1. The Leech Fellowship offers both (i) one-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships and (ii) grants for shorter periods of up to one year of supported leave for established scholars or clergy on sabbatical leave, or for lay people with appropriate interests and experience. The William Leech Foundation warmly encourages applications for both kinds of grant. Consideration may also be given to other kinds of project that satisfy the Leech objects but do not fit directly under either of these categories.


  1. According to the Trust deed, ‘the objects of the Trust are the advancement of religion for the benefit of the public by the award of grants to support research and theological reflection on social, economic and pastoral issues of relevance to the mission and ministry of churches of the North East of England and to the communication of the Christian gospel in the contemporary context of the UK. The research will be undertaken in ways that involve engagement with the church community, and the useful findings of this research will be disseminated to the churches and the wider public.’


  1. The Leech Fellowship Management Committee is responsible for interpreting this remit, recommending appointments to the Trust, and supporting and monitoring the recipients of grants during their tenure.


  1. Grantholders are expected:
  • to have clear aims for the academic and non-academic outputs from their research;
  • to have explicit goals for what will have been achieved by the end of their tenure;
  • to have a strategy for disseminating the results of their work to the churches and the wider public, through project reports, publications, conferences or events, or other pathways to impact;
  • to be able to articulate the impact on the churches and society that they hope will arise from their research.


  1. In order to ensure that proposed research projects are appropriately grounded in social, economic or pastoral issues identified by churches in the North East as relevant to their mission and ministry, applicants are expected to include with their application a letter or statement of support from a church or Christian organization based in the region.


  1. Applicants are also encouraged to consider making a connection with a host organization in the North East, which can provide an academic and social context for the researcher. Organizations which have acted in this role in the past include:

Newcastle University

St Chad’s College, Durham University

St John’s College, Durham University

The Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University

However applicants are welcome to make their own suggestions about prospective host organizations. In the case of Post-Doctoral Fellowships, a host organization is a requirement of the post. The Management Committee is able to provide advice on appropriate links.


  1. One-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships are normally full-time, with remuneration equivalent to that of a university post-doctoral research position, plus an agreed contribution towards study, travel, engagement and dissemination expenses. Applicants should have suitable qualifications.


  1. Grants for periods of supported leave are designed to help cover accommodation, academic support and facilities, and study, travel, engagement and dissemination expenses. The total value of an award will usually be less than about £10,000. Support may be given either to those wishing to study and engage in the North East, or those already resident in the North East who wish to undertake relevant research elsewhere that will be disseminated on their return. Applicants intending to study outside the North East will need to satisfy the Committee about suitable hosts and facilities.


  1. Other financial arrangements will be considered if a suitable case can be made.


  1. In exceptional circumstances a Post-Doctoral Fellowship may be extended, up to a maximum total of two years.


  1. Recipients of grants are required to submit regular reports to the Management Committee, and to meet the Committee to discuss the progress of their work. They are also expected to produce a final report at the conclusion of their tenure.


  1. For those holding a full-time Fellowship, formal approval from the Committee is needed to undertake other paid employment or duties.


All enquiries should be addressed in the first place to leech.fellowships@btconnect.com.


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