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Faculty of Music

BA & Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellowships 2021-22

British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust

The British Academy will shortly open their prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowships scheme (3 years), with a national deadline expected to be in early October 2021.

We also host applications to The Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowships (3 years), for which we apply to the Isaac Newton Trust for matched funding on applicants’ behalf. Eligibility criteria for the two funders are different. Please check. Of the two, only the Leverhulme scheme allows for practice-based research.

We shall consider applicants for both schemes together, in mid-August.                                                                             

If you would like to apply through the University of Cambridge, please submit a draft application to the Faculty of Music by WEDNESDAY 11 AUGUST 2021. Applications will initially be scrutinised by the Faculty but the final decision as to whether we can host your application will be made at University level. We hope to send you news by mid-September. If you are successful in the University and Isaac Newton Trust competitions, we shall ask you to commit to applying through Cambridge, and we will work with you to refine your application for the national deadline(s).

The documentation we require for British Academy applications falls into two parts: i) a short-form application for the University's evaluation process; ii) a full-length draft application. If you are eligible for the Leverhulme scheme only, please submit just the documentation listed under (ii) below, and explain why in a cover note.

(i)    a document containing your name, the title of your proposed research project, and a research project description (maximum 750 words), addressing the following:

  • the research problem you are seeking to address, and why it is distinctive
  • the design and methodology through which your project will address this problem
  • how your proposed research will significantly change the established landscape
  • how you will complete your project within the three-year period of the award
  • why Cambridge is the right place to carry out the project

(ii)   a draft application consisting of the following:

  • an academic CV
  • a summary of your doctoral or other previous research in about 500 words
  • a research proposal of about 1500 words. This should be structured as shown below.

These documents should be supplied as Microsoft Word documents (not PDFs) emailed to the by WEDNESDAY 11 AUGUST 2021. You may also use this address for any general queries. In advance of the deadline you are advised to contact a potential mentor within the Faculty, to discuss your application.

Unless candidates reach the second round of the national competition, the British Academy allows applicants to make just one application during their period of eligibility. We would generally recommend applying in this round only if you will have passed your viva by September 2021; this is in part because in most cases the best informed referees will be your examiners (supervisors are not permitted to act as referees). The Leverhulme Trust does not restrict resubmissions.


Title of proposed research

Abstract of proposed research (about 200 words)
Proposed programme
Please give a detailed description of the research programme, including methodology. Applicants should be aware of the importance that assessors place on the viability, specificity and originality of the research programme and of its achievability within the timescale, which should be specified below under Plan of Action.
Planned research outputs
Please indicate here what the expected output(s) from your research programme might be. As appropriate, please state as follows: monograph, journal article(s), book chapter(s), digital resources, other (please specify). Details of your plans for publication should be stated under Plans for publication/dissemination below.

Plan of action
Please indicate here a clear timetable for your research programme over the three years of the Fellowship. Try to be as realistic as possible, but keep in mind that research programmes will develop over time and this plan of action is not something that is expected to account for every minute of the three years, and is not unchangeable. But your chances of award will be affected by the assessors' perception of how viable and realistic this plan is.

Plans for publication / dissemination
Please state in more detail here what plans you have for publication or other dissemination of your research, including potential publishers, journals, conferences etc. that are appropriate for your research subject.