Environmental sustainability

As a research funder, it is important for us to consider the environmental impact of the research we fund.  

We will continue to update this page as we develop our activities, guidance and policies related to the environmental sustainability of research. 

What Wellcome is doing 

In 2022, we commissioned RAND Europe to identify existing tools and methods being used to measure and reduce the environmental impacts of health research.

We are also working closely with UKRI and other stakeholders to help draft the concordat on Environmental Sustainability in Research and Innovation.

Alongside the report and concordat, we are working on a comprehensive environmental sustainability policy for our grantholders.

We anticipate releasing this new policy by the end of 2023.

Current support for grantholders 

Continuing professional development policy

We support training on environmental sustainability in research.

Applicants can ask for up to £500 per person per year for career-based training for themselves, coapplicants and staff on the award who are staff in a post of 12 months duration or more and working on Wellcome funded awards for at least 50% full time equivalent.

This includes training on how environmental sustainability relates to research and how to use tools to assess the sustainability of the research.

Continuing professional development policy

Carbon offsetting for travel policy

We expect researchers to travel less and we support sustainable travel through our carbon offsetting for travel policy.

We expect the people we fund to:

  • minimise the number of journeys taken by using alternatives where possible (for example video conferencing)
  • choose travel that has a lower carbon impact, where practical
  • offset the carbon emissions of journeys they do make.

Carbon offsetting for travel policy

Open access policy

We support reducing wasted resources that arise from the unnecessary duplication of work.

We provide grantholders with funding to cover fair and reasonable article processing charges for articles published in fully Open Access journals or platforms that:

  • are indexed by the Directory of Open Access Journals and comply with the technical guidance and requirements set out by cOAlition S

and

  • have an agreement with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to deposit the Version of Record in PubMed Central (PMC) and allow that content to be shared with Europe PMC.

We also provide funds to support open access fees for monographs and book chapters.

Open access policy

Data, software and materials management and sharing policy

We support getting the maximum public benefit from the outputs of the research we fund.

Anyone applying for Wellcome funding must consider their approach to managing and sharing anticipated outputs at the research proposal stage. In cases where data, software or materials that will hold value as a resource for others in academia or industry will be generated, applicants will need to include an outputs management plan explaining their planned approach. We will review this plan when making our funding decision. We will fund any justified costs for delivering the plan as part of funding the research.

Data, software and materials management and sharing policy 

Contact us 

Contact our Funding Information Advisers if you have a question about funding.