Open access funding

Wellcome-funded researchers can access funds to cover open access publishing costs for research articles, book chapters and scholarly monographs reporting original research funded by us.  

We will fund reasonable article processing charges (APCs) for research articles published in fully OA journals or platforms that are: 

We do not cover the costs of open access publishing in subscription journals. Grant applicants cannot ask for these costs in their grant application, and grant holders will not be allowed to use their grant funds to pay for these costs. 

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

How you get this funding depends on the type of publication and whether the organisation in which you’re based receives open access block grant funding.

Organisations in receipt of open access block grant funding 

What the block grant covers 

The funding can be used to cover: 

  • Article Processing Charges (APCs) for original research articles published in fully open access journals or platforms  
  • APCs for journals which have Transformative Journals status (until the end of December 2024) 
  • From January 2021 to December 2024, to contribute towards the publishing element of Transformative 'read and publish' Agreements, such as Microbiology Society or Wiley
  • Research/study protocols, systematic reviews, scoping reviews and meta-analyses. These written outputs are not included in our open access policy, but the funds can be used to cover APCs for these article types if they are: 
    • authored by Wellcome-funded researchers 
    • published in fully OA journals or platforms indexed by DOAJ.  

Read Wellcome's support for Open Access Publishing Models [PDF] for more information.

What the block grant doesn't cover 

The block grant doesn't cover:

  • other charges associated with publication, for example page and colour charges and non-open access publication fees
  • open access fees associated with publishing book chapters and monographs.

Open access spend 

Every year, we ask all organisations in receipt of an open access block grant to provide details about their open access publications and their associated article processing charges.

Organisations not in receipt of open access block grant funding 

If you’re at an organisation that doesn’t receive open access funding, please email the following details to

  • your current employing organisation
  • title of the paper
  • Wellcome grant reference number
  • journal title
  • proposed date of publication
  • cost of the open access fee.

How to request open access funding for monographs and book chapters 

Email the following details to

  • your current employing organisation
  • title of the monograph or book chapter and volume
  • Wellcome grant reference number
  • publisher name
  • proposed date of publication
  • cost of the open access fee.

We will supplement your research grant and your organisation will be able to claim reimbursement for these additional costs in the usual way.

We will also provide open access funding when a research grant has ended.

You can’t use this funding to cover any non-open access publication costs, including page and/or colour charges.

Getting funding for part Wellcome-funded papers 

The open access publication costs should be split proportionately in line with the funders’ relative contributions, where the research reported is:

  • funded by more than one funding agency that mandates open access
  • the funding agency provides funding for open access.

Organisations should charge the proportional costs to the appropriate funder.

If research funders don’t mandate open access, or if Wellcome is the lead funder on a piece of research, we’re willing to meet the full open access fee.


Updated in January 2024

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