How our funding schemes are changing

The way we fund research is changing to support our new strategy, which aims to support science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. 

We'll support discovery research in any discipline through a simplified set of funding schemes designed to encourage a broad range of applications. And we're taking on three global health challenges – mental health, infectious disease and climate and health.

Find out what this means for you.

New discovery research schemes 

Our three new discovery research schemes enable researchers to do bold and creative discovery research that has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing.

The new schemes are designed to give researchers more freedom, time and resource to pursue their ideas and build a better research culture.

  • Wellcome Early-Career Awards – for early-career researchers who are ready to develop their research identity. Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.
  • Wellcome Career Development Awards – for mid-career researchers who have the potential to be international research leaders. They will develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.
  • Wellcome Discovery Awards – for established researchers and teams who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

The schemes are open to applications from any discipline, including:

  • science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • humanities and social science
  • clinical/allied health sciences
  • experimental medicine
  • public health.

We fund applicants based in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries, and coapplicants from the rest of the world if applying as part of a team.

The research must have the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing, and align with our funding remit .

The new schemes will open for applications in late summer 2021.

Webinar about our new schemes 

Watch a recording of the webinar that took place on Monday 12 April 2021.

Current schemes 

Our current funding schemes will close during 2021. Most will be open for one or two more application rounds, depending on the scheme. Check the relevant scheme pages for application deadlines.

If you’re currently funded by Wellcome, your grant will remain in place for its agreed duration.

If your grant is ending soon, or you're new to Wellcome, and you want to apply for one of our current schemes, check the relevant scheme pages for guidance and deadlines.

Keep up to date with funding opportunities

Sign up for our Research Update newsletter to receive the latest funding updates.

Mental health, infectious disease and climate and health programmes 

Each health challenge programme will fund research and other activities in any country according to its goals and defined set of outcomes. This may be through directed funding or through one-off open calls from time to time.

We'll provide more information as our strategy for each programme develops.

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