Research and knowledge exchange

Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Award – 2022

The Leverhulme Trust has re-launched its Research Leadership Awards scheme which was last run in 2019. The scheme is aimed at talented scholars who have launched a university career but who need to build a team to address a distinctive research problem. This creates an opportunity for the development and demonstration of research leadership; that is, for the direction of a modest team or group, whose research may significantly change the established landscape in a particular field of inquiry.

Summary of the scheme
  • Each institution is limited to submitting a single bid.
  • External deadline: 12pm, 10 June 2022
  • Maximum value of award: £1M over 4-5 years.  At least 75% of the resources requested must be used to provide funding for research staff (research assistants and postgraduate students).
  • Up to a maximum of 25% of the total budget can be requested for associated research costs, e.g. technical, computing and clerical staff costs, travel and subsistence, consumables.
  • Ineligble costs: replacement teaching, PI salary costs, overheads, equipment over £1k.
  • Number of awards to be made is not specified, however the average for the 4 previous rounds is 13 awards.Leverhulme Trust made 13 awards in both 2015 and 2012.  The list of awards is available on the Leverhulme Trust website.  
  • Proposals are welcome in any research area, with the exception of the following:
    • Studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals
    • Research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications
    • Research areas currently defined as a priority area by the research councils or other significant public funders
    • Policy-driven research where the principal objective is to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives
    • Research where advocacy is an an explicit component
    • Research aimed principally at an immediate commercial application
    • Proposals in which the balance between assembling a data bank / database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former
Eligible applicants

At the time of application, eligible applicants must:

  • Have had at least 2 years full-time or equivalent experience in a research and/or teaching post in a university after the date of your PhD award
  • Be at an early stage of your academic career such that the trajectory of your research contribution has not become firmly established
  • Have a contract with a UK university that extends beyond the end of the grant award (i.e. beyond 2027 for 4 year awards and 2028 for 5 year awards)

The competition is not aimed at candidates who are established professors, senior staff who already have a portfolio of grant funding or those that already lead a team.

Internal demand management, key dates and nomination form 

Institutions are limited to being able to submit one application, therefore each school is invited to submit a single nomination which will be considered by an internal review panel.

Schools will need to arrange their own selection process so that their single nomination can be submitted to Debbie Foy by 4pm on 7 April 2022.

The internal nomination form must be used and includes a statement of support from the host School which should be written by either the Head of School or the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange. 

Each nomination should be accompanied by a CV which should be no more than 10 pages, includind details on the following: Academic qualifications · Career history · Research interests · Publications · Teaching and supervision · Other professional activities · Awards, grants, prizes.



School level review of their potential applicants

School to determine

HoS & DRKE to submit a single nomination to Debbie Foy for University level review

4pm, 7 April 2022

Internal panel review

By 13 April 2022

(If shortlisting >1, shortlisted nominees to meet & discuss project with review panel)

By 22 April 2022

Institutional selection announced (earlier if no shortlisting)

By 22 April 2022

Final submission to the Leverhulme Trust

12pm, 10 June 2022


Further information

If you have any questions about this scheme please contact your Research Development Officer or  Bente Bjornholt, the Leverhulme Trust lead in Research & Enterprise.