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Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2021

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The University Committee for Research and Innovation is inviting expressions of interest from Early Career Researchers who wish to apply for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to undertake a significant piece of publishable work. Due to the competitive nature of the Fellowships, all applications must have the support of the Head of School and be approved by UCRI.

This scheme provides an outstanding opportunity for the University to support Early Career Researchers, either those currently at Reading or those who might wish to join the University. Expanding our number of early career researchers is a priority within the University's research strategy.

Criteria and conditions of award

These awards are for three years for researchers with a proven track record who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • They have not yet held an established academic post
  • They have submitted, or will submit, their PhD thesis between 25 February 2017 and 25 February 2021.
  • They either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or, at the time of the application deadline, must have held a fixed-term UK academic (lectureship or fellowship) position which started before October 2020.

More information is available on the Leverhulme Trust website:

This round, the Trust will pay up to £50,000 towards the Fellow's total salary costs for the first year and thereafter will contribute 50% of the total salary costs, up to a maximum of £25,000 per annum. Up to £6,000 a year for eligible research expenses is also provided. The University provides the remainder of the salary costs for three years - no FEC costs are provided.

University support

This year UCRI will offer financial support up for to ten candidates who have full support of the Head of School. We will commit to meeting any outstanding salary costs in year 1 and 25% of the salary costs of the prospective Fellow in years 2 and 3. The host School will meet the remaining 25% salary contribution for years 2 and 3. We expect to support no more than one application per School.

Any interested ECR or any colleague who would like to nominate an applicant should speak to their Head of School in the first instance, with an outline of the proposed research project.

Please note: the total time spent by the Fellow on teaching duties (i.e. preparation, teaching, examining, marking and administration) should not exceed one day per teaching week in term time; these responsibilities are not expected to hinder the Fellow's research progress and must be cleared with the Leverhulme Trust at the start of each year or term.

Internal application process

Heads of School are requested to submit the following documents to by 4pm on Wednesday 18 November 2020 for their nominated applicant:

  1. Details of the proposed project (max 1 side of A4) and a CV (max 2 sides of A4)
  2. Confirmation that the 25% of the salary costs for years 2 and 3 will be covered by the School.

Applications will be checked for eligibility and will be assessed by UCRI. The ten strongest applications will be supported and applicants will be notified of the outcome in the week beginning 7 December 2020. The scheme is highly competitive and we do not expect additional applications to be supported or developed.

A workshop will be run by members of the Research Development team in January 2021 to support those submitting an application to discuss the Leverhulme Trust approach to grant funding and the application process.

Any queries should be directed to


Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) 

Professor Dominik Zaum, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

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