November 15, 2022

How to apply

  1. As noted on the ‘What We Fund’ page, potential applicants are warmly encouraged and strongly advised to contact the Director, Andrew Orton, via email using for advice about applying to the Fund in advance of making any application.  Any queries about the application process should also be directed to the Director in the first instance.
  2. Each year, there will normally be one or two application deadlines. The next application deadline is noon on Wednesday 11th January 2023.
  3. When submitting any final application, applicants are asked to provide:
    1. A completed application form (find this here);
    2. curriculum vitae which should include details of (a) academic qualifications, (b) previous and current appointments, (c) research experience and publications, (d) the names of three referees, one of whom should have knowledge of the applicant’s commitment to engagement with the life of the Christian church;
    3. letter of support from a church leader or leader of a Christian organization in the North-East, indicating why this research is needed and how it is appropriately grounded in social, economic or pastoral issues identified by churches in the North East as relevant to their mission and ministry.
  1. All applications must consider any ethical issues that relate to their proposed research, and how these will be addressed.
  2. Before submitting an application, applicants are strongly encouraged (and in the case of postdoctoral fellows, are required) to make contact with an academic organisation to confirm they are willing to provide a supporting academic context for the research, which may include research facilities and office accommodation where required. Organizations which have acted in this role in the past include Newcastle University; St Chad’s College, Durham; St John’s College, Durham; and the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University. However, applicants are welcome to make their own suggestions about prospective host organizations, and the Director may be able to assist in making an appropriate suggestion of a suitable academic organisation for your proposed topic and project if required.
  3. Once completed, applications should be submitted in Microsoft Word format to:
  4. Decisions about which applications will be funded out of those that have been formally submitted are made by the William Leech Research Fund Management Committee in line with their procedures, and will normally involve an interview process for shortlisted applications.  We anticipate that interviews for this round of applications will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 26th January.  Applicants are advised to ensure that they leave sufficient time between the interview date and the proposed starting date so that, if appointed, all the necessary discussions and arrangements can be formalized in time. We aim to inform successful candidates within three weeks of the interview date.
  5. For details about how we treat applicants’ data, please see our privacy notice.  


  • Any awards made will be subject to terms and conditions set by the Management Committee of the William Leech Research Fund.
  • For those holding a full-time fellowship, formal approval from the Committee is needed to undertake other paid employment or duties.
  • Recipients will liaise regularly with the Director (who can provide support where required) and be required to submit periodic reports to the Management Committee, and to meet the Committee to discuss the progress of their work. They are also expected to share their work in an accessible way to those within churches and engaged in Christian social action, including producing a final report at the conclusion of their tenure.
  • We are actively seeking to build up the opportunities for sharing learning between those involved in different research funded by the William Leech Research Fund, so where possible we will encourage appropriate and ethical ways of sharing of findings and contacts between funded projects that support these cumulative networks and learning.