Jean Cater, Assistant Director
…. scholarships for
the purpose of
education and
research…..
Annual expenditure in
2011 = c. £55M across
some 15 funding
schemes, largely
funding research in the
UK higher education
sector, funding people
and their direct
research costs, not
overheads/FEC
William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925)
The Leverhulme Trust Board
 Clearly defined by the Will
 Nine members of Unilever senior management
from diverse, international backgrounds
 The Trust is, however, independent and
autonomous
 Decisive discussion: meeting four times a year
 Experience of spotting potential and quality
 Fashion resistant
 Reliance on expert peer review
Types of awards
Research Grants:
 Research Programmes: up to £1.75M, 2 or 3
themes chosen: Patronage, Conspiracies, Value –
for periods up to 5 years for research teams
 Research Project Grants: normally up to £250k
over 2 or 3 years, with the possibility to bid for up to
£500k for up to 5 years
= At least 75% for research staff salaries (research
assistants, postgraduate students) and up to 25%
on associated costs
Types of awards






Fellowships:
Study Abroad Studentships: 1 or 2 years for
postgraduate study/research abroad
Early Career: 3 years only, recent (up to 5 years)
postdocs, matching funding with host institution
Research: up to 2 years for established researchers,
£45,000, replacement costs/research expenses
Study Abroad: up to 1 year for academic staff,
£22,000, replacement costs/research expenses
Major Research: 2 or 3 years, for distinguished
researchers in humanities/social sciences, funding a
replacement post during the award
Emeritus: up to 2 years for retired academics,
£22,000, research expenses
Types of awards
Academic Collaboration:
 International Networks: normally up to £125k and up
to 3 years. Explicit justification for why a network
is the best mechanism for addressing the chosen
research theme
 Visiting Professorships: 3-10 months for distinguished
overseas academics to enhance the skills of the UK
host institution
Other schemes:
 Philip Leverhulme Prizes: six subject areas, up to
£70k for outstanding early-mid career scholars
 Arts Portfolio: Bursaries, Innovative Teaching, Arts
and Technology, Artists in Residence (contrasting
disciplines)
 Occasional exceptional awards: Research Leadership
to be launched again!
Distribution of funds 2010
RA A C A wards
4%
Research P ro ject A wards
2%
3%
18%
4%
7%
P ro grammes
M ajo r Research Fello wships
A rts B ursaries
6%
A cademy fello wships
Visiting P ro fesso rships and
Fello wships
P hilip Leverhulme P rizes
56%
Application processes
 Two-stage process for Research Project Grants,
International Networks, Arts Portfolio awards - c. 1000
Outline Applications received p.a. → peer review
decision = c. 12 weeks (c. 50% success rate)
 Positive recommendation → invitation to submit a
Detailed Application (3 deadlines p.a. – September,
December, March)
 Detailed applications submitted to peer review
(nominated and independent referees) → decisions by
Trust Board (c. 50% success rate)
 All other schemes have a one-stage application
process, normally annually, with decisions delegated to
expert panels
See www.leverhulme.ac.uk for exact timings
Other success rates
60
2008
2009
2010
50
% success rate
40
30
20
10
0
Research
St udy Abroad
St udy Abroad
Fellowships
Fellowships
St udent ships
Emerit us Fellowships
Early Career
Philip Leverhulme
Visit ing
Major Research
Fellowships
Prizes
Prof essorships
Fellowships
Disciplinary spread of awards
Sciences
Humanities
Evolution of portfolio of responsive mode grants
Social sciences
Percentage of awards made (%)
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Special attention is given to…
 The originality of the proposed work beyond incremental
development and beyond the immediate subject
 The removal of barriers between disciplines
 Providing support for the gifted individual: outstanding
talent, vision, intellectual curiosity, and the willingness to
take appropriate risks
 A refreshing departure from existing working patterns of
the applicant or discipline: fresh direction
 The responsive mode: the choice of topic lying with the
applicant in the vast majority of cases
To sum up…
 Quality: excellence of the project and the applicant
 Clarity of expression and methodology, clear strategy
for outcomes/dissemination
 Why the Leverhulme Trust? Could/would/should this
work be funded elsewhere?
 Importance and excitement of the research
 Original, creative research transcending traditional
boundaries
 Respect and reliance on robust peer review: choose
referees wisely!
 All disciplines are eligible, but the Trust avoids
assuming the tasks of other specialist agencies, e.g.
medicine and Government
 Responsive mode – 90% plus
Common errors…..
 The claim to status or significance measured purely
in metrics/”impact”/H-indices/institutional standing
 The supposition of a hidden agenda/quota system –
all eligible subjects are considered equally valid
 A disinclination to address the research
topic/question in transparent terminology – where
you are requested to do use language for the lay
person – avoid jargon!
 Lack of clear definition of the precise research idea,
why it is of interest, why and how the applicant is
qualified
Recent grants
 Insights from snakes into vertebrate visual evolution
 Towards detecting Earth-like alien worlds
 Women’s poetry 1400-1800 in English, Gaelic, Scots,
Scots Gaelic and Welsh
 The creation of a Europeanized elite in Russia
 Culture and time: a history of the calendar in Japan
before 1900
 Kant and the laws of nature
 Causes, health impacts and the mitigation of saline
intrusion in Bangladesh
 Kinetics of entangled-photon generation
Contact details
1 Pemberton Row
London
EC4A 3BG
Tel: 020 7042 9888
www.leverhulme.ac.uk
https://twitter.com/LeverhulmeTrust