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Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship Scheme - details & deadline for the 2021/22 academic year

The Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, encourages outstanding postdoctoral scholars to apply to The Leverhulme Trust’s Early Career Fellowships scheme, for Fellowships starting in the 2021/22 academic year.

We were ranked as one of the world’s top 20 English departments in 2019 (QS world rankings) and as the top English department in the UK by the most recent REF assessment (2014). The department is a part of one of the world’s top 50 Arts and Humanities faculties, and has a thriving research culture that benefits from collaborations and exchanges with colleagues in Classics and Ancient History, Film and Television Studies, History; the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, the School for Cross-Faculty Studies, and the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures. We also have close connections with a number of outstanding research centres, including the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies. Further information about the department and the faculty can be found at and

The department will run an internal selection process to identify the candidates that it wishes to put forward. For this, prospective applicants must submit an Expression of Interest containing the following information to Sîan Moore, Senior Departmental Admninistrator, by 5pm on December 22, 2020. We strongly advise candidates to make initial contact with potential mentors . Suitably qualified candidates should therefore send their initial expressions of interest to the department as early as possible.


  • A short description of their project (maximum 2 A4 pages)
  • A copy of their CV (maximum 2 A4 pages)
  • The name of an academic in their proposed host Department whose research is relevant to their project and who would be willing to endorse their application. Although the Leverhulme Trust do not insist upon a formal mentoring arrangement, this is a requirement for the University of Warwick. Candidates should contact this member of staff at the earliest opportunity, and in advance of submitting the Expression of Interest.
  • The names of three referees. Please note that referees will not be asked to provide a statement at this stage.

Candidates should consult the guidance on the Leverhulme Trust’s website prior to submitting an Expression of Interest ( In particular, they should note that applicants must:

  • hold a doctoral degree or equivalent research experience by the time they take up the Fellowship. If currently registered for a doctorate, they must have submitted their thesis by 4pm on 25th February 2020;
  • have not yet have held a permanent academic appointment;
  • not have existing funding in place for a duration equivalent to or greater than the duration of the Early Career Fellowship;
  • be within four years of the award of their doctorate. Those who submitted their thesis for viva voce examination before 25th February 2016 are not eligible to apply, unless they have since had a career break;
  • either hold a degree from a UK higher education institution at the time of taking up the Fellowship or at the time of the application deadline hold a non-permanent academic position in the UK (e.g. fixed-term lectureship, fellowship) which commenced no less than 4 months prior to 25th February 2020.

The University will support successful candidates in the development of full applications, the deadline for which is 25th February 2021. For any queries about the scheme, please contact Hattie Hine.



Departmental Guidance Notes


  • The Leverhulme Trust offer very little guidance in terms of what they like to fund, whether in terms of subject area, themes or methodology. This means that the main things to consider are the factors that one would look for in any proposal: the significance and originality of the research; the rigour of the methodology; and the quality/scale of the proposed outputs. As regards the latter, it is highly unusual for successful proposals to this scheme not to propose a monograph - if candidates are not doing so, there will ideally be a clear explanation of why this is the case (unless this is the norm for their discipline).
  • The extent to which the research crosses disciplinary boundaries and is relevant to a range of different fields should also be taken into consideration, as this is something that the Leverhulme do prioritise - they are not fond of projects that propose what they describe as 'making incremental gains' in a single subject area. It will not be necessary for applicants to discuss public engagement/impact plans, as this is not something that the Leverhulme factor into their assessment process.
  • Track record will be considered as part of the evaluation and so should also be taken into account here: however, I think it should be treated as subordinate to the quality of the application in terms of importance.
  • The final point regarding the assessment criteria is to highlight the fact that the application should not read like a book proposal. Although candidates will be expected to complete a substantial piece of writing, the application should be presented as a research project rather than simply describe the contents of the book.

Wed 18 Nov 2020, 15:51 | Tags: Research, Funding, English