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Community Announcement – Changes to AHRC's Leadership Fellows Scheme

Date: 06/05/2020


Over the last 12 months, the AHRC has been consulting our community regarding the Leadership Fellows scheme, including the benefits, the challenges and what you would like to see changed to make it even better.

As a result of this we would like to draw your attention to a few updates we will be making to the scheme, namely:

  • We have clarified what we mean by ‘leadership’ to ensure it resonates with all academics at all stages of their career;
  • We have increased the maximum funding amount for the Standard Route to £300,000

To signal these changes, we have renamed the scheme the ‘AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowships’. The scheme guidance has also been tweaked, to ensure the aims and objectives of the scheme are clearer. The scheme continues to support two routes: Standard and Early Career.

Developing the fellow’s skillset and leadership capabilities are a core element of this scheme, for example by enabling early career researchers (ECRs) to become future research leaders in their field, or by enabling mid-career and established researchers to extend their expertise into new research areas or to engage with non-academic audiences.

The Fellowship offers the opportunity to be innovative and bold in the types of activity which might be taken forward and allows Fellows to explore new avenues of their discipline or beyond, for example, shaping research agendas, developing emerging research areas, fostering interdisciplinary research in their field, providing intellectual leadership, etc.

The Leadership Fellows scheme will close on Je-S on Friday, 5 June 2020, 16:00.

Applications to this new focus of the Fellowships scheme will open on Je-S from Monday, 8 June 2020, 09:00.

If you have any questions about the changes to the scheme, please refer to our FAQ on page 100 of the Research Funding Guide.

AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship Scheme

This new scheme is designed to support arts and humanities researchers at all career stages, enabling each Fellow to undertake ambitious, innovative research and to develop as researchers, thus enhancing their careers.

The scheme has two routes:

  • a standard route to support mid-career and established researchers
  • a dedicated route to support early career researchers

The aims of the Fellowship Scheme are to provide time and support for researchers:

  • to carry out high-quality individual research which has the potential to generate a significant impact on their discipline;
  • to develop capabilities as research specialists and to create opportunities for outreach beyond their research field;
  • to undertake innovative and collaborative development activities, including the initiation of new research, which will result in benefits for their own discipline(s) and beyond.

The route for early career researchers also has these additional aims:

  • to develop the experience and capabilities of early career researchers in a crucial phase of their careers as they establish themselves and develop beyond doctoral and immediate post-doctoral work;
  • to enable the production of high-quality innovative research that moves significantly beyond doctoral projects. 

Further information about the scheme can be found in section 1.5 of AHRC’s funding guide.

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