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Future Research Leaders Scheme

The ESRC has opened its first call for applications to the new Future Research Leaders Scheme. PAIS will respond positively to that call and expects to be in a position to help its applicants meet the September 15th deadline for outline proposals. However, the Future Research Leaders Scheme is the first one in which the ESRC has encouraged demand management from departments. To that end, PAIS will run a preliminary internal competition to fit in with a University screening process which, ultimately, will decide who our official applicants will be.


The deadline for this internal competition is Friday July 22nd 2011, to allow a PAIS committee to decide which applications to nominate for University approval on Wednesday July 27th and to allow time for us to complete the necessary endorsement paperwork between those two dates. In order to qualify for consideration to be entered into the Future Research Leaders Scheme potential applicants must provide the department with the following:

  • A two-page account of their proposed research project, which must include an account of the likely impact of an award. The Guidance Notes published alongside the call for the new scheme will provide a useful insight into the type of information to be included in the two-page account of the research project.
  • A full research CV which should also be a maximum of two sides of A4 and must include details of your PhD submission date.

Applications for the internal PaIS competition should be sent via email to paispg at warwick dot ac dot uk by 12.00 Midnight BST on Friday July 22nd, and no late applications will be considered. The department should be in a position to communicate the University’s decision on who will go forward into the actual Future Research Leaders competition by August 2nd, leaving another six weeks until the ESRC’s deadline.

PAIS Selection Criteria

The basic eligibility criterion is that applicants must be within four years of submission of PhD. On top of that, applicants will improve their chances of gaining departmental selection in the following ways:

  • There have to be demonstrable markers on the CV of research excellence to suggest that the applicant is a potential high-flyer.
  • The applicant has to be committed to a brand new project, pretty much to be started from scratch, rather than hoping to use the award to finish off work that is already in progress. It will be necessary to show how the project will contribute to knowledge and also to enhancing the visibility of the successful applicant within the profession
  • The applicant must be in a position to show evidence of the way in which the project funded by the award will lead to a sustainable long-term academic career.
  • The ESRC is hoping that its Future Research Leaders Scheme award holders will be able to successfully internationalise their academic profile through taking some of their time on the three-year grant working in a partner institution abroad. This can be justified in terms of fieldwork, networking or dissemination activities.

As is standard for all ESRC grant applications now, successful applicants will need to have a convincing impact-relevant agenda built into the very fabric of the research proposal, as well as a clear knowledge transfer agenda.


Enquiries should be directed to Prof Matthew Watson in the first instance.