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AHRC Fellowships Scheme to be renamed the Leadership Fellows Scheme

Date: 03/03/2014

From 1 May 2014, the AHRC's Fellowships Scheme will be renamed the 'Leadership Fellows' scheme. We will also be issuing updated guidance which emphasises the need for applicants to give equal consideration to both leadership and research.


AHRC's current Fellowships scheme was launched in January 2012 in order to support researchers who will have a transformative impact on their subject areas and who will act as advocates for the value and benefit of arts and humanities research beyond academia. It also seeks to build and strengthen leadership capacity to lead research agendas in the arts and humanities in the 21st century.

Name Change and Clarification

The AHRC has sought feedback to help clarify the nature of research leadership within the Fellowships scheme, and has updated the guidance based on this feedback. The guidance makes clear that the Fellow's ideas for exercising leadership in their field should form an integrated whole with their proposed research, rather than appearing to be merely a 'bolt on' to the research. The change in the name of the scheme is also intended to further highlight the importance of leadership. This does not represent a major change to the scheme itself: rather, the updated guidance is intended to underline the focus on leadership that is already a key aspect of the Fellowships scheme. In addition, updated assessment criteria and guidance for peer reviewers will make clear that applicants should demonstrate excellence in both the research and the leadership dimensions of the proposal.

Impact of Change

As this change is only a clarification, there is no break in the submission of applications and there are no additional headings or sections in the proposal that will need to be completed. Changing the name of the scheme in Je-S does however mean a new form will be available with the new name displayed.

Applicants who have already opened a Je-S form or who open one before 1 May 2014 will need to select the 'Fellowships' or 'Fellowships - Early Career' scheme and complete and submit their proposal by 30 June 2014. Any applicants who are making an application using the Fellowships scheme form should use the current Fellowships scheme guidance which can be found in the Research Funding Guide. 30 June is the last date by which proposals can be submitted via the ‘Fellowships’ scheme in JeS.

Any applicants who open a proposal form on and after 1 May 2014 will need to select the 'Leadership Fellows' or 'Leadership Fellows - Early Career' scheme in Je-S. Any applicants from 1 May 2014 and afterwards should refer to the Leadership Fellows scheme guidance which is a separate AHRC funding guide (2018 update: this guidance is now incorporated in the Research Funding Guide).

Applications, on either form, can be submitted as soon as they are ready but, as outlined above, must be submitted by 30 June for the Fellowships Scheme.

Applications will be assessed against the guidance under which they were submitted.

Key Dates

  • 30 April - last day application form called 'Fellowships' and 'Fellowships - Early Career' Scheme available
  • 1 May - first day application form called 'Leadership Fellows' and 'Leadership Fellows - Early Career' Scheme available, applications can be submitted as soon as they are ready
  • 30 June - last day for submission of applications on 'Fellowships' and 'Fellowships- Early Career' scheme form

Click here to watch a short film about the importance of research leadership.

For further scheme information please contact: enquiries@ahrc.ac.uk

Notes to editors

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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