Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship

This scheme is for experienced senior and mid-career researchers who would benefit from a period of full-time research without teaching, administration and pastoral care duties. It is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Status: Closed Opening: 25 September 2024
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About the scheme 

The scheme seeks to provide opportunities for experienced senior and mid-career researchers to focus on full-time research for up to one year, by relieving them of all their teaching, administrative and pastoral care duties during that period. Preference will be given to candidates who, as well as demonstrating scientific excellence, can show that such relief is particularly needed and timely. Applications from mid-career candidates are particularly encouraged.

The Royal Society recognises that diversity is essential for delivering excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Society wants to encourage applications from the widest range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to maximise innovation and creativity in science for the benefit of humanity. We regularly review and revise policies and processes to embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) principles in all aspects of the grant making process and ensure all talented applicants have an equitable chance to succeed as per assessment criteria. 

See below for details of adjustments we can provide for disabled applicants. 

What does the scheme offer?

The award lasts between one term and one academic year.

Funds can cover:

  • Salary cost of a teaching replacement (up to the equivalent of the minimum point on the lectureship scale as paid by the host university)
  • Research expenses up to a maximum of £2,500 to cover the costs of consumables, equipment and travel.

This scheme is for you if: 

  • You have a PhD or equivalent
  • You hold a permanent post at a UK university or not-for-profit institution
  • You are at a stage in your career when you would particularly benefit from a period of full-time research. Applications from mid-career candidates are particularly encouraged.
  • Your research is within the Royal Society’s remit of natural sciences, which includes but is not limited to biological research and biomedical sciences, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. For a full list, please see the breakdown of subject groups and areas supported by the Royal Society. 

Read the scheme notes for further information on eligibility. Please ensure that you meet all eligibility requirements before applying. 

You will apply through our application and grant management system, Flexi-Grant®.  

See the ‘Application and assessment process’ page for a general overview of the application and selection steps and see below for details specific to this scheme. 

Assessment of your application will be overseen by the Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships Panel. Following eligibility checks, applications are initially reviewed and assessed by two panel members who have the most appropriate scientific expertise.  A longlist is drawn up, with longlisted applications subject to independent review.  Following completion of independent peer review, a shortlist is finalised with oversight of the Panel Chair. Shortlisted applications are then discussed at a Panel meeting where recommendations for funding are made. 

Full details of the application and review process are available in the scheme notes. 

The Royal Society welcomes applications from scientists with disabilities and provides adjustments to ensure that they can participate fully in the selection process. If you need an adjustment when accessing the application form, attending interviews, or for any other part of the application process, please contact the Grants team on or +44 20 7451 2666. Adjustments can include, but are not limited to:

  • extension of the deadline
  • additional support to complete the application form

If you have further questions regarding the scheme, please contact the Grants team on or visit our contact us page