This scheme is for 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.

We’re looking to fund fellowships of up to seven years (funded for four years in the first phase with the option to extend for a further three years) to support talented researchers and innovators who are transitioning to research and/or innovation leadership.

If you are applying from business, there is no requirement to hold a PhD, however you should be able to demonstrate equivalent research/innovation experience and/or training.

The fellowship offers flexibility to support outstanding individuals:

  • from diverse career backgrounds
  • returning from a career break or returning to research and/or innovation following time in other roles
  • wishing to work part-time or in job shares in order to combine the fellowship with personal responsibilities
  • coming to the UK from abroad – researchers and innovators are eligible for a Global Talent visa under the ‘exceptional promise’ category for future research leaders. They must have the support of their host organisation. Find out about the Global Talent visa

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 other grants must relinquish these in order to hold a UKRI FLF award.

Fellows hosted by a business can come from commercial organisations of any size, in any sector or region. Reduced-hours fellowships are available to applicants hosted by a business, enabling fellows to spend up to 40% of their time focused on other activities within the business in order to enhance their career.

Fellowships must be held at an eligible UK-based host organisation – universities, UK-registered businesses, and other research environments including Catapults and research council institutes and laboratories. The host organisation must agree to support the fellowship.

Find out more about organisations eligible for funding.

Academic institutions can be any UK higher education institution that receives grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies, research institutes and independent research organisations. Cross sector and organisational links, and research and innovation collaborations in both the UK and internationally, are encouraged.

Businesses or other privately-owned research organisations hosting fellowships, should provide an innovation and/or research environment of international standing and must be eligible to receive UK Government state aid. Fellowships will only be awarded to support research and/or innovation above and beyond the standard activities of the organisation.

Please note each round has a mandatory published start date and you should ensure your host is able to facilitate setting up your award within this timeframe.