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Isaac Newton Trust


Cambridge Internal Competition 2023:

First round:  Candidates should ask their intended host Faculty or Department the date of their deadline (likely to be in November or December)

Second round:  Hosts must submit shortlisted applications to the Isaac Newton Trust by Monday 9 January 2023.

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 796 applications for 147 national awards were made for 2022-23, so competition is stiff. 

Cambridge applicants have an exceptional record of securing LECFs and the number of award holders researching in Cambridge has grown steadily so that between 15 to 20 awards are made to candidates wishing to carry out research in Cambridge and more than 155 LECFs have been supported by the INT at Cambridge since 2007. Cambridge has the highest success rate, across all subjects, of any UK University.

The INT pledges to support candidates who are successful in the LECF national competition with the necessary institutional funding and holds an internal competition to determine which candidates can receive a pledge of INT support. This internal competition has two rounds.

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

  • not yet have held a full-time permanent academic post (this includes stipendiary 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 23 February 2019 (unless they have had a career break) and not later than 4pm on 23 February 2023.  NB:  Due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the Trust will accept applications from candidates who submitted their doctoral thesis for examination up to five years prior to the closing date if they can make a case for their work having been impacted by the pandemic. Hence those who formally submitted their doctoral thesis for viva voce examination between 23 February 2018 and 23 February 2019 are eligible to apply if their work has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and they should explain their case in their application.
  • 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 2022).

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.  All questions of eligibility should be addressed to the Leverhulme Trust and not to the Isaac Newton Trust.

Matching funding

The Leverhulme Trust provides 50% of salary costs for Years 1 to 3, up to a maximum of £26,000 in each year with effect from October 2023 (plus a contribution to research expenses);  the other half of the salary costs for Years 1 to 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 support of salary costs of individuals who successfully apply for Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships to be held at the University of Cambridge starting in 2023-24 for Years 1 to 3.  An internal competition is run by the INT to identify candidates who can be supported in this way.  INT will provide matching funds for full or part-time Fellowships awarded by the Leverhulme Trust.

University of Cambridge Internal Competition 2023

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 9 January 2023
  • 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 23 February 2023 4pmPlease note that your Host Institution may need you to complete your final application before this deadline.

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

INT Funding Rounds

Research Grants including Emergencies

The Easter Term 2023 Round has closed

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships 2023

Applicants will be notified by the Leverhulme Trust from 19 May

For Colleges

INT JRF Round for 2024 

This term's call for JRF applications has closed

Widening Participation & Induction Fund

Deadline for College Applications:  5pm on Thursday 1 June 2023

Trustees' Meeting Dates

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Thursday 23 November 2023

Thursday 14 March 2024

Information about INT