Early Career Fellowships

Fellowships at the University of Leicester

logo Funding Mechanism – Early Career Research Fellowships

Co-Leads: Ruth Luthi-Carter, Martin Halliwell & Steve King

The bulk of ISSF funding will be used for a competitive Early Career Fellowship scheme directed at our four strategic priorities. Senior staff will mentor these highly promising researchers, and we will provide a cohort-training fund to augment current institutional researcher training activities. The other four funding objectives will support these fellows and our researchers who have or are competitive for WT funding.

Why? A cohort of the brightest and most enthusiastic ECRs will be in a strong position to underpin institutional change through working with senior colleagues and designing modern solutions to multidisciplinary research, outreach and impact. Our activities to support ECRs through ISSF1 were extremely successful and cost-effective in delivering on Leicester’s research and impact agendas. We have therefore maintained and expanded our request for ECR support as the core element of this application. We will also use this opportunity to support our Athena SWAN agenda to bring more women and career-break returners into our workforce.

What? We will seek to retain excellent researchers at Leicester and bring in outstanding new talent. 12-24 months’ salary support and up to £15K running costs p.a. will be provided. Flexible arrangements will be available, e.g. for those returning from career-breaks, and we will seek to bring other underrepresented groups into our workforce. We intend our support for these ECRs to lead to a competitive application for independence to WT, RCUK or other funder. A training fund will facilitate specialised cohort activities that foster interdisciplinary working.

How? Through ISSF1, we have established an ECR Development Group, mentoring scheme and ‘Grassroots’ Postgrad and Postdoc Forum. Here, we will focus support on the transition to independence and leadership, as well as providing cohort training and transferable skills. Awards will be based on CV, project quality, likelihood of follow-on support, and relevance to ISSF strategic priorities. We anticipate funding several Fellows per year with some distribution between science and humanities. We want our fellows to form a vibrant, self-supporting multidisciplinary cohort and will support a training programme. In line with our commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, Fellows will be assigned senior mentors, and undergo training in leadership, interdisciplinary research and enterprise, potentially with support through enrolment on the Medici programme. The cohort will hold an annual workshop to discuss their research and produce an output, such as PE activity or resource promoting interdisciplinary understanding.

Measures of success. We expect a substantial number of our fellows, including career-break returners, to go onto independent positions. Through tailored ISSF support, we will enhance our culture of discovery-led research and create a sustainable model at Leicester for training the next generation of champions and embedding enterprise skills and interdisciplinary ways of working.

Next deadline for applications will be 1st May 2018

Eligibility. Academic staff members on open-ended University of Leicester contracts are not eligible for this scheme.

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