Open access funding

Wellcome-funded researchers can access funds to cover open access publishing costs for research papers. 

How you get this funding depends on 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 may be used to cover:

  • Article Processing Charges (APCs) for original research articles published in fully open access journals or platforms.
  • APCs for Transformative Journals (from January 2021 to December 2024)
  • From January 2021 to December 2024, to contribute towards the publishing element of Transformative 'read and publish' Agreements, such as Springer Compact, Microbiology Society or Wiley.
  • Research/study protocols, systemic reviews, scoping reviews and meta-analyses. These 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, and
    • published in fully OA journals or platforms.

Read Wellcome's support for Open Access Publishing Models [PDF 139KB] for more information.

Note: where appropriate, eligible APCs costs should be split with other research funders, in line with the funders' relative contributions.

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
  • 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.

Contact us 

Contact us if you have a question about open access.

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