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, global heating and infectious diseases.   

Find out what this means for you.  

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. 

New discovery research schemes 

Our three new discovery research schemes will enable researchers to generate new health-related insights, tools and technologies.  

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

They will support: 

  • early-career researchers who want to develop their research capabilities (from project design to delivery), carry out innovative research, advance understanding in their field, and build links with other researchers  
  • mid-career researchers who want to develop their independence and leadership skills, run their own research programme or project, and make a key contribution to their field 
  • established researchers and teams who want to pursue bold and innovative research, tool or technology development. 

They will be open to:  

  • applications from any discipline – including science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), clinical research and experimental medicine, and humanities and social science – as long as the research is related to health 
  • applicants based in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries, and applicants from the rest of the world if applying as part of a team. 

We will publish more details, including the criteria and eligibility for the new schemes, in early 2021. We will not be able to answer individual queries about our new schemes until then.  

The new schemes will open for applications in summer 2021. 

Keep up to date with funding opportunities

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

Mental health, global heating and infectious disease 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.  

Related content