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Isaac Newton Trust


Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2020 - CLOSED

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships National Competition Deadline was 27 February 2020, 4pm

Cambridge Internal Application Round 2020 is CLOSED

The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship is a highly prestigious, fiercely competitive, post-doctoral award for researchers who are near the start of their career.  Approximately 100 awards are available nationally, so competition is stiff.

Candidates are eligible for the Leverhulme competition only if:

  • they have not yet held a full-time permanent academic post in a UK University or comparable UK institution;
  • they will have submitted their PhD no earlier than 27 February 2016 (unless they have had a career break) and not later than 4pm on 27 February 2020;
  • they currently either hold a degree from a UK HEI or at the time of application have held an academic position (eg fixed-term fellowship) in the UK for at least 4 months (ie were appointed before 31 October 2019).

NB:  All subjects are eligible except Clinical Medicine, and studies of disease/illness/disability in animals or humans.

Other conditions do apply.  FULL DETAILS of the Leverhulme Trust’s eligibility rules and application procedure should be consulted before applying.  The Leverhulme rules override any rules the Isaac Newton Trust (INT) might set locally for selecting candidates for the national competition.

Matching funding

The Leverhulme Trust provides only half of the salary of each ECF over a three-year period, up to a maximum of £25,000 in each year (plus a contribution to research expenses);  the other half of the salary must be provided by the institution at which the grant will be held. 

Each UK University may submit a limited number of selected applications to the national Leverhulme competition.  Each candidate put forward for the national round must supply a letter specifying where the institutional matching funding will come from.

The INT is pleased to offer promises to match the Leverhulme award in support of individuals who successfully apply for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships to be held at the University of Cambridge starting in 2020-21.  An internal competition is run by the INT to identify candidates who can be supported in this way.

University of Cambridge Internal Competition 2020

New for this year - the competition is split into two parts:

  • Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences subjects
  • Science and Technology subjects

Instructions are the same for all applicants, regardless of subject, but host institutions should read the appropriate set of notes and instructions below.           


  • Candidates apply to their Host Institution by the deadline set by the Head of that Institution
  • Host Institutions should send supported applications as pdfs via email to the Isaac Newton Trust to arrive no later than 13 January 2020
  • The Trust will inform candidates and host institutions of those selected in good time for them to be able to apply to the Leverhulme Trust by the national deadline of 27 February 2020, 4pm.

Please do not hesitate to ask the Senior Administrator if you have queries relating to the above or any other aspect of the Cambridge internal competition.

COVID-19 Updated Information

The Trustees of the Isaac Newton Trust have agreed a number of guiding principles for their response to problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Trust has provided support for research projects across the University, as well as making major interventions to enable strategic projects that offer considerable long-term benefit to the University since 1988.

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