UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships


FLF is a cross-UKRI scheme enabling fellows to tackle ambitious and challenging research and develop their own careers. It offers long-term, flexible support, including the fellow's salary and research, staff and training costs, plus the opportunity of a permanent academic position on successful completion of the fellowship. These fellowships are for early career academics and innovators who are transitioning to or establishing independence. Individuals should use the eligibility guidance in the UKRI call documentation to establish their suitability for the scheme with reference to the objectives of the programme.

Specifically FLFs aim to:

  • Develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK
  • Foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • Provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • Provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.

What the FLF offers

  • Long-term and flexible support, with seven years of funding available on a 4 (+3) model.
  • FLFs have been funded in the range £300K to over £2m, and there is no preference for lower or higher cost proposals.
  • Support for applicants from diverse career paths, including those returning from a career break or following time in other roles.
  • In addition the University of Aberdeen offers substantial additional support to successful applicants including generous kind and in kind commitments. 

Applicants must have approved support from the proposed host department.

External applicants

The University of Aberdeen is eager to support talented early career researchers, with outstanding potential, to apply for a UKRI FLF in one of our exciting research areas. The University is a research-intensive university with an equal commitment to excellence in research and in education. We are seeking to appoint people who will help us achieve our goals.

The University of Aberdeen strongly welcomes interest from external applicants. Please contact your School of interest as early as possible for initial discussions (some Schools have specific strategic research areas they want to recruit in). Following confirmation the School is supportive please follow the Expression of Interest procedure below. 

Please contact Research and Innovation with any queries, including assistance in identifying a suitable research group. 

Round 9: Internal Expression of Interest

We strongly encourage external applicants as well as researchers or innovators from all sections at the University of Aberdeen to apply. The University is capped at submitting up to 4 applications to this round. Details of the R9 internal triage which has now closed are below.

We are committed to supporting, developing, and promoting equality and diversity and establishing an inclusive culture free from discrimination, and based upon the values of dignity and respect. In higher education, several groups are underrepresented in the academic community and applications are therefore particularly welcome from applicants who identify as part of an underrepresented group.

 An open and inclusive selection process will be used to ensure the best candidates are selected and supported to full application. 

Internal triage timetable below:

1 Mar 24                     Internal deadline for Expressions of Interest (EoI) - to be received on proforma here

7 Mar 24                     Internal FLF panel complete initial sift and select applicants to present to panel

w/c 25 Mar 24          Presentations from ‘sifted’ applicants to internal FLF panel

29 Mar 24                  Internal FLF panel confirm 4 bids to proceed to submission

April – Jun 24           Bid development – with focussed support by application mentor(s) and R&I

10 Jun 24                   Internal deadline for finalised proposal

18 Jun 24                   UKRI deadline

Support to develop your proposal

Selected applicants will receive focussed support to help craft their proposals. Applicants will work with Research and Innovation to agree a detailed grant development plan up to the submission date.  Each candidate will:

  • Be assigned a named R&I contact who will be available for hands on support and advice
  • Be assigned an academic application mentor and at least 2 academic peer reviewers
  • As applicable to their research, have the opportunity to access innovation leaders to help discuss plans for realising broader impacts of their research.
  • Benefit from focussed support to help develop personalised professional development plans
  • As applicable to their research, have access to IP and impact specialists to help develop the impact and engagement aspects of their proposal.


Round 10: deadline anticipated summer 2025 

A pre-triage deadline is planned in autumn 2024 to enable interested applicants to benefit from early support in developing their proposals ahead of a later internal triage deadline - the date of this will be confirmed once UKRI has announced details of R10.

Internal and external potential applicants: please contact your proposed host School in the first instance to confirm School endorsement to proceed with an Expression of Interest.

For queries on the scheme please contact your R&I Research Development Executive

More information

Please refer to UKRI FLFs webpage here