Swansea University is eager to support emerging and exceptional talent in various exciting research areas. The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Round 8 will open on the 27th March 2023, with the UKRI deadline of the 4th July 2023. 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. Due to the extremely competitive nature of these fellowships and a cap on the number of full stage applications that can be submitted per institution, the University is running a call for Expressions of Interest from both internal and external staff.

The Expression of Interest deadline is 21st March, 2023 (12pm)


The FLF Scheme Objectives are:

To develop, retain, attract and sustain research and innovation talent in the UK:

  • To foster new research and innovation career paths including those at the academic/business and interdisciplinary boundaries, and facilitate movement of people between sectors
  • To provide sustained funding and resources for the best early career researchers and innovators
  • To provide long-term, flexible funding to tackle difficult and novel challenges, and support adventurous, ambitious programmes.
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What The Fellowship Offers

Investment of around £1.5 million over four years, with the ability to extend to up to seven years, will enable the next generation of researcher and innovators to benefit from outstanding support to develop their careers, and to work on difficult and novel challenges.

The FLF scheme has funded fellowships from £300,000 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. The support offered is long-term and flexible, with seven years of support available on a 4 (+3) model.

Swansea University will offer substantial additional support to successful applicants including

  • A generous ‘Fellowship Enhancement Award’ of £50,000,
  • Funding to recruit a full-time PhD student,
  • A career pathway to a permanent Senior Lecturer post at the end of the Fellowship plus
  • Mentoring and Support from Faculty and Professional Services e.g. bid writing support.

Applicants must have approved support from the proposed host department.


These fellowships are for early career academics and innovators who are transitioning to or establishing independence. Applicants should use the Person Specification in the call guidance’s- Annex B to assess and justify their suitability for the scheme with reference to the objectives of the programme.

Applicants are expected to hold a doctorate by the start date of the fellowship OR to be able to demonstrate equivalent research/innovation experience and/or training. There are no eligibility rules based on years since PhD or whether the applicant currently holds a permanent/open-ended academic position or job role, though individuals who currently hold a permanent position should:

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  • Show that their current position does not demonstrate that they have achieved research/innovation independence and thought leadership
  • Provide a clear rationale why a Future Leaders Fellowship would be different to their current role.
  • Clearly state that all their working time costed to the fellowship would be dedicated to that fellowship to focus on research/innovation, shielded from other professional commitments.
  • Demonstrate that a Future Leaders Fellowship would be the best way to support their long-term career goals and chosen career route. Applicants who have already achieved research/innovation independence (for example, by securing funding aimed at this career stage) will not be competitive. Senior academics and innovators are not permitted to apply.

Why choose Swansea University?

In the latest Research Excellence Framework 2021 assessment, 86% of the University’s overall research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent - up from 80% in the previous REF exercise in 2014. Research highlights at Swansea University can be found here

We continue to be recognised for the impact of our research which makes real, positive difference to the lives of people across the world. 86% of our research, judged by a panel of REF experts, is making outstanding and very considerable impact in terms of reach and significance, at a local, regional and global level.

91% of our research environment is classed as world- leading and internationally excellent (and an increase in 6% points from REF 2014). This reinforces that Swansea University is an outstanding environment to conduct research as a student or an academic, and that our research makes a real difference in the world.

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We work with partners and collaborators across the globe. Our research is delivering significant, sustained, valuable economic and societal impact in Wales, UK and internationally. Swansea University is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment that improves diversity and enables all of the University community to fulfil their potential. This is reflected in the University being awarded a number of equality related charters including a Silver Athena SWAN University level award (gender) and a top 50 position in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. We are therefore committed to ensuring that all applicants, irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, or ability are given full support throughout the application process.

And as mentioned above Swansea University will offer substantial additional support to successful applicants. 

How to apply

Expressions of interest are now welcome from those candidates wishing to be hosted by Swansea University. This applies to both internal and external candidates.

Individuals should initially approach fellowships@swansea.ac.uk to ensure their research aligns with the Research and Innovation Strategy and the research ambitions of the Faculties - explore our research here. An open and inclusive selection process will be used to ensure Swansea University is selecting the best candidates to support to the full application stage. This will include scrutiny by an internal review panel of each candidate’s draft EOI, CV & outputs.


Please send all EOIs to fellowships@swansea.ac.uk

SU will be supporting three applications to full submission and selected candidates will receive dedicated support to prepare their full proposal. Applicants must have approved support from the proposed host Faculty.

Timeline for expressions of interest (Round 8)