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International Fellowships

For established researchers to develop new knowledge, skills and ideas in one or more research centres outside the UK

The scheme may be used for: 

  • developing new lines of research through overseas collaboration
  • making ‘discipline-hopping excursions’ into new areas of research
  • developing innovations in teaching
  • preparing for collaborative grant applications
  • observing and sharing ground-breaking techniques or practices 

The maximum value of a Fellowship is £50,000. 


Fellowships are tenable for between 3 and 24 months.

Before beginning your application, please read the information below or download it as a PDF Guidance for Applicants.

Academic status


  • must be resident in the UK at the time of application
  • be resident in the UK and hold a post at a UK university with research degree or taught degree awarding powers or an Independent Research Organisation or Institute listed as eligible for UKRI funding and have held such a post in the UK for at least the last three years
  • may not be registered for a degree, for doctoral studies, or for professional or vocational qualifications
Other Trust grants

If you wish to dedicate a period abroad entirely to a solo research project you should apply to the Trust’s Research Fellowships scheme.

Candidates who have previously held an International Fellowship may reapply but at least seven years should have elapsed since the previous grant.

Applicants who have previously held a Research Fellowship are eligible to apply if at least three years have elapsed between their application for the Research Fellowship and the International Fellowship.

Topic and fields of study

Applicants should provide a detailed account summarising the proposed programme of activity (objectives, nature of activities, methodology, location(s) and expected outcome/gain).

Applications will be considered in all subject areas except:

  • 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

These areas are excluded because substantial funding is available from other sources for applied medical research and the Trust’s priority is to support investigations of a fundamental nature.

What the Trust offers
Duration and timing of grant

Fellowships are tenable for between 3 and 24 months.

Fellowships must be started between 1 June after receipt of the grant offer and 1 May the following year. 

More than one visit can be made to the place of tenure but all trips must be completed within a 24-month timespan. 

If an applicant wishes to interrupt the period spent overseas they should make a specific argument for this in the application. Research expenses and replacement teaching costs can only be covered during the time spent overseas.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs include:

  • reasonable replacement cover whilst the Fellow is overseas
  • travel to and within the overseas country or countries 
  • a maintenance grant to meet the increased expense of living overseas
  • a contribution towards the costs of a partner and/or children accompanying the applicant overseas. Costs could include flights, insurance, transfers, increased housing costs and subsistence
  • essential research costs, e.g. laboratory or office consumables (but not equipment, overheads or bench fees)
  • modest assistance with administrative costs relating directly to the grant holder’s visit, if visiting institutions and countries without a well-developed infrastructure

For subsistence allowances, including accommodation:

  • applicants must justify the rate used to calculate their budget
  • a maximum rate of £200 per day may be used
  • for visits over 21 days, it is expected that the day rate will be lower than £200 day

The Trust does not make awards on a full economic costing basis. Please consult paragraphs 3.31 to 3.37 of the Science & Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014, HM Treasury (July 2004), which explains arrangements for the provision of overheads linked to charity funding.

Please ensure that your application does not include any ineligible costs.

Replacement costs

The Trust will contribute to the cost of a temporary appointment or hourly paid replacements, or a combination of these (plus any National Insurance and superannuation costs). 

Any cover requested should be made at the appropriate level commensurate with the type and range of activities to be replaced. 

Applicants should consult with their Head of Department and Finance Officer at an early stage to ensure that the bid for replacement costs is at the correct level and realistically costed. 

The university cannot claim for the employment costs of a permanent member of academic teaching staff to cover the applicant's teaching and administrative duties.

Applicants are required to detail the type of activities to be replaced and the arrangements for providing adequate cover.

This grant can be held in conjuction with a sabbatical from your institution.

The Trust's support depends upon the applicant’s institution providing confirmation that the award holder will be on full pay during the tenure of the Fellowship and that the institution is willing to accept the Trust’s contribution towards the replacement costs and, if necessary, to make up any shortfall between this and the actual cost.

When calculating replacement costs, applicants should use current salary scales/hourly rates and include normal increments but not any unsettled revisions. The Trust will make separate allowance for such revisions up to the maximum award possible of £50,000.

Host institution

Fellowships may be held in any country or countries outside the UK.

Applicants must provide clear reasons for their choice of host institution(s) and country or countries of tenure. 

Host institutions may be universities, museums or research institutes of any kind. 

Host institution’s support

On receipt of your application the Trust will email your host institution:

(a) to request:

  • confirmation of its willingness to host you as a Fellow
  • details of the facilities you will have access
  • the level and nature of any funds that will be provided

(b) to provide a link enabling them to view your application and details of how to submit their response to us. 

Please provide the details of a person at the main overseas host institution authorised to provide this information and confirmation. It is crucial that you enter the correct email address. 

The approval and further details must be provided by your host institution by the date specified (see Key dates box, above).

How to apply

To make an application, please access the Leverhulme Trust Grants Management System. The recommended browser to use is Google Chrome.

When completing the application form, please refer to the Application Help Notes.

Institutional approval

You must ensure that your head of department is in full agreement with all of the content of your application.

Your application must be approved by an Administrative Officer on behalf of your employing institution. This officer (institutional approver) will be asked to confirm, on behalf of your department and institution, that:

  • you will be granted the period and proportion of time requested in the Duration and Timing section of the application form 
  • if replacement costs are requested, you will be in receipt of your normal salary during tenure of the award and the institution will provide such cover as set out in the Finance section of the form 
  • if research expenses are sought, this request has the support of the head of department/school and institution

The Trust strongly recommends that you submit your application for institutional approval at least five working days before the closing date.

Applicants will be informed of the result of their application in the April following their application.

Feedback on applications

Unfortunately, due to the large number of applications for this scheme, it is not possible to provide feedback to individual applicants regarding unsuccessful applications.

Current grant holders

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