Global Talent in Research and Academia
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Global Talent - Academic fields
Global Talent visa may be granted to leaders or potential leaders in research or academia in one of the following fields:
- social science
You have to be an active researcher in an academic, industry or government research institution.
To qualify for a Global Talent visa in Research and Academia you either have to be a winner of an eligible award or you need an endorsement from one of the approved endorsing bodies (see below).
No endorsement is required if you have an eligible award. You can go directly to Stage 2 of the Global Talent visa application process.
Endorsing Bodies in research and Academia
Eligible Global Talent routes in research and academia
- Academic appointment route – an eligible job offer as an academic or researcher
- An individual fellowship route
- Endorsed funders route – a research grant that is approved by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
- Peer review route – where none of the above is suitable – this will take longer than other applications for endorsement and cannot be fast tracked
Global Talent - Academic appointment route
For a Global Talent endorsement under the Academic or Research Appointment route you will need an eligible job offer from an approved UK Higher Education Institution or research institute approved by the Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering or British Academy. (GTE 8.2.(b))
The job has to involve either
- responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development
- responsibility for directing or leading an individual or team research project or programme of work, or an individual or team innovation project or programme of work
The “academic, research or innovation leadership and development” category is reserved for senior leadership roles at a departmental, faculty or institutional level. Typical duties, as described by the Royal Society, include strategy development and delivery and overseeing the management of staff and resources.
Typical positions include Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Dean, Associate Dean, Head of School or Research Institute Director.
The “direct of lead” category is for individuals whose role will require them to act independently in initiating, planning and managing a research or innovation project or programme of work without supervision.
An eligible job offer has to be as a leading academic, such as Professor, Associate Professor, Reader or Senior Lecturer or Senior Group Leader, or a principal investigator or senior researcher in a research institute or project.
If your role involves teaching and curriculum development, your endorsement application should confirm that directing or leading a research or innovation project or programme of works is a significant function of the role alongside your teaching responsibilities.
This route is administered by the British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
Institutions eligible under the academic and research appointments route
All UK Higher education institutions (HEIs) that can award degrees as defined by law are eligible.
In addition, the endorsing bodies list UK independent research organisations, research council institutes and public sector research establishments which are eligible for the scheme. The list can be checked here.
The list includes British Film Institute, British Library, British Museum, English Heritage, National Museums, National Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and many other organisations.
How to apply for an endorsement under Academic Appointments Route
For an endorsement in Global talent – Academic Appointment category you will need to confirm if you are applying on the basis of having accepted a position of responsibility for academic, research or innovation leadership and development, or on the basis of having accepted a job offer with a responsibility for directing or leading a research or innovation project or programme of work.
You are required to provide the endorsing body with the following documents:
- a full job description
- a statement of guarantee from the Director of Human Resources (or equivalent) at the organisation where you will work
The letter of guarantee has to confirm all of the following:
- the job title and department where you will work
- how the job you’ve been offered is eligible for this visa and list your leadership responsibilities
- confirmation that you have accepted the job offer
- that the position was advertised and the application process was an open competition (or if it was not, the reasons why)
- that you have provided at least 2 references
- that at least 3 academic, research or innovation representatives interviewed you for the role
- that at least one expert in your field was among the interviewers on the panel or consulted about your appointment before you were offered the job
Individual fellowship route
The lists on these websites are identical. They include a number of Postdoctoral fellowships, research fellowships and Career Development fellowships eligible for applications in “exceptional promise” category.
You will need written confirmation from an awarding body that you hold, or have held in the past 5 years, an eligible peer reviewed fellowship or award.
There are no additional requirements for an endorsement in this category.
Individual fellowship route is eligible for a fast track endorsement application.
Research grant from an endorsed funder
You are eligible for endorsement for a Global talent visa under the Endorsed Funder route if you provide critical contributions to work funded by an eligible research grant.
The research grant has to come from an endorsed funder approved by UKRI and you have to be hosted or employed in UK research organisation named on the UKRI published list. Your work has to be critical for the successful execution of the funded project.
This route is operated by UKRI who act as the endorsing body.
Endorsement application is fast tracked.
Endorsement requirements under a Reserach Grant route
To be eligible, you must either:
1. direct independently, or under the supervision of a Principal Investigator, a unique research or innovation project and meet all the following requirements:
- have a PhD qualification or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research); and
- actively participate in a relevant field in a University, research institute or industry; and
- have your name or post listed on the grant or award as the Principle or Co-investigator, Researcher Co-investigator, Post-doctoral researcher or Research Assistant, or an equivalent position acceptable to UKRI;
2. make critical contributions to research by providing core technical or domain excellence or in developing new technologies and methodologies and meet both the following requirements:
- have a UK bachelor’s degree or equivalent overseas research degree or equivalent research experience (including industrial or clinical research); and
- have research experience within a University, Research Institute or Industry.
You will need at least 1 year remaining on your employment contract or hosting agreement with a UKRI approved research organisation and a grant from an endorsed funder for at least £30,000 covering a minimum of two years.
The grant has to be won in an open competition or attributed to a renewable award which is subject to periodic peer review.
At least 50% of your time has to be spent working on the project and your participation has to be essential for its execution.
Peer review - endorsement application
If you are not eligible for endorsement under academic appointment, individual fellowship or research grant route, you may apply for an endorsement via the Royal Society, British Academy or Royal Academy of Engineering for an endorsement relying on peer review assessment of your career.
There are two alternative sets of criteria – under Exceptional Promise route (for potential leaders) and under Exceptional Talent route (leaders). Both lead to expedited settlement after three years of residence but the requirements under the Exceptional Promise route are slightly less onerous.
Peer review - Exceptional Promise (Potential Leader)
- PhD or equivalent research experience;
- A letter of personal recommendation from an eminent academic resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and is qualified to assess your potential to become a world leader in your field;
- You have to be at an early stage of your career;
Peer review - Exceptional Talent (Leader)
- You have to be an active researcher in a relevant field, typically within a University, research institute or within industry;
- Have a PhD or equivalent research experience;
- Have a letter of personal recommendation from an eminent person resident in the UK who is familiar with your work and contribution in your field who is qualified to assess your claim to be a world leader in your field;
- A letter from an additional eminent person in your field who is a senior member of a reputable UK organisation confirming their assessment of your research work and your claim to be a world leader in your field, and setting out how they would expect you to contribute to research and innovation excellence in the UK.
Peer review assessment will take into consideration:
- whether you are a winner of any prestigious prizes or awards;
- whether you have secured significant funding for your work in the past ten years;
- whether you are regarded as a leader in your field;
- strength of the supporting statements;
- expected benefits of your presence in the UK in terms of contribution to the UK research and to wider society.
Meeting the requirements will not mean that the application for endorsement will be approved. It will be at the discretion of the endorsing body considering the strength of the application.
Endorsement applications under the Peer Review route cannot be fast tracked.
Last updated on 13 June 2023