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Wellcome Trust Innovator Awards

Important update: The Welcome Trust foundation is changing their funding schemes. The current Innovator Awards has closed to applicants and in August 2021 the new Discovery Research Scheme will open with three different awards.

On this page:

  • Wellcome Trust Discovery Research Scheme
    • Early Career Awards
    • Career Development Awards
    • Discovery Awards
  • Wellcome Trust Innovator Award (Deadline expired)

Wellcome Trust – Discovery Research Scheme

Wellcome Trust will launch a new scheme from August 2021. Here is some general information about the Discovery Research Scheme.

The awards will fund fundamental research projects that are bold, with a significant impact to improve human life, health, and wellbeing. The approach has been simplified and provides researchers with more flexibility and freedom to perform their research, with longer project duration, and extensive resources (no maximum budget). Applications should be targeted at broad research lines with larger impact and not just based on one research project.

Their aim is to have a broader reach, touch upon more research fields and different disciplines including:

  • Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • Humanities and social science
  • Clinical/allied health sciences
  • Experimental medicine
  • Public health.

Wellcome Trust has included three global health challenges as part of their strategy, that will be tackled other the years: infectious disease, mental health and climate and health.

All calls will be open to applicants based in the UK, Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries. For all calls, it will be possible to apply as a single applicant, or as a team including interdisciplinary research. This will depend on the resources and expertise needed for the projects.

Wellcome Trust will aim to open 3 rounds per year, but for 2021, there will only be one deadline in autumn. Applications will be short-listed and then invited for final interviews.

There will only be 3 awards (detailed in the next tables):

  • Early-Career Awards
  • Career Development Awards
  • Discovery Awards

In the future, Wellcome trust aims to fund areas that require extra resources. In addition, they want to develop a strategic approach to supporting funded centres and enabling research infrastructures.

Summary:

Wellcome Trust will launch a new scheme from August 2021, which includes 3 different awards (Early-Career, Career Development and Discovery Awards). The awards will fund bold fundamental research projects with a significant impact to improve human life, health, and wellbeing. The new approach has been simplified and provides researchers with more flexibility and freedom to perform their research, with longer project duration, and extensive resources (no maximum budget). Applications should be targeted at broad research lines with larger impact and not just based on one research project. For the next years, they expect to have 3 rounds per year.

 


Wellcome Trust: Early-Career Awards

Subsidy: Budget includes salary and up to £400,000 for research expenses

Deadline: Call will open in August 2021

Deadline: November 2021

Decision: May 2022

Funding rate: 100%

Project duration: Up to 5 years

Consortium: Researcher should hold a PhD and have worked as a postdoc for a maximum of 3 years. The applicant should have a sponsorship from a host organisation (research institute, higher education institution, not-for-profit organisation) based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or low- and middle-income country (LMIC).

Scope: The Early-Career Awards is aimed at early-career researchers from any disciplines who are ready to start-up their own research project, with the potential to improve human life, health, and wellbeing. The project should aim to:

  • Advance understanding in the field
  • Develop methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research
  • By the end of the award, applicant should have the experience to develop, manage and lead a creative, independent research programme

Visit the Wellcome Trust Early Career Award page

 


Wellcome Trust: Career Development Awards

Subsidy: No maximum budget. (Projects should be bold but realistic. Salary will not be covered for researchers with a permanent contract.)

Deadline: Call will open in August 2021

Deadline: November 2021

Decision: May 2022

Funding rate: 100%

Project duration: Up to 8 years

Consortium: Researchers should already be driving their own research and have contributed to the area of research. Researchers can hold a permanent position within the host organisation for less than 3 years to be eligible.

The applicant should have a sponsorship from a host organisation (research institute, higher education institution, not-for-profit organisation) based in the UK, Ireland or low- and middle-income country (LMIC).

Scope: The Career Development Awards is aimed at mid-career researchers from any disciplines who are ready to lead a substantial and innovative research programme. The project should aim to:

  • Generate significant shifts in understanding in the field
  • Develop methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research

By the end of the award, the researcher should have achieved international standing in the field of research.

Visit the Wellcome Trust Career Development Award page

 


Wellcome Trust: Discovery Awards

Subsidy: No maximum budget. (Projects should be bold but realistic. Salary will not be covered for the lead applicant.)

Deadline: Call will open in August 2021

Deadline: November 2021

Decision: May 2022

Funding rate: 100%

Project duration: Up to 8 years

Consortium: The lead applicant should be an experienced researcher, with international exposure, and a track record of managing and training others.

The lead applicant can apply as the sole applicant or as the lead applicant for a team (consisting usually of 2 to 8 applicants).

The lead applicant should have a sponsorship from a host organisation (research institute, higher education institution, not-for-profit organisation) based in the UK, Ireland or low- and middle-income country (LMIC) and hold a permanent contract.

The co-applicants can be at any career stage and based anywhere in the world in an eligible organisation (research institute, higher education institution, not-for-profit organisation, commercial organisation). Co-applicants should contribute at least 20% of their research time to the project.

Scope: The Discovery Award is aimed at established researchers and teams from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

The research can be in a single discipline or multidisciplinary, and an award can be held by an established researcher or a team of researchers led by an established researcher.

Visit the Wellcome Trust Discovery Awards page

 


Wellcome Trust Innovator Award

The Innovator Award May 2021 round is closed. Results will be shortlisted in August 2021 and the final decision is expected in September 2021.

Full application deadline: 24 May 2021

Shortlisting: August 2021

Funding decision: September 2021

Consortium: Researchers (individuals and teams) from not-for-profit and commercial organizations can apply. Organizations can be of any size, based anywhere in the world. Can be single applicant or with partners. There are no limits to this call in terms of group size.

Scope: These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health. You can work in any scientific discipline, including a discipline outside life sciences. You can work on any type of technology. The work that you propose must be essential for developing your healthcare innovation. Examples of technologies include:

      • Therapeutics (small molecules or biologics)
      • Vaccines
      • Devices
      • Diagnostics
      • Digital technology
      • Regenerative medicine.

 

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About Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is an independent foundation, founded by, Sir Henry Wellcome, a medical entrepreneur. Up to now, Wellcome Trust has invested £26.8 billion and plans to invest £5 billion in the next 5 years helping people across the world explore great ideas.

The Wellcome Trust funds research through many different grants, including funding for individuals, teams, resources, seed ideas, places and major initiatives in multiple research areas:

    • Biomedical science
    • Population health
    • Product development and applied research
    • Humanities and social science
    • Public engagement and creative industries.

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