Wellcome funding applicants
When you apply for a Wellcome grant, you need to tell us the role of each person involved in your application. Each role has different responsibilities.
What each applicant role does
A lead applicant is responsible for creating and submitting a grant application. They have intellectual ownership of the application and the project. When there are coapplicants, this intellectual ownership is shared. As the official ‘grantholder’ for the award, the lead applicant is formally accountable for:
- how grant activities are completed
- the financial management of the grant
- meeting Wellcome's grant conditions.
A coapplicant on a Wellcome grant application must:
- make a significant and essential contribution to the research proposal, for example designing the research, writing the application or managing the research project
- be able to contribute a minimum amount of their research time to the research project (the time a coapplicant is expected to contribute is different depending on the funding scheme they’re applying for)
- be based at an eligible organisation
- meet the call or scheme’s eligibility and suitability criteria.
Most projects don’t have coapplicants, either because they’re not needed or because the scheme doesn’t allow them. Only the Wellcome Discovery Awards scheme and some specific funding calls have coapplicants.
A lead applicant can give a guest editor access to their application form so they can help review and edit it. Guest editors can't submit applications.
A grant application sponsor must:
- be in an established position at the lead applicant’s administering organisation
- give the applicant research guidance during the application process and throughout the grant
- support the researcher’s development throughout the grant (the level of support the researcher needs depends on their career stage)
- have a strong track record in research, training and mentorship
- confirm the organisation’s support for the applicant.
A principal investigator is what we call a ‘lead applicant’ after they’ve been awarded a grant.
How many grants you can apply for, or hold, at the same time
There is a maximum number of grants a researcher can apply for, or hold, at the same time. The maximum number depends on the researcher’s career stage.
Early-career researchers should have, or be about to finish, a PhD or equivalent.
An early-career researcher can apply for, or hold, a maximum of 2 grants at once. You can only be a lead applicant on one of them.
You could be a:
- lead applicant on 1 Wellcome grant and a coapplicant on 1 other Wellcome grant
- coapplicant on 2 Wellcome grants.
Maximum number of grants an early-career researcher can apply for or hold
|1. Lead applicant and coapplicant option||1||1|
|2. Coapplicant-only option||0||2|
Mid-career researchers should be in the early stages of their independent research career.
A mid-career researcher can apply for, or hold, a maximum of 3 grants at once. You can only be a lead applicant on one of them.
You could be a:
- lead applicant on 1 Wellcome grant and a coapplicant on 2 other Wellcome grants
- coapplicant on 3 Wellcome grants.
Maximum number of grants a mid-career researcher can apply for or hold
|1. Lead applicant and coapplicant option||1||2|
|2. Coapplicant-only option||0||3|
Established researchers should be leading their own independent research programme.
An established researcher can apply for, or hold, a maximum of 4 grants at once. You can only be a lead applicant on a maximum of two of them. You could be a:
- lead applicant on a team project (team lead applicant) on 1 Wellcome grant, a lead applicant on an individual project (sole lead applicant) on 1 Wellcome grant and a coapplicant on 2 Wellcome grants
- team lead applicant on 2 Wellcome grants and a coapplicant on 2 Wellcome grants
- team lead applicant on 1 Wellcome grant and a coapplicant on 3 other Wellcome grants
- individual lead applicant on 1 Wellcome grant and a coapplicant on 3 other Wellcome grants
- coapplicant on 4 Wellcome grants.
Maximum number of grants an established researcher can apply for or hold
|Team lead applicant||Sole lead applicant||Coapplicant|
|1. Team lead applicant, sole lead applicant and coapplicant option||1||1||2|
|2. Team lead applicants and coapplicant option||2||0||2|
|3. Team lead applicant and coapplicant option||1||0||3|
|4. Sole lead applicant and coapplicant option||0||1||3|
|5. Coapplicant-only option||0||0||4|
Find out more about the people who can work on a Wellcome grant and the staff costs you can claim.