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Isaac Newton Trust


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 145 awards are available nationally for 2021-22, so competition is stiff.

In order to be eligible for the competition, applicants must:

  • not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post (this includes Junior Research Fellowships at Oxbridge Colleges) in a UK university or comparable UK institution, nor may Fellows hold such a post concurrently with the Early Career Fellowship;
  • have submitted their PhD no earlier than 25 February 2017 (unless they have had a career break) and not later than 4pm on 25 February 2021;
  • 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 2020).

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

New for LECF 2021:  The Leverhulme Trust provides full funding for the Fellowship's first year salary costs (for those commencing their Fellowship in 2021-22) and half of the salary costs or the following two years, up to a maximum of £25,000 in each year (plus a contribution to research expenses);  the other half of the salary for years 2 and 3 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 years 2 and 3 in support of individuals who successfully apply for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships to be held at the University of Cambridge starting in 2021-22.  An internal competition is run by the INT to identify candidates who can be supported in this way.

University of Cambridge Internal Competition 2021

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 Monday 11 January 2021
  • 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 25 February 2021, 4pmPlease note that your Host Institution may need you to complete your final application before this deadline.

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.

INT Funding Rounds

INT Research Grants Round for Michaelmas Term 2021

Draft Application to Head of Department by 21 September 2021

Trustees' Meeting Dates

Thursday 8 July 2021

Thursday 25 November 2021

Thursday 10 March 2022

Our Awards

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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