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Changes to Fellowship Scheme Presentation – Katherine Warren
AHRC Fellowships SchemeKatherine WarrenStrategy and Development Manager20 January 2012
Changes to the Fellowships scheme• Revised in line with AHRC’s Delivery Plan to enhance the development of research leadership• More flexible in the range of activities supported and length of award• Research excellence remains the core requirement• AHRC to work in partnership with researchers and their Research Organisations to develop leadership capacity and capabilities• Move away from ‘completion’ – projects at an earlier stage of development which will lead to substantial outputs
Changes to the Fellowships scheme• Move to longer and larger awards• Minimum duration of 6 months• Maximum duration of 18 months for standard route and 24 months for early career• Full economic cost of between £50,000 and £250,000• Annual budget remains at £8m but fewer, more prestigious awards will be made
Aims of the Scheme• To provide time for focussed individual research as well as collaborative activities• To support research projects which have the potential to generate a transformative impact on their subject area and beyond and/or are of exceptional intellectual scope and importance• To develop capacity for research leadership• To sustain and enhance research capacity on areas which may be under-supported• To support AHRC in delivering its strategic priorities and national capability needs
Additional aims for early career route• To develop the experience and capabilities of early career researchers in a crucial phase of their careers as they establish themselves and develop beyond doctoral and immediate post-doctoral work• To enable the production of high quality innovative research that moves significantly beyond doctoral projects• To provide opportunities to develop research management skills, including – where appropriate people management through supervision of a Research Assistant
Eligibility for the early career route• At the point of application, applicants must be: • within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training • OR within six years of their first academic appointment• In addition, they must have at least two years of post-doctoral experience in an academic/research environment or an equivalent level of professional/practice experience• These durations should exclude any period of career break (e.g. maternity leave, sick leave)• They must have an existing contract with the HEI
Time Commitment• Fellows can commit 100% of their time to a Fellowship for a maximum of 12 months• Awards over 12 months in duration must include a part-time element, during which the Fellow should be actively engaged with the research culture of the HEI (e.g. teaching, admin, research)• Time commitment may vary over the duration of the award, but the minimum average over the lifetime of the award must be at least 50% of their normal contracted hours• During periods of 100% commitment, no other activities are permitted with the exception of some post-graduate supervision
Collaboration• Proposal must outline both the individual research to be undertaken and the collaborative activities that will help to develop research leadership• For example: • research networking or similar activities • knowledge exchange activities • public engagement activities • interdisciplinary engagement • shadowing, placement or visiting roles • supervision of an Research Assistant • producing collaborative outputs
Leadership activities• Developing research leadership a key element of the scheme, a compelling case should be made• Leadership role should be commensurate with career stage but reflect on development opportunity• Some examples include: • providing intellectual leadership • shaping research agendas • developing emerging areas, methods, approaches • interdisciplinary collaboration • encouraging new partnerships, including international and non-academic
Research Organisation commitment• RO needs to demonstrate that it has been highly selective in the applications submitted• Provide evidence of commitment to career development before, during and after the Fellowship• Strong institutional support an important criterion• Head of Department statement required• Mentor statement for early career applicants
Assessment and Peer Review process• Proposals can be submitted at any time• Assessment process should take about 30 weeks• Start date should be no earlier than 9 months after submission and no later than 18 months• However, earliest start date is 1 January 2013• Proposals will be assessed by 3 peer reviewers• PI Response stage• Move to a single moderating panel which will look at proposals across all subject areas• At least 4 meetings a year
Additional information• AHRC will continue to use highlight notices to encourage applications in areas of strategic importance, national capability or emerging priorities• Fellows expected to work more closely with AHRC, by attending events for Fellows, participating in training and development activities, contributing to peer review etc• Do not propose to impose limits on the number of proposals submitted by HEIs but will keep this under review