skip to primary navigationskip to content

Leverhulme ECF overview


Application round 2018 is now open

Leverhulme's national competition deadline is 01 March 2018


Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships:  2018 national competition

The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship is a highly prestigious, fiercely competitive, post-doctoral award for researchers who are near the start of their career. 100 awards are available nationally (compared to 125 last year), 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 01 March 2014 (unless they have had a career break) and not later than 4pm on 1 March 2018;
  • they currently either hold a degree from a UK HEI or at the time of application hold an academic position (eg fixed-term fellowship) in the UK

NB:  All subjects are eligible except Clinical Medicine.

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

Matching funding required

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

The Isaac Newton Trust 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 2018-19. Up to 50 pledges of support are available this year.

Identifying candidates for pledges of INT matched funding                                       

There is a preliminary internal competition to identify a subset of candidates to be offered INT support subject to their being successful in the application process for a national competition; please see the following information:


  • Candidates apply to their chosen department/faculty/institution by the deadline set by the Head of that institution
  • Departments should send supported applications to the Isaac Newton Trust to arrive no later than 15 January 2018
  • The Trust will inform candidates and departments of those selected in good time for them to be able to apply for a Leverhulme award by the national deadline of 01 March 2018.

Terms and conditions attached to INT offers of matching funding


  • If a candidate is successful at the local level and subsequently applies to the Leverhulme Trust, the Cambridge host institution will be asked by Leverhulme to specify the starting salary.  NB The Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship is not a grant, so an actual salary point and costings are required; INT also now ask for this information as part of the internal competition documentation
  • Please note that neither Leverhulme Trust nor the INT pays the apprenticeship levy, so this should not be included in estimates of costs.
  • If there is likely to be a shortfall between the salary agreed by the institution and the maximum available from the two Trusts (ie £50,000 p.a. including on costs), the difference must be made up from other sources
  • While the Leverhulme Trust offers research support, the Isaac Newton Trust  does not provide research expenses as well as a contribution to the salary
  • The Trust will pay its proportionate share of the costs of maternity leave  according to the policy of the Leverhulme Trust (which supports maternity leave but not medical leave)


  • Where the Trust agrees to support an application to the Leverhulme competition and the candidate is unsuccessful at the national level, the Trust’s support cannot normally be switched to match an alternative source of funds; an exception might be made for a candidate successful in another of the highly-prestigious national competitions requiring matched funding (eg Royal Commission of 1851 Fellowship, or a Research Council Fellowship)
  • A candidate selected at national level who has been offered matching funding by his/her department, and not through the internal Cambridge competition, cannot turn to the Isaac Newton Trust after the event to seek INT matched funding
  • A candidate who is successful in obtaining a Leverhulme ECF through Cambridge but whose award is subsequently transferred to another institution cannot take the INT matching funding with them, but must seek matching funds from his/her new institution for the remainder of their award
  • A candidate awarded a Leverhulme ECF through another institution who subsequently wishes to transfer to Cambridge may apply to the INT for matching funding for the Cambridge stage of the award (and should contact the Director in the first instance).  

Please do not hesitate to ask the Director if you have queries relating to the Cambridge internal competition.


Trustees' meeting dates

Thursday 29 November 2018 at 4pm

Thursday 14 March 2019 at 4pm

Thursday 4 July 2019 at 3pm

Forthcoming closing dates

Newton Trust Research Grants (all categories)  - the 2018-2019 timetable may be found here.

 'So thrilled about this grant. It's a wonderful scheme to boost young post-docs.

 Thank-you Newton!'



Our first Fellows' Day, for early career research fellows partially funded by the Trust, was held on 14 June, with a series of fascinating talks by 15 of our Leverhulme ECF, Humboldt, ESRC and Max-Cam Fellows, followed by networking over drinks.

Recent deadlines

College Teaching Officer Research Leave - the 2018 Round is now closed.

INT/Schools of Physical Sciences & Technology (start-up grants for new University Lecturers) - the 2018 round is now closed

INT/Wellcome Trust ISSF/Schools of Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine (start-up grants for new University Lecturers and PIs) - the 2018 round is now closed

Cambridge Humanities Research Grants (CHRGs) 2018 Lent Term round  is now closed 

INT/College Junior Research Fellowships - has now closed for October 2019 starts

Are you looking for.....