£900 million Future Leaders investment will sustain the UK as global home of research talent

21 June 2018

Business Secretary Greg Clark today unveiled a major new £900 million investment in the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships scheme.

The inaugural UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships scheme will receive £900 million over the next 11 years, with six funding competitions and at least 550 fellows awarded over the next three years. The investment will provide up to seven years of funding for early career researchers and innovators, including support for part-time awards and career breaks, providing flexibility to researchers to tackle ambitious and challenging research questions.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

We are a nation of innovators, with some of the world's greatest inventions created on British soil - from penicillin to the first computer programme. We want to retain our global reputation as a destination for world-class scientists and researchers by providing opportunities to find and nurture the next Ada Lovelace and Isaac Newtons.

I want the UK to remain the go-to destination for the best researchers and innovators and that is why we are investing in the rising stars of research and innovation to develop the new products and technologies of tomorrow.

Previous investment in new talent has funded research into new cancer drugs and developed critical technology which will bring us driverless cars. Today's announcement will build on this success and boost the pipeline of talent needed to build a Britain fit for the future. The money is part of the single biggest investment in science in 40 years, will help ensure the UK invests 2·4% of gross domestic product in R&D by 2027 and becomes the most innovative economy by 2030.

Chief Executive of UK Research & Innovation Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

Talented people are the energy and engine of new knowledge, new ideas and new opportunities. The long-term investment announced today means the UK will continue to attract and grow the very best, supporting those who want to solve the most difficult questions whether they are in frontier science, our evolving society or our changing economy.

More information is available on the UK Research & Innovation website - external link.