If you are interested in applying for a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, please consider the Institute of Zoology (IoZ) as your host. 

This scheme requires significant host institution support, which IoZ will provide to support successful candidates.

The Institute of Zoology

The Institute of Zoology is an independent, not-for-profit research institute carrying out outstanding, high-impact conservation research. Our ~60 scientists work across a range of global challenge areas, including recovery of small populations; coexistence between people and wildlife; global biodiversity monitoring and mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

We are funded by Research England, the same body that supports universities. IoZ collaborates with 410 academic institutions in the UK and around the world, and we work with over 100 conservation organisations worldwide, with whom we translate our research into impact. Our key academic partners include University College London (UCL) and Royal Veterinary College (RVC), and we currently have projects across the UK and in >50 sites overseas. 

IOZ has an established record of excellence in research and impact, most recently evidenced by our performance in the Research Excellence Framework 2021. In a joint submission with UCL and Birkbeck, University of London, to the Biological Sciences unit of assessment (UoA5), 88.5% of our research outputs were judged as ‘world leading’ or 'internationally excellent' and 90.9% of our impacts were judged as having ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact.

Scientist in the Phillippines
Sarah Durant
IOZ has an established record of excellence in research

In addition to our international reputation for excellence in conservation science, we also aim to provide an inclusive, flexible, and supportive working environment for conservation scientists throughout their careers. In order to attract, promote, and retain diverse staff and students, we offer opportunities for progression, mentoring, and training, support Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) networks in the Science Directorate and ZSL, promote a variety of science communications and outreach, and provide support and resources on topics such as mental health and wellbeing, safeguarding, and bullying and harassment.

The unique position of IoZ as a Higher Education Institute within a conservation NGO brings a variety of benefits to its research and its translation into impact, as well as its education and public engagement activities. It also brings responsibility for increasing equity within the spheres of academia, science, and conservation.

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme supports early career researchers and innovators with outstanding potential, providing up to £1.5m support over four years, with the opportunity to extend for a further three years. This provides long-term, flexible support to enable those funded to tackle ambitious and challenging interdisciplinary research and innovation, while developing their own careers. Applications are welcome from those returning to research or innovation from a career break or following time in other roles. Fellowships may be held on a part-time basis. Information on this scheme can be found at UKRI_FLF.

It is strongly recommended that potential applicants carefully read the person specification and consider their fit to the scheme. Any offer of employment will be conditional on permission to work in the UK. 

IoZ group photo
Kirsty Kemp
The scheme supports early career researchers and innovators

How to express interest

Interested in putting a UKRI FLF round 8 application together with IoZ? If so, you will need to identify a permanent member of IoZ’s senior research staff (Professors and Senior Research Fellows) who will commit to sponsoring your application. The sponsor will write a 150-word statement supporting your application, highlighting the links and benefits to IoZ’s Business Plan.

Information about our staff can be found at IoZ Staff and PhD Students | ZSL.

Furthermore, the following information will need to be provided to by 10th April, 2023 by email, marked ‘UKRI FLF Round 8’

1.    A one-page research proposal describing the research area and its fit within the IoZ research strategy
2.    A 150-word statement from the named IoZ sponsor supporting your project
3.    A CV summarising your research achievements
4.    A budget of the planned UKRI contributions and anticipated IoZ contributions

Because the number of FLF applications we can support is limited, we will use this information to assess candidate suitability, and confirm with prospective FLF applicants whether or not we are able to host their application by 14th April 2023. If you are selected, IoZ will support the application submission, and expect a full draft science case of the proposal by the 20th June 2023 to meet the UKRI deadline of 4th July 2023. 

Evaluation criteria

•    Individual research excellence (incl. papers, awards and grants)
•    Quality of the proposal and financial statement
•    Level of interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity, and/or potential for research capacity growth (i.e., bringing complementary discipline coverage to IoZ)
•    How the proposed work will connect with different research groups/departments at IoZ/ZSL
•    Alignment with our business plan will be essential; applications targeting under-developed yet strategically important research areas will be particularly welcome
•    Contribution to supporting your institution’s academic community
•    Pathway to Impact


March 27, 2023 – UKRI open call
April 10, 2023 – Internal applications due to IOZ
April 14, 2023 – IoZ selection of two candidates
June 20, 2023 – Full proposal due to IoZ
July 4, 2023 – UKRI closing call