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Leverhulme International Professorships

To help maintain the UK’s international standing as a desirable research destination that is open to talented individuals from all countries

Applications are encouraged from universities seeking to recruit excellent research leaders of any nationality, currently working outside the UK, in order to fill strategically important positions in this country. The Trust has allocated at least £100 million over five years to fund these grants. Grants are for a period of five years with up to 10 grants being made in the first round of the competition. Each UK university is permitted to make only one bid per round. 

It is expected that the university: 

  • will offer permanent appointments to staff appointed on these grants and/or
  • will offer an ongoing package of support after the end of the grant.
Value

Up to £5 million for staff salaries and associated costs.

This figure should not be considered as a target and bids that do not request the maximum sum available will be considered on an equal footing with those that do.

Duration

Professorships will run over a period of 5 years.

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

Eligibility

Eligible institutions are universities in the UK.

There are no restrictions on nationality of the professorial candidate but they must be working outside the UK at the time of application.

Applications cannot be made retrospectively. Universities are expected to be actively engaged in the recruitment process at the time of the grant. Where an employment contract has already been signed, the candidate cannot be considered in this competition.

Topics

The Trust invites applications for professorial candidates who will conduct research of outstanding originality and quality, and by their appointment, also contribute significantly to the university’s strategic aims and objectives. This may be an appointment to consolidate or reshape an existing area or field of study or to allow the university to branch out into new areas or disciplines. Applicants are therefore invited to be bold in compiling their bids.

Proposals are welcome in any research area, with the exception of the following: 

  • studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals*
  • research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications*
  • policy-driven research where the principal objective is to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives
  • research where advocacy is an explicit component
  • research aimed principally at an immediate commercial application
  • proposals in which the balance between assembling a data bank or database and the related subsequent research is heavily inclined to the former

*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

Up to £1 million per annum is available for 5 years.

Salaries

At least 75% of the resources requested must be used to provide funding for staff. This may include:

  1. Salary for the professorial candidate
    Up to £250k p.a. may be requested to support the salary package of the candidate. Any additional remuneration is the responsibility of the recruiting university.
  2. Salaries for research staff
    This can include academics, research assistants and postgraduate students relocating as part of the team and/or those that will be recruited locally.
Associated research costs

This includes technical, administration or computing staff costs or services, travel and subsistence, consumables, up to a maximum of 25% of the total budget.

Exceptionally, items of equipment may be included up to a total value of £250k.

Associated costs

These may be distributed unevenly across the five years to allow for front loading of expenditure.

Please note that the Trust does not make grants on a full economic costing basis.

How to apply

Each UK university is permitted to make only one bid per round. 

Once a university has selected their chosen candidate, they should provide the Trust with the applicant’s name, departmental affiliation and email address. Access will then be granted to 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.

Applications must be completed by the responsible academic in the UK host institution, usually the PVC or DVC Research or equivalent.

The UK host applicant is expected to take responsibility for the administration of the grant and provide annual progress reports to the Trust.

As part of the application process Institutional Approval of the content is required, including the finances requested by the organisation. This approver may not be the Principal Applicant. 

The Trust will report results to applicants by the end of October 2020.

Where necessary, expert advice will be sought in confidence from senior academics, although the Trust Board itself will be responsible for making final decisions. 

Universities that secure a Professorship will then negotiate final details with the individuals concerned. It is expected that grants will start within 24 months of the award date. Where no agreement can be reached in practice, grants will lapse and funds will revert to the next round of the competition. 

Universities should also be aware that if the Professor leaves the university within the 5-year grant period, it should not be assumed that grants can be transferred to another UK university, or that funds can be retained by the university if the professor moves outside the UK. Further to this, where more than 25% of Associated Costs have been spent in the early years of an grant, funds may be required to be repaid. 

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Contact
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EC4A 3BG
General enquiries
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