AHRC-ESRC-FCO Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Scheme

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which are both part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), together with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are pleased to invite applications for the second intake of the AHRC-ESRC-FCO Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowship scheme.

The scheme provides the opportunity for arts and humanities and social science researchers to be seconded into the FCO (London Office) to work alongside, advise and influence policymakers. It aims to support Fellows who will bring fresh thinking, depth and breadth of expert knowledge and apply their learning to policy challenges. This is not a scheme to support research projects about the FCO or its work, but rather to build new capacity in the FCO and across the UK research base.


Going beyond previous ad hoc arrangements, the Fellowship scheme creates deeper engagement between academia and policy by building long-term, two-way relationships that will impact on diplomacy, and increase the professional reputation of participating scholars. On a day-to-day basis Fellows will be placed within a policy team that could be geographic, thematic or institutional in the scope of its work. Fellows will also be attached to a Research Group within the wider Research Analysts Cadre who form a specialist group of geographical and thematic experts. The benefits of this placement will flow to the wider academic community through Fellows’ engagement with their home research organisation and wider research communities.

About the call

Applications are welcome from arts and humanities researchers and social scientists with a deep and detailed understanding of research relevant to FCO Research Analysts.

The call for applications for the first intake of Fellows (2018–20) resulted in more applications from social scientists than arts and humanities researchers; for this second intake (2019–21) the scheme partners wish to strongly encourage applications from arts and humanities researchers, including historians, alongside applications from social scientists. Candidates with relevant experience and expertise will be considered from any disciplinary background within the arts and humanities and social sciences. For scholars from all disciplines, modern language skills are highly valued.

For the second intake, the partners envisage supporting further two to four Fellows working between 0.6 to 0.8 FTE for 24 months. The scheme will cover the salary costs of the Fellow (at 80% fEC).

  • Potential applicants should ensure they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the call document (see below)
  • Applicants who applied to the 2017 round of the scheme are not eligible to apply to the 2018 deadline.