Researcher development

We continually invest in academic talent and provide an environment that enables our researchers to thrive and succeed. 

Crucible programme

We run the Crucible Programme at Leeds which is designed as a development programme for early career academics. Participants are sought from across the University to break down barriers between disciplines. Time and space away from the ‘day job’ allows people to develop novel ideas and methods. External speakers are invited to provoke challenge-led research ideas using creative thinking approaches. 

The outcomes are wide-ranging and include:

  • developing new research skills
  • gaining experience of commercialisation
  • collaborating with new partners to enable novel research projects, new publications and becoming involved in national committees. 

University Academic Fellows (UAFs)

We have recently recruited 180 University Academic Fellows (UAFs). These are future research leaders who follow a structured five year development and induction programme leading to a permanent position at the level of Associate Professor and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. 

Future Leader Fellows

The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships is a new initiative to grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure a vibrant environment for research and innovation in the UK. Of the latest 78 Future Leader Fellows, five of them were from the University of Leeds.

They are:

Dr Laura Carter from the Faculty of Environment; Dr Richard Mann from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Dr Izzy Jayasinghe, Dr Laura Dixon and Dr Karen Michelle Davies, all from the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

They will focus on bolstering resilience by examining risks and adaptability for plant and soil systems, understanding community interactions and developing new technology to better understand our changing environment.

They join three other Leeds academics:

Dr Lauren Gregoire, Dr Katie McQuaid and Dr Alexander Valavanis, who were appointed as Fellows in the first cohort. 

Research leaders

Through our ‘top performers’ scheme, we recruit academics who excel in their field, are recognised for their first-rate research reputation and lead research groups or institutes.

These research leaders share our commitment to solving global problems and are instrumental in growing key research areas. In addition, they often chair prestigious committees, research council panels or editorial boards and provide professional guidance by being trustees or members of external bodies.

Some of our research leaders include Professor Alejandro Franji, Diamond Jubilee Chair in Computational Medicine and Professor Helen Gleeson, Head of Physics.

Vibrant PhD community

Our Doctoral College creates a real sense of community and shared endeavour among our 3,000 postgraduate researchers. It brings together support and opportunities to enhance the postgraduate experience at Leeds. The College runs regular events including an annual showcase event, the Three Minute Thesis competition and research nights.

At a local level, we have graduate schools within our faculties; they provide training and host conferences, seminars and social events for research students.