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Future Leader Fellowships

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Call status: Closed
Previous call: 2 March 2016 – 12 May 2016


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 it is expected that around 12 fellowships will be awarded, each at a value of up to £300k. This investment can be used to support personal salary as well as travel and subsistence, training activities, and research consumables, but not equipment. 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 downloads).

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.


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 2016).


  • Applicants should have a PhD or be expecting to have undergone successful PhD viva prior to 30 November 2016
  • Applicants should not exceed five years in active postdoctoral research employment prior to announcement of the awarded FLFs (30 November 2016)

Note: FLF applicants are not eligible to apply to any additional 2016 BBSRC fellowship competitions.

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

  1. Log in to the Je-S (Joint electronic submission) system
  2. Select Council: BBSRC
  3. Select Document Type: Fellowship Proposal
  4. Select Scheme: Fellowship
  5. Select Call/Type/Mode: Future Leader Fellowship - 12 May 2016
  6. Click Create Document

Proposals will require the following mandatory attachments:

  • CV. You should complete the standard CV template. 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 and in the Fellowships Handbook (see downloads). 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.

Please also refer to the full RCUK terms and conditions and our grants guide and fellowship handbook.

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 12 May 2016, 4pm
Refereeing July - September 2016
Fellowship shortlisting for interviews 13-14 October 2016
Fellowship interviews 15-16 November 2016
Fellowship award notification 30 November 2016

Related calls: early career fellowships people skills and training