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Human Resources

Peer Review

The British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and The Royal Society cover a range of disciplines in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, social science and humanities for active researchers in academic, industry or government research institutions. Please see the full list of disciplines in the Home Office guidance.

There are two routes through which applicants can apply to be considered for endorsement: the Exceptional Talent route and the Exceptional Promise route.

Applicants should indicate on the application form under which category they are applying. Further details on these routes can be found below.

Exceptional Talent

Applicants for the exceptional talent route will only be eligible to apply if they meet all the mandatory eligibility criteria and at least one of the qualifying eligibility criteria.

Exceptional Promise

Applicants to the exceptional promise route will only be eligible to apply if they meet all the mandatory eligibility criteria.

Initial eligibility criteria

Exceptional Talent

Exceptional Promise

Mandatory

  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience;
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation supporting the Tier 1 application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim to be a leader in your field;
  • Meet one or more of the following Qualifying Criteria.

 

Qualifying

  • Be a member of your national academy or a foreign member of academies of other countries (in particular any of the UK national academies);
  • Have been awarded a prestigious internationally recognised prize;
  • Provide a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field. The dated letter must be written by an authorised senior member of the organisation, such as a Chief Executive, Vice-Chancellor or similar, on official paper.

Mandatory

  • Be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a university, research institute or within industry;
  • Have a PhD or equivalent research experience (including industrial research);
  • Provide a dated letter of personal recommendation supporting the Tier 1 application from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and your contribution to your field, and is qualified to assess your claim that you have the potential to be a leader in your field;
  • Be at an early stage in your career;
  • Have been awarded, hold, or have held in the past five years, a prestigious UK-based Research Fellowship, or an international Fellowship or advanced research post judged by the competent body to be of equivalent standing.

Assessment criteria

If you meet the initial eligibility criteria, your application will immediately go forward to experts in your field for a full assessment which will look at the strength of the evidence you provide against the following assessment criteria to determine whether your application demonstrates exceptional talent or exceptional promise.

Please note we will assess applicants based on the evidence they provide. It is at the UK Academies’ discretion to assess each application on its own merits and to grant endorsement.

Experts assigned to assess your application will be asked if there are any conflicts of interest and, if these exist, another expert will be asked to comment instead.

The assessment will look at: 

Exceptional Talent

Exceptional Promise

  • Whether you are the winner of a prestigious prize or award;
  • Whether you have secured significant funding for your work in the past ten years;
  • Whether you are regarded as a leader in your field.

 

  • Whether you have provided evidence sufficient to demonstrate that you have the potential to be a future leader in the field;
  • The level of additional funding secured during or following tenure of a relevant fellowship;
  • Whether you have provided evidence of a relevant prize or award for early career researchers;
  • The significance of your contribution to your field relative to your career stage.
  • Your strength of track record/career history (including your international standing, the significance of your publications, prizes and research funding awarded, patents, and the impact of past innovation activity, in a company, academia or as an individual);
  • The strength of the supporting statements in the letter of personal recommendation, and evidence in relation to qualifying criteria, including a written recommendation from a reputable UK organisation concerned with research in your field (if relevant);
  • The expected benefits of your presence in the UK in terms of the contribution to UK research excellence and to wider society, including potential economic benefits from exploitation of intellectual capital.
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