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Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

This scheme offers opportunities for outstanding early career researchers, with a research record but who have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post, to undertake a significant piece of publishable work.

These Fellowships are intended to assist those at a relatively early stage of their academic career to undertake a significant piece of publishable research and reach independence and the project put forward should not be a reworking or mere extension of the candidate’s doctoral research project. It is hoped that the appointment would lead to a more permanent position for the individual, either within the same or another institution.

Fellowships are tenable for 3 years on a full-time basis. The Trust will support requests to hold the award part-time for health-related reasons, disability or childcare commitments. The award provides funding for the Fellow’s total salary costs and annual research expenses of up to £6,000 per year to support research activities. Approximately 145 Fellowships are available in 2024.

For full details and further guidance please consult the Leverhulme Trust website.

Why should you apply with the University of Liverpool?

The breadth of our expertise in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences creates exciting opportunities for genuinely original, vibrant, innovative research that brings together diverse disciplines to make a positive impact on the world. Our Schools and Departments provide a focus for world leading subject specialisms while our Faculty Research Themes support collaborative, interdisciplinary communities of researchers with shared interests to produce world-class, valuable research.

The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences enjoys great success with this scheme, with success rates ranging from 10% to 45% over the last 7 years (with an average of 28% success rate), thanks to the range of tailored support and advice we provide to our candidates to help them develop their proposals, underpinned by our long-standing academic expertise and experience with this scheme and funder.

Complementing local support provided by mentors, Departments and Schools, the Faculty holds an information workshop for selected candidates, providing advice on the scheme and how to develop a compelling ECF application. We also offer peer review of application drafts, providing feedback to strengthen applications before submission.

Testimonial: Dr Ceren Kabucku

Dr Ceren Kabucku, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology since 2017, reflects on her time at the University of Liverpool: "When I was considering applying for a Leverhulme Trust ECF and playing around with various project ideas, all I had to do to receive the support and encouragement of my colleagues in the Department (ACE), School (HLC) and the Faculty (HSS) was to simply ask.

"Throughout my time here as a fellow, and currently with my new applications, absolutely everyone I have spoken to and received help from (including Academic staff as well as members of Professional Services and Research Support) have encouraged creativity (the elusive blue-skies thinking) and fostered a collaborative environment. This is absolutely essential in choosing an institution that allows an early career researcher to build independence, create and shape their own research programme and thrive. Obviously, as an applicant there are certain conditions you must meet (e.g. reading through the guidelines and preparing materials), but with the team at UoL I can guarantee that you will not face the application process alone."

We welcome expressions of interest from outstanding early-career researchers whose research interests align with those of colleagues across the Faculty’s Departments, Research Centres and our interdisciplinary Faculty Research Themes.

Selection and Support Process at the University of Liverpool (2024 scheme)

We welcome expressions of interest from outstanding early-career researchers whose research interests align with those of colleagues across the Faculty’s Departments, Research Centres and our interdisciplinary Faculty Research Themes.

Given the highly competitive nature of this scheme, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has put in place an internal demand management process to select, and then closely support, potential candidates to be put forward by the HSS Faculty Departments at the University of Liverpool.

 How to apply:

  1. Interested candidates should identify a potential mentor in their chosen Department and are advised to work closely with them to develop their Expression of Interest
  2. Interested candidates should submit an Expressions of Interest to the relevant School Research Team (see details below) by Wednesday 8th November 2023, consisting of the following:
  • This completed pro-forma: Leverhulme ECF 2024 proforma [Word doc]
  • A brief CV (max 2 pages) 
  • A list of publications (1 page max – please use the following headings: ‘In preparation’, ‘Submitted’ and ‘Published’)

Selected applicants will be informed week commencing 11th December 2023. All shortlisted candidates will then receive close support from their Department and School, as well as the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to further develop and enhance their application before submission (information workshop, feedback on individual applications etc.).

Please note

This selection process will be led by our School Research Teams - please check the details below to determine which is the appropriate School Research Team you should contact according to the Department you wish to apply with:

School of the Arts – Departments of:

  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Communication and Media

Please contact sotares@liverpool.ac.uk

School of Histories, Languages and Cultures – Departments of:

  • History
  • Irish studies
  • Politics
  • Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

Please contact hlcrsrch@liverpool.ac.uk

School of Law and Social Justice – Departments of:

  • Law
  • Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

Please contact SLSJRI@liverpool.ac.uk

Management School – Departments of:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Strategy, International Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Work, Organisation and Management

Please contact ulmsfund@liverpool.ac.uk


Please ensure you check that you meet the Leverhulme eligibility criteria before sending your Expression of Interest. These are summarised below – please consult the Leverhulme guidance for full detail:

  • Applicants must not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK university/comparable UK institution.
  • Candidates must hold a doctorate or have equivalent research experience by the time they take up the Fellowship. Candidates must have submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination by the closing date of 4pm on 22 February 2024.
  • Candidates are eligible if they submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination no more than four years prior to the application closing date. Those who formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination before 22 February 2020 are not eligible unless they have since had a career break (parental leave, family commitments, illness, or other exceptional circumstances etc.). However, due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust will accept applications from candidates who submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination up to five years prior to the closing date (i.e. between 22 February 2019 and 22 February 2020) if they can make a case and demonstrate in their application that their work has been impacted by the pandemic.
  • Applicants must either hold a degree (any degree) from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or, if this not the case, at the time of the application deadline, they must hold an academic position in the UK (e.g. fixed-term lectureship, fellowship) which commenced no less than 4 months prior to the closing date (please see Leverhulme guidelines for further details)
  • Candidates who have been/currently are a Principal Investigator on a three-year postdoctoral research project, or have held/currently hold a comparable three-year postdoctoral position to pursue their own research are not eligible.
  • Applicants who have not already moved institutions in the course of their academic career (i.e. between their undergraduate university and proposed host institution) should nominate a new host institution, or demonstrate clear evidence of the academic and/or personal reasons for remaining at the same institution (e.g. access to highly specialist equipment or a highly specialised research team).
  • Candidates may not apply for both an Early Career Fellowship and a Study Abroad Studentship in the same year. Candidates who have held a Leverhulme Study Abroad Studentship for postdoctoral research are not eligible to apply to this scheme (please note this only applies to the 2019 award schemes onwards).
  • Previously unsuccessful applicants may re-apply.

Information for UoL staff and mentors

For University of Liverpool colleagues supporting applicants, we have put together an intranet page summarising internal support processes and timelines, as well as providing extra information on recruiting and supporting candidates.


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