to hold a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships award.

More information and guidance documents for this call can be found at the following link: Please thoroughly examine the guidance available before applying.


Submitting an Expression of Interest to SAME

Historically, SAME has been unable to support candidates through this scheme, as the School are required to commit to a proportion of the funding during the fellowship as well as providing the fellow with an open-ended UK based independent research and/ or innovation position, to be taken up during or upon the completion of the fellowship (in line with organisational employment policies and practices). However, the School would like to be able to offer such an opportunity to a candidate if possible, and so will hope to select a candidate on the basis of its research priorities. We invite expressions of interest in order to assess the support we would need to provide to enable such a Fellow.

The department is especially keen to receive expressions of interest for research within social and cultural anthropology, and may give preference to candidates whose work bridges fields of research within the school more broadly. We have a special interest in applications from candidates working in areas of decolonisation, race and social inequality.

Please note that this means that the School may not be able to support any candidates in this round of these Fellowships – the expression of interest stage will be a first step in assessing this as a possibility.

Prospective candidates must first ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements for this scheme (Round 8 eligibility information is detailed here).

They must then submit the following to by 10am on Tuesday 11th April 2023:

  1. A brief covering email. As part of this email, please describe how your research would expand and/or interconnect current research programmes/agendas in the School, and name any members of school staff who would be well-placed to mentor you.
  2. A completed CV Template & List of Outputs and Expression of Interest form (please request a blank form from

Once these have been received, the School will run a series of short proposal discussions to give both applicants and panellists a chance to discuss the proposal. Depending on the volume of expressions of interest received, we may cap the number of discussions we can hold, but will notify candidates of this in due course.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.


Applying at Oxford – steps after SAME Expressions of Interest

The Future Leader Fellowships (FLF) scheme is highly competitive. To administrate this funding opportunity in a timely manner, the number of applications which can be submitted by each academic host organisation has been capped by UKRI. In the previous round, the University of Oxford was permitted to submit 10 applications.

The process for submission and selection at Outline Proposal stage is as follows:

  • Candidates will submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) to their proposed hosting department or faculty (as above).
  • EOIs approved by departments/faculties will be submitted for review by:
    • Firstly, Divisional selection committees, who will each decide upon a shortlist of EOIs (and, given UKRI’s application cap, there will be a limit on the number of EOIs that can be shortlisted per Division);
    • then, a Cross-Divisional selection committee will review the Divisions’ shortlists, and make a final selection of ten EOIs that Oxford will submit to UKRI as proposals.

The selection committees will select the EoIs that are judged to be most competitive, with respect to the UKRI’s assessment criteria for the Scheme, and that are supported by a department or faculty.

The divisional deadline will be 4.00pm on Monday 24 April 2023. Internal applicants must submit their EOI via IRAMS, and external applicants must submit their EOI via email to the appropriate academic department or faculty, with the support of the SAME Research Support Team.

Successful applicants will work with their hosting departments or faculties to submit a full proposal in time for the UKRI’s deadline of the 4 July 2023 4:00pm. There is then an interview stage for shortlisted applicants.


If you would like to discuss any aspect of this process, the call or your own project, please direct any queries to the SAME Research Support Team via