Leverhulme Research Centres

This scheme ran in 2015 for the first time. No decision has yet been made about another call.

Research Centres will not only conduct research of outstanding originality but also aspire to achieve a significant step-change in scholarship. The aim is to encourage new approaches and 'disruptive thinking' which may establish or reshape a field of study and which will transform our understanding of a topic of significance to contemporary societies. To achieve this, the expectation is that Centres will draw upon a range of disciplinary perspectives and expertise, perhaps bringing new disciplinary mixes to bear on an emerging topic of societal significance. They should have the capacity to become internationally-recognised ‘centres of research excellence’ in the chosen area. The Trust has a reputation for encouraging research which is often fundamental or curiosity-driven (so-called 'blue skies'), multi-disciplinary, and perhaps somewhat higher risk. Applicants are therefore invited to be bold in compiling their bids.

Centres should be titled as the ‘Leverhulme Centre for...’ or ‘Leverhulme Research Centre for... ’ the research activities in question.

Value and Duration

Up to £1 million per annum is available for up to ten years, with an appropriate mid-grant review. Centres will be encouraged to build on the Leverhulme grant by seeking additional concurrent support from other funding bodies. The Trust will not normally award ‘follow-on’ platform grants, and therefore if Centre arrangements persist beyond the original award, this will be on the initiative of the grant holder or institution.


In line with the Trust’s responsive-mode of operation the choice of research topic is left deliberately open, with the exclusion of research which is of direct relevance to studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals, or research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications.The chosen topic or area should be sufficiently large-scale to support an ambitious, but realistic research agenda, for up to ten years. The Trust has a strong reputation for funding cross-disciplinary research embracing the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Leverhulme Research Centres should not duplicate existing activity at a comparable scale, whether in Research Council-funded or university research centres. The Trust wishes to support research activity where it can be confident that the work will have substantial added value compared to smaller initiatives in the same area of research.


If your query has not been answered in these pages please contact Gillian Dupin (020 7042 9876).