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LITE Fellowships

Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) Fellowships provide the opportunity for colleagues across the University to carry out a project based on innovative teaching, scholarship or pedagogy.

LITE offers a range of fellowships which will differ according to timescale of delivery, scope of project and focus of research.

  • Accelerator fellowships provide funding in the form of a secondment of up to 0.8 full time equivalent (FTE) in total, which can be allocated to projects to be carried out between one to three years. These projects are targeted at supporting the delivery of the University's student education strategy demonstrating transformation and innovation in the curriculum and wider learning experience. They may be carried out by teams of up to three.
  • Commissioned fellowships are tailored towards a specified research area with clearly defined outcomes. The FTE and duration of the project will be specific to the project.
  • Professional services fellowship offer an opportunity for colleagues within the professional services to explore a project over 12 months at 0.2 FTE (equivalent to 1 day a week). Colleagues who are successful will be provided with a comprehensive range of support to help them carry out their research project including dissemination activity and generation of impact.

Fellows will also be expected to contribute to LITE’s scholarly community, provide content for digital and external-facing profiles and act as an ambassador at internal and external events.

Fellows will evaluate and disseminate their project outputs internally and externally to develop the practice, pedagogy and reputation of student education at the university.

Additional funding to support the delivery of the project is available.

Full details about the fellowships can be found in the candidate brief, at the bottom of the relevant job listing:

Accelerator Fellowship listing (Sept 2024 start).

Professional Services Fellowship listing (Sept 2024 start).

Please refer to the FAQs for further information and to watch back the recent Fellowship Briefing Sessions and Scholarship Ethics Cafe.

LITE Fellowships: Further Information and FAQs

About LITE Fellowships

What is a LITE fellowship? 

A LITE fellowship is an opportunity for colleagues at the University of Leeds to undertake a self-directed research project related to student education or the student experience. Those who are awarded a LITE fellowship have some of their working time paid for by LITE.  

Why should I consider a LITE fellowship? 

If you’ve identified a problem/question about student education and would like to better understand its causes and complexities – and generate impact through your findings and solutions – a LITE fellowship may be for you. 

Will there be opportunities for Professional Service staff to apply? 

Yes, all fellowship opportunities are open to professional service members of staff. In addition, the Professional Services Fellowship scheme is open only to professional services staff and provides additional support for those new to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 

If I work part-time, can I apply? 

Yes, with agreement from your current manager you can either have time bought out of your current role or work fellowship time in addition to your current role. 

How many fellowships will be awarded? 

We have a set budget for fellowships and will award as many as we can within this envelope. 


What types of fellowship can I apply for?

There are three kinds of fellowship: accelerator, commissioned and professional services. To find out which might be the right fit for you, take a look at the descriptions at the top of this page, we had a fellowship briefing session in April, catch up on the recordings below:

How do I apply for an accelerator or professional services fellowship?

You will submit a research proposal to support your application covering the following points:

  • What is your project about?
  • What is the theoretical pedagogy underpinning this proposal? (Accelerator fellowship applications only)
  • Why is the research important?
  • What change would you like to see?
  • How does this relate to wider Student Education strategy?
  • How will you carry out your research?
  • An approximate timeline for your project.
  • How will you involve students in the project? (Designs involving students as more than participants, e.g., as co-creators, research partners or co-producers are likely to be reviewed more favourably).

How do I apply for a commissioned fellowship?

A commissioned fellowship is offered when a service within the university invites applications from people interested in researching a pre-defined topic. To apply for a commissioned fellowship, you need to outline how you meet the essential criteria set out by the commissioner. Commissioned fellowships are not supervised but are self-directed projects with a pre-defined focus set by the commissioner. While you do not need to submit a project proposal, if you are selected for interview, you will be asked how you would design and undertake the research to fulfil the commissioner's brief.

Do I need to have approval for my fellowship?

Yes, applications will only be considered if they are submitted with approval from relevant stakeholders, e.g. Head of School, Head of Service and Line Manager.

How do I evidence this approval?

Your Head of School/Service or Line Manager (as appropriate) should download or make a copy of this form, complete it and return it to you. Please ensure you attach this to your application.

Do I need to have a contract covering the duration of the proposed fellowship?

Yes. Applicants must be employed in a substantive role at the University for the whole period of the fellowship.

When will applications open for LITE Fellowships in 2024?

Applications opened in Spring 2024, with a closing date of the end of June 2024. Successful applicants will start their fellowships in September 2024. Please refer to the relevant listing above the FAQs.

When will successful fellowships be announced?

We will aim to inform all successful applicants by the end of July 2024.

Can I start at a different time of year than September?

No, we have found starting at a different time of the year makes fellowships out of sync with the academic calendar and can have a negative impact on the success of the fellowship.


What kind of support can I expect from LITE?

As a LITE fellow you will become part of a supportive community with opportunities to engage with other fellows throughout the year. Within LITE, we have a small team who support over 50 fellows by, for example, acting as a sounding board for advice or feedback on research design, methods, outputs and dissemination, and getting involved in the research process. The support the team provides is not administrative, however. LITE organises regular progress meetings to hear updates from fellows and facilitates workshops on areas of the research process, e.g. research design and ethics. Research support provided by the LITE team should be acknowledged in accordance with the university Fair Attribution Guidelines.

Can I have a meeting to discuss my proposal idea?

LITE are providing a briefing sessions about the application process followed by the opportunity to discuss your proposal if required. You can find the briefing recordings further up this page, if you want to discuss you application further you can sign up to the follow up session on 14th May or 4th June.

Can I speak to previous fellows about their experience?

You can listen to fellows talk about their experience in the LITE Bites podcast. You are also welcome to reach out to fellows directly either through their fellowship pages or by posting in the LITE Community MS Team.

Briefing Sessions Recordings and Q&A

Please see links to the April 2024 briefings sessions recordings below. We strongly recommend that you watch the recordings for more detail on the schemes, and to listen to members of the LITE team respond to audience questions. We have also included some of the questions and responses in this FAQ section.

Accelerator Fellowships recording

Professional Services Fellowships recording (please note that the first part of this session wasn't recorded due to a technical issue. Please view the first part of the Accelerator session, where we covered much the same ground. Commissioned Fellowships are covered in both).

When will applications open for LITE Fellowships in 2025?

We have decided to open applications in November 2024, running until January 2025, to allow significantly more workload planning time for the relevant school/service.

Can you share tips on how to negotiate a buyout considering how busy our services/roles are and the need for services to maintain applicants’ expertise?

We understand that schools/services are busy, however a well-targeted LITE fellowship is likely to provide an evidence base to improve the school/service provision. Consider how you can frame a fellowship that will support the achievement of the school/service’s strategic aims. If starting in September 2024 will be challenging for you to negotiate buyout time, please consider applying for a September 2025 start. See the above question on the application window.

Do we need to have a literature review for the proposal?

We would expect applicants to have undertaken a review of the relevant literature to shape the project ahead of applying. A literature review is not considered to be an appropriate project milestone during the funded fellowship.

Is it possible to undertake a LITE fellowship if you're currently on secondment?

Yes, if the applicant has the support of their Head of School/Service. If the secondment will end during the proposed fellowship, it will be necessary to evidence support from the relevant Head of School/Service for both roles.

Can I apply for a fellowship to extend some work I have already started?

Yes, LITE fellowships are an excellent opportunity to develop, but not repeat, research that is already being carried out. More on this can be found in the briefing videos.

Do we need an ethics application done before we apply?

No, it is not a requirement for fellowships starting in September 2024. However, fellowship applications that are accompanied with evidence of having completed an ethics application will score more highly on the feasibility criterion. We have organised an ethics café on 20th May where you can find out more about the ethics process.

Which type of fellowship is best for collaboration between academic and professional services colleagues?

The accelerator fellowship should be applied to if requesting funding for both academic and non-academic staff.

When are commissioned fellowship project titles released?

Should we receive any commissioned fellowships from departments across the university, these will be advertised on the university jobs site at the end of May.

Do 'unfunded' team members need to be within Uni of Leeds, or could they be colleagues from another university?

Unfunded team members can either work at Leeds or another university.

If you are successful with a multi-year LITE award, and you successfully gain a grade promotion in that period, does the LITE fellowship fund expand to fit accordingly?


If we have very project specific questions in the future, can we contact someone via email?

Please come to the fellowship briefing follow up sessions on 14th May (10:00-12:00) or 4th June (14:00-16:00) and members of the LITE team will be available to discuss your specific questions in more detail.

If I have submitted an application as a member of a team, do all team members also need to apply?

Each member of a project team will need to submit an application via the jobs site. All members should upload the same research proposal and appendices (instructions on how to do this are included in the candidate brief) and statement of support from their own Head of School/Service.

What does it mean to ‘hold an Advance HE Fellowship’?

An Advance HE Fellowship is professional recognition for work in student education. There are different categories of fellowship suited to different (professional and academic) roles. You can find out more details about this on the OD&PL Student Education Development pages.

Scholarship Ethics Cafe

The Scholarship Ethics Cafe was held on 20th May 2024 to discuss common ethical issues and considerations relevant to pedagogic research. You can access the slides and the recording below.

Session slides (accessible to all at Leeds)

Session Recording (accessible to all at Leeds - please note that this does not include the workshop and Q&A elements of the session)