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Future Leader Fellowship

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Call status: Closed
Next application deadline: TBC


The Future Leader Fellowship (FLF) will provide support for researchers wishing to undertake independent research and gain leadership skills. The FLF will support the transition of early stage researchers to fully independent research leaders. As such FLFs represent part of our commitment to the supply of highly skilled professional scientists to the UK. A current list of fellows is available on our Future leader fellows page.

Nature of award

Awards are for three years and include personal salary as well as support for travel and subsistence, training activities, and research consumables. It is expected that around 12 fellowships will be awarded, each at a value of up to £300k. In addition to this investment, it is also expected that a substantial demonstration of support for the fellow be made by the host Research Organisation (e.g. in terms of access to facilities and equipment, training, research costs etc.). Applications are welcome from candidates seeking flexible working arrangements (e.g. part-time); see the Fellowships handbook for further information (see in downloads below).

Research areas

Proposals can be submitted in any area of science within our remit. We particularly encourage applications that are aligned with our overarching strategic priorities (see related links including our strategic priorities).

The Food Standards Agency has indicated it is willing to consider co-funding successful proposals which have the potential to impact on issues highlighted in its emerging Strategy 2015-2020 (see external links)  and underpinning Science, Evidence and Information Strategy (see external links).  The FSA is particularly interested in proposals which aim to realise the potential of utilising “big data” approaches to address complex issues which will ultimately lead to benefits for consumers. As part of any FSA co-funded award, there would be the opportunity to take up a short term placement within the FSA to help develop understanding of how science impacts on policy development. 


Aimed at Early career researchers who want to conduct their own independent research within a host laboratory. Applicants will have demonstrated high potential and have no more than five years of postdoctoral research experience. The call is open to current PhD students who are expected to have completed their PhD viva exam prior to announcement of the awarded FLFs (30 November 2015).


  • Applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 30 November 2015
  • Applicants should not exceed five years in active postdoctoral research employment prior to announcement of the awarded FLFs (30 November 2015)

Note: FLF applicants are not eligible to apply to any additional 2015 BBSRC fellowship competitions.

How to apply

The call for applications is closed.

  1. Log in the Joint Electronic System (Je-S) (see external links)
  2. Select Council: BBSRC
  3. Select Document Type: Fellowship Proposal
  4. Select Scheme: Fellowship
  5. Select Call/Type/Mode: Future Leader Fellowship - 4 June 2015
  6. Click Create Document

Proposals will require the following mandatory attachments (see also Je-S FLF help text in application downloads below):

  • CV. You should complete the standard CV template (see application downloads below). We do not accept standalone CVs
  • Case for support and track record 
  • Diagrammatic workplan
  • Data management plan
  • List of publications
  • Head of department statement
  • Statement from host group Principal Investigator
  • Justification of resources
  • Pathways to impact plan
  • Career development plan

Fellowships are awarded under full economic costing (fEC). Support for proposed research should be costed in line with the grants guide.

Detailed guidance on how to complete proposal forms and attachments including the Career Development Plan, can be found in the Je-S FLF help text (see below) and in the Fellowships Handbook (see downloads below). Note: Please do not use the fellowship help text in the Je-S system.

We do not accept late proposals.

Important: applicants should ensure proposals are submitted to their host institution's Je-S submitter/approval pool well in advance (a minimum of 5 working days) of the published deadline. This enables institution checks to be carried out before final submission to BBSRC.

Assessment criteria

BBSRC Future Leader Fellowships are intended to provide the experience and training needed for scientists taking up independent research to go on to successful future leadership positions.  As such, consideration of both the research proposal, which should be sound and of a novelty and timeliness that will add to the understanding of the research area, and the candidate’s future career plan and identified training needs, as detailed in the Career Development Plan, will form important parts of the assessment process.

Application timeline

Application deadline 4 June 2015, 4pm
Refereeing July - September 2015
Fellowship shortlisting for interviews 15-16 October 2015
Fellowship interviews 12-13 November 2015
Fellowship award notification 30 November 2015

Application downloads

Help text (PDF 709KB)

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FAQs (PDF 143KB)

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CV template (DOCX 35KB)

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CV template (ODT 17KB)

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Related calls: early career fellowships people skills and training