The Future Leaders Fellowships (FLFs) are back for another round, to fund the most promising researchers and innovators from business and academia with up to £1.5m over four years.
We are now looking for the next cohort of talented future leaders to apply for the upcoming round of funding, so we’ve unpacked a few common myths about the scheme to help you decide if the FLFs could be for you.
What are the Future Leaders Fellowships?
UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship scheme offers talented early career innovators and researchers the opportunity to secure unprecedented levels of funding and support, to pursue world class research and innovation and push their careers to the next level.
The scheme is open to UK registered businesses and the potential benefits to business - from tackling the biggest challenges in industry to building effective collaborations with academic institutions - are immense (find out more: The business opportunity for Future Leaders Fellowships).
So far, the FLFs have funded five successful business-based fellows who are engaged in delivering pioneering research and innovation across multiple industries, from aerospace to telecommunications. And we have more businesses to be announced soon, so watch this space!
Three myths about the Future Leaders Fellowships
#1 This is an entirely project-based funding opportunity
This scheme is a unique person-centered funding opportunity that will provide a step-change in an individual’s career.
Therefore, applications need to demonstrate how the research and innovation work is built around the applicant’s potential as a future leader and how the organisation hosting the fellowship will support them.
It is essential that the applicant’s voice comes through loud and clear in their application. Remember, the applicant is central to the fellowship and expected to be the driving force behind the proposed innovation or research work.
If you are looking for a project-based grant the FLFs may not be the best option for you. You may want to check out Innovate's other funding options.
#2 Only established leaders should apply
The scheme has been designed to provide innovators and researchers earlier on in their careers with unparalleled access to funding and support which will enable them to fulfil their potential as a future leader.
Moreover, we are looking for candidates on the journey to leadership as opposed to those who have already established themselves as a research or innovation leader in their field.
Throughout the assessment process candidates will be required to demonstrate evidence of leadership potential, including their ability to lead and develop a high-performing team and to build effective partnerships, collaborations and networks.
However, we do recognise that leadership looks different in different sectors and on different people, so please allow your individual strengths and leadership style to shine through.
#3 The proposed research or innovation must be digital or technology related
There is no requirement within the FLF scheme to focus the proposed research or innovation in a particular area.
In fact, this is our first funding scheme that spans the entire remit of UKRI, funding applicants hosted in both businesses and academic institutes, from arts and humanities, to engineering and biosciences.
The key is to ensure that the research or innovation is challenging and strategically important to your business, your industry and/or wider society. Plans should be original, ambitious and help to fully establish the applicant as a leader in their area.
Interested in applying or finding out more?
The next round of the scheme is round 6 and will be open for applications from 10 November 2020.
We encourage you to find out more by joining our first webinar for interested businesses at 10am on 9 October 2020. Registration is open now. If you are unable to attend the live webinar, please register using the link to receive a recording of the session.
You can also visit the Future Leaders Fellowship page on the UKRI website which has additional information on candidate and business eligibility, application guidance and further resources for businesses who are interested in applying to funding round 6. And be sure to keep an eye on the Innovate UK social channels to keep up to date with FLF news.
You can go to the Innovate UK website