AHRC-ESRC-FCO Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Scheme

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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.

Closing Dates

Closing Date: 31/10/2018

Call Status


Call opens

August 2018

Application form available in Je-S

3 September 2018

Application deadline

31 October 2018, 16.00

Assessment and peer-review

October/November 2018

Shortlisting meeting

Mid-December 2018

Notification of Invite to Interview

W/c 17 December 2018


21 - 22 January 2019

Notification of Outcomes

February 2019

Outcomes/Award Letters

July 2019

Fellowships start

September 2019

How to make an application

Please read the guidance below for full information about this call.

Download - AHRC-ESRC-FCO Knowledge Exchange Fellowship guidance (PDF 250KB)

This call will be managed by the AHRC on behalf of the two participating Research Councils and the FCO.

Applications must be submitted through the Je-S system by 16.00 on 31 October 2018. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Applicants will need to complete the Je-S application form called:
AHRC-ESRC-FCO Knowledge Exchange Fellowship Scheme 31 October 2018

Also include the financial details and the following attachments:

  • Case for Support
  • CV
  • Publications List
  • RO Letter of Support

PLEASE NOTE : Submission Requirements (25 October 2018)

An error in the JeS system validation means that in order to submit the application your university research office (‘Approver Pool’) will be asked by Je-S to upload a ‘Head of Department Statement’. As you should have already added a Letter of Support, as per the application guidance, this Head of Department Statement (in terms of content) is not needed. However, in order to satisfy the system validation requirements, please upload a ‘Head of Department Statement’ document that includes only the following text:

  • As per AHRC guidance, this document is intentionally blank

Further Information


All queries regarding this scheme should be directed by email: fcofellow@ahrc.ukri.org.

For queries on using Je-S such as creating and submitting the application form or Je-S account creation, please contact the Je-S Helpdesk, tel: 01793 444164, email: jeshelp@rcuk.ac.uk.

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