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Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Research


Most fellowship funding opportunities can be combined so that a similar but adapted proposal can be submitted to various funding bodies. Please be aware of differences in eligible costs (usually the amount of research expenses and cap of funding for teaching replacement) as well as the different minimum and maximum duration of each scheme. The following table provides a rough overview of the schemes. Please find more details below on each scheme.

Scheme Duration Maximum award Annual number of awards Deadline Call opens
AHRC Leadership Fellows Scheme  6-18 months £50,000-£250,000 around 50 (of which about 30 go to Eearly Career Researchers) none always open
Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship 24-36 months replacement costs plus £6,000 p/a of research expenses 30 (all disciplines including sciences) around early May each year February each year
British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship 6-12 months up to £80,000 salary costs and up to £200,000 total (fEC); including research expenses to a maximum of £10,000. 35 mid- September of  each year August each year

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

More information on MSCA Fellowships 

Gerda Henkel Foundation: Research Scholarships

More information on Gerda Henkel schemes

Leverhulme Research Fellowship/International Academic Fellowship

3-24 months £55,000/£45,000 for research expenses and/or teaching replacement 90 (all disciplines including sciences) early November of each year August/September each year
British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship 12 months replacement costs only 8 early/mid November of each year early October each year

Mid-Career Fellowships

(Independent Social Research Foundation)

12 months up to £60,000 for replacement cost and research expenses 6 mid-February of each year early January
British Academy/Wolfson Research Professorship 36 months £150,000 fixed for replacement costs and research expenses 4 end of November of each year October each year

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship

(non-established staff only)

up to 3 years research expenses and salary around 12 (humanities and social sciences) biannual Competition with deadline for submission of outline proposals in late June and early December open any time

Wellcome Trust Investigator Award

(established staff only)

up to 5 years up to £1 million around 8
EPSRC Fellowship up to 5 years research expenses, staff, salary (up to 100% FTE) around 40 awards across the engineering and physical sciences received any time of year; min. 6 months submission-award open any time


Leverhulme Research Fellowships

The Leverhulme Trust invites applications for research leave between 3-24 months (to be taken up between 1 June of the following year and 1 May of the year after). The deadline for this call is early November of each year.

Eligible are experienced researchers with an established track record in their research area and particularly those prevented by routine duties from undertaking or completing an original piece of research.

The maximum value of a fellowship is £55,000 that can be used either for research expenses and/or replacement costs.

Further information on Leverhulme Research Fellowships 


British Academy Mid-Career Fellowships

The British Academy seeks to fund outstanding individual researchers who are employed at a UK university to obtain free time from normal teaching and administrative commitments. The applicant should have ‘already published works of intellectual distinction or have established a significant track record as an excellent communication and “champion” in their field’.

Applicants are invited to apply with a proposal for a major piece of research for a period of 6 to 12 months from 1st September of the following year. Salary costs are paid up to a maximum of £80,000 and to an award total of £200,000 (BA contribution to fEC). Research expenses are allowed for up to £10,000. Applicants should be within 15 years from the award of their doctorate but career breaks will be taken into account. Also established researchers without doctorate will be eligible.

Applications will be judged on the base of excellence of the research project and the capacity of the applicant to communicate with a broad audience. This is to reflect the British Academy’s commitment to promote public understanding and engagement with humanities and social sciences.

Further information on British Academy Mid-Career Fellowships 


British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships

These awards are intended primarily to provide opportunities for scholars who have already published works of intellectual distinction and who have been hampered in their efforts to accomplish a major piece of research by heavy teaching and administrative duties over a lengthy period, with little prospect of relief from any source. The British Academy is looking particularly therefore to help mid-career scholars.

Only replacement costs usually at the starting level of a first time appointment will be covered. Research expenses are not covered by the award but can be sought through a separate application to the British Academy Small Grants Scheme.

Applicants for the Senior Research Fellowships should be intending to pursue original, independent research in any field of study within the humanities or social sciences. Closing date for applications is usually mid-November of each year.

Further information on British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships 


Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships

More information on MSCA Fellowships 


Gerda Henkel Foundation: Research Scholarships

More information on Gerda Henkel schemes 


Mid-Career Fellowship (International Social Research Foundation)

Scholars from within Europe are eligible to apply. Applicants will normally hold a salaried position at an Institution of Higher Education and Research. Candidates should be 10 years or more from the year of their PhD award. However, a shorter time from PhD award may exceptionally be considered, if the candidate has other qualifications to be considered as mid-career (these might include: length of appointment to permanent post, seniority, teaching responsibilities). Career breaks may also be taken into account. The awards are intended as providing full relief from all teaching duties and all associated academic administration for a period of (up to) one year; applications may be made by those whose sole or principal post is a part-time equivalent.

The amount of an award depends on the nature of the work proposed and individual circumstances – the ISRF expects applications for grants up to a maximum of £60,000 to buy-out the cost of all teaching and associated administration in the applicant’s home institution for up to 12 months. Within that sum, reasonable support for research expenses may be considered on a matched-funding basis with the host Institution.

There are about 6 awards per annum. The deadline tends to be in February of each year.

Further information on ISRF Mid-Career Fellowships 


British Academy Wolfson Research Professorships

The purpose of these awards is to give an opportunity for extended research leave to a small number of the most outstanding established scholars to enable them to concentrate on a significant research programme, while freed from normal teaching and administrative commitments. Emphasis is also placed by the Academy and the Foundation on the importance of award-holders communicating their plans and results to a broad audience.

The Academy takes no account of an applicant's age or current status (eg Professor, Lecturer) in determining eligibility for these awards. Rather, in all cases, award-holders are expected to be established scholars with a significant track record of publication.

The value of the award is fixed at £150,000 over three years, mainly aimed at covering the cost of replacement teaching. The difference can be used for research expenses.

Further information on British Academy Wolfson Research Professorships 


Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowships

These awards enable well-established and distinguished researchers in the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences to devote themselves to a single research project of outstanding originality and significance, capable of completion within two or three years. Fellowships are particularly aimed at those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research.

Eligible costs are replacement costs usually at the level of a first time appointment early career lecturer as well as £5,000 annual research expenses.

Further information on Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowships 


AHRC Leadership Fellows Scheme

There are no fixed deadlines for the scheme. Projects can last between 6 and 18 months with a total budget of between £50,000 and £250,000 fEC. Flexible time arrangements are possible but the PI cannot commit less than 50 percent of their time at any point during the fellowship and only request up to 100 percent of time for up to 12 months and has to make a part-time arrangement for the remaining time.

At the time of application, applicants must

  • have been employed by the submitting University for at least one year,
  • have at least two years of postdoctoral experience,
  • have a contract that lasts until at least the end of the proposed fellowship activities.

 The aims of the Leadership Scheme are for researchers:

  • to develop their capabilities as research leaders,
  • to carry out excellent individual research which has the potential to generate a transformative impact on their discipline, and which is of exceptional intellectual scope and importance,
  • to develop and undertake innovative and collaborative leadership activities which are connected to their research and which will result in benefits from their own discipline(s) and beyond,
  • to sustain and enhance research capacity in areas which may currently be under-supported for a variety of reason.

Strong evidence of institutional support for the proposed fellow’s career and leadership development before, during and after the award is required from the university. This refers for example to evidence of commitment to past, present and future support, leadership development programme, sabbaticals, PhD studentships, support for knowledge exchange and networking, nomination for prizes, etc.

Further information on AHRC Leadership Fellowships 


Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships - 'Humanities and Social Science'

Discipline: The Wellcome Trust funds research in the humanities and social sciences with relevance to the Trust's mission focus on health, medicine and biomedical research. You can find a presentation of the Wellcome Trust at the University of Cambridge about these funding areas in July 2013 by following this link. Please also read the Wellcome Trust Strategic Plan for further information.

Purpose: To support researchers at all stages of their career to conduct a period of research.

Eligibility: Applicants must not be in an established academic post (i.e. not be in an open-ended contract) and must hold a PhD.

Duration and Costing: Up to 3 years full-time (under exceptional circumstances also part-time) providing research expenses and a salary (plus employer's contributions)

Timetable: Biannual Competition with deadline for submission of outline proposals in late June and early December. Deadlines for full applications are in early August and early February respectively. Please check the website for the yearly deadlines.

Number of Fellowships: around 12 awards per annum

Scheme website


Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards - 'Humanities and Social Sciences'

Discipline: The Wellcome Trust funds research in the humanities and social sciences particularly in relation to the social, cultural and historical contexts of medicine, health and wellbeing. You can find a presentation of the Wellcome Trust at the University of Cambridge about these funding areas in July 2013 by following this link. Please also read the Wellcome Trust Strategic Plan for further information.

Purpose: To support leading researchers to follow a compelling long-term vision for their research.

Eligibility: Applicants must be in an established academic post (i.e. in an open-ended contract). Candidates are expected to have a strong, internationally competitive track record with publications that make a significant intellectual contribution to research with a strong track record of attracting sustained and substantial research grant support from major funding bodies.

Duration and Costing: Up to 5 years full-time providing research expenses of between £100,000 and £200,000 per year. The award covers research expenses (including research assistance), travel and subsistence and funding for collaborative activity, capacity-building initiatives, public engagement initiatives and resarch leave, symposia and dissemination activities. Salary costs are not included.

Timetable: There are two rounds per year. Both have an outline stage with deadlines in either January or July and a full application stage with corresponding deadlines of April and September. Final decisions about awards are communicated around four months after the deadline of the full applications.

Number of Fellowships: around 8 awards per annum UK-wide 

Scheme website

EPSRC Fellowship

Discipline: Engineering and physical sciences and cognate social sciences; EPSRC identifies priority areas for its fellowships

Purpose: A Fellowship is a personal award, designed to provide the recipient with the necessary support to establish or further develop themselves as a leader of the future. This type of award enables the researcher to devote most of her/his time to a programme of activities to deliver their proposed research vision.

Eligibility: For established and non-established staff. EPSRC distinguishes between postdoctoral, early career and established career fellowships. Person specifications for each level can be found here based on attributes of research excellence, setting the research agenda, strategic vision, profile and influence, inspirational team leader, communication and engagement skills.

Duration and Costing: up to 5 years (postdocs only 3 years); no funding limit is specified and the fellowship can cover up to 100% time of the applicant, travel and subsistence, staff costs, visiting researchers, equipment, consumables, access to facilities and public communication training.

Timetable: There are no official deadlines. Applications are assessed twice per year.

Number of Fellowships: around 40 across the whole engineering and physical sciences portfolio of EPSRC

Scheme Website