Climate Change and Health Awards (Closed)

This funding supports researchers who want to explore the links between people’s health and a changing climate. 

Scheme at a glance 

This scheme is now closed

Administering organisation location:
UK, Republic of Ireland, Low- or middle-income countries, Rest of the world
Funding amount:

£100,000 to £500,000 (up to £1 million in exceptional circumstances)

Funding duration:

Up to 3 years

Who can apply

Climate Change and Health Awards are open to researchers who want to better understand the links between climate change and people’s health.

The awards are open to individuals or teams of up to ten members from anywhere in the world. 

You can apply if you’re based at:

  • an academic research organisation
  • a not-for-profit or government body
  • a private sector organisation.

Focus areas

To be eligible, your proposal must focus on at least one of the following areas:

1. Developing tools, data sources and other resources to support research into climate change and health 

To advance research into the links between climate change and health, it’s important that researchers working across different disciplines and in different locations have access to high-quality tools, data sources and other resources.

Examples of activities we’ll consider include (but are not limited to): 

  • creating modelling tools to understand more about the links between climate change and health
  • building, or establishing links between, datasets for climate change and health research
  • translating, digitising and/or updating existing research and resources 
  • producing or validating metrics that offer robust ways to track and evaluate the links between climate change and health.

Resources must be made openly available at the end of the funding. They should be applicable to a broad range of researchers carrying out climate and health research.

2. Assessing the health co-benefits of actions to mitigate climate change 

A growing number of studies have shown that actions to mitigate climate change can directly benefit people’s health (ie they have ‘health co-benefits’).

For example, policies that encourage walking and cycling rather than driving will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, these policies benefit health by improving air quality, increasing physical activity and reducing car crashes. Such insights can help inform climate change mitigation actions.

We are interested in proposals that assess how existing or hypothetical climate change mitigation actions could benefit health. These benefits could be expressed in health terms, monetary terms, or in other ways.

Mitigation actions can apply to any sector, including energy production, transportation, architecture, urban design and food systems. 

Proposals can focus on one or more mitigation actions, anywhere in the world.

3. Assessing the health impacts of actions to adapt to climate change 

Climate change poses many threats to human health, from severe weather and infectious disease risks to disrupted food systems and population displacement. To manage these threats, we’ll need to adapt to climate change in many areas, including infrastructure, governance and technology.

Assessing the health impacts of adaptation actions – such as early warning systems for extreme weather, or drought-tolerant crops – is still an emerging field. 

We’re especially interested in proposals that evaluate the health impacts of existing adaptations, rather than hypothetical ones. 

Proposals can focus on one or more adaptation, anywhere in the world.

Your proposal

We will review:

  • the vision and scope of your proposal, including the aims, methods and strategic importance of your work to the field of climate change and health 
  • previous activities, knowledge or learning on which your proposal will build 
  • the qualifications and track records of team members, relative to their career stage 
  • the feasibility of your proposal
  • whether your budget is justifiable and appropriate for your proposed activities.

We especially welcome proposals that do one or more of the following:  

  • focus on low- and middle-income countries, where the risks of climate change are highest
  • encourage collaboration among different research disciplines
  • yield policy-relevant evidence that can help drive change. 

You may ask for funding of up to £500,000 for up to three years.

In exceptional circumstances, we may award up to £1 million. This funding will be for projects that have the potential to bring about major change. If you plan to submit an award above £500,000, please discuss it with the Our Planet, Our Health team first. 

Your costs should be justifiable and appropriate for your proposed activities.

Our support includes:

    • We will cover the salary costs of all staff, full or part time, who will work on your grant. Staff members may include research assistants, technicians and consultants employed on your grant.

      If you hold an academic or research post but have to get your salary from external grant funding, you can ask for costs to cover this. Your employing organisation must confirm that:

      • your salary must come from external grant funding
      • the amount of salary you're asking for is proportionate to the amount of time you will spend on the grant.

      Your organisation must provide this information with your full application form.

      • Staff salaries should be appropriate to skills, responsibilities and expertise. You should ask your host organisation to use their salary scales to calculate these costs, which should include:

        • basic salary
        • employer’s contributions, including any statutory obligations (eg National Insurance contributions if you’re based in the UK) and pension scheme costs
        • Apprentice Levy charges for UK-based salaries
        • any incremental progression up the salary scale
        • locally recognised allowances such as London allowance.

        You should allow for salary pay awards during Year 1. These should be based on pay awards already agreed: if you don’t know what the pay award is yet then use our inflation rate.

        From Year 2 onwards, you should use your organisation’s current pay rates. We’ll provide a separate inflation allowance for salary inflation costs.

        Find out more about people working on a Wellcome grant.

        We may make a contribution towards the salary of departmental technicians funded by Research England and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will need to provide a full audit record of their time on your project.

    • Visa and work permit costs

      If you have named people on your grant whose salaries will be funded by Wellcome, you can ask for visa or work permit costs to help them take up their posts at the host organisation. You can also ask for:

      • visa costs for the person's partner and dependent children
      • essential associated costs, such as travel to attend appointments at a visa application centre or embassy if you can justify these
      • Immigration Health Surcharge costs for the person, their partner and dependent children if they will be in the UK for six months or more.
  • We will pay for the materials and consumables you need to carry out your proposed research, including:

    • laboratory chemicals and materials (eg reagents, isotopes, peptides, enzymes, antibodies, gases, proteins, cell/tissue/bacterial culture, plasticware and glassware)
    • associated charges for shipping, delivery and freight
    • project-specific personal protective equipment (PPE) that is above the standard expected for the setting.
  • Equipment purchase

    You can ask for smaller items of equipment that are essential to your proposed project. Costs may include purchase, delivery, installation, maintenance and training, where necessary.

    If you want to request larger items, please contact us before applying.

    We will cover VAT and import duties if:

    • the usual UK exemptions on equipment used for medical research don’t apply
    • you’re applying from a non-UK organisation, and you can show these costs can’t be recovered.

    Equipment maintenance

    We will cover maintenance costs for equipment if:

    • you are requesting it in your application
    • it is existing equipment that is:
      • funded by us or another source
      • essential to the proposed research project
      • more than five years old
      • cost effective to keep maintaining it.

    We won’t cover maintenance costs for equipment if there is a mechanism in place to recoup these costs through access charges.

    Computer equipment

    We will cover the cost of one personal computer or laptop per person up to £1,500.

    We won't pay for:

    • more expensive items, unless you can justify them
    • installation or training costs.
  • You can ask for the cost of access to shared equipment or facilities if they’re essential to your research project. These may include materials and consumables, plus a proportion of:

    • maintenance and service contracts
    • staff time costs for dedicated technical staff employed to operate the equipment or facility.

    We don’t cover the costs of:

    • estates and utilities
    • depreciation or insurance
    • other staff eg contributions towards departmental technical, administrative and management staff time.

    If the facilities or equipment were paid for by a Wellcome grant, you can only ask for access charges if:

    • the grant has ended
    • any support for running costs and maintenance contracts has ended.
  • We cover research management and support costs if:

    • your host organisation is in a low- or middle-income country and your grant will be directly awarded to that organisation


    • your host organisation is a small charitable and not-for-profit organisation with an annual gross income of less than £1 million in the last financial year


    • part of your grant will be sub-contracted to an organisation in a low- or middle-income country.

    We don't cover these costs if your host organisation will include the sub-contracted funding in its annual report to the UK Charity Research Support Fund.

    They can include:

    • training costs, eg transferable skills and personal development training for you and any other people employed on your grant
    • costs for short-term professional training for administrative, technical and support staff
    • administration, eg grant management, technical and administrative services
    • other costs which are necessary for your research, eg computing and internet access costs, access to electronic resources, facility and running costs such as utilities, furniture, waste disposal and incineration, and building maintenance.

    The total research management and support costs should not be more than 20% of the direct research costs you're requesting.

    See a list of low- and middle-income countries.

    How to apply for these costs

    You must:

    • give a full breakdown of costs in your grant application form (you can't ask for a percentage of the research costs)
    • explain why these costs are necessary for your research
    • include a letter from the finance director of your host organisation with your application, confirming that the breakdown is a true representation of the costs incurred.
    • Travel costs

      Collaborative travel

      You can ask for travel and subsistence costs for collaborative visits for you and any research staff employed on your grant. You’ll need to justify each visit and its duration.

      Conference attendance

      You can ask for a contribution towards the costs of attending scientific and academic meetings and conferences, including registration fees and the costs to offset the carbon emissions of your travel. The limits are:

      • All applicants named on your grant – £2,000 a year
      • Staff employed on your grant – £1,000 each a year.

      You’ll need to specify the amount you’re requesting for each person.

      You can also ask for costs to cover caring responsibilities if you or any staff employed on your grant attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:

      • Wellcome is paying your salary
      • the conference is directly related to your research
      • the caring costs are over and above what you'd normally pay for care
      • the conference organiser and your employing organisation are unable to cover the costs.

      You can ask for up to £1,000 per person for each conference.

      Other travel

      We will pay for other essential visits, for example to facilities, for sample collection and for fieldwork. You can include subsistence costs.

      Carbon offset costs

      This is a new policy. It applies to all types of travel costs Wellcome provides.

      You can ask for:

      • the cost of low carbon travel where practical, even if it's more expensive (for example travelling by train instead of flying)
      • project-related resources or activities that provide an alternative to travel, such as video conferencing, communication and file-sharing software
      • costs to offset the carbon emissions of the journeys you make.

      We won't pay for the core infrastructure that your host organisation should provide, unless you're eligible to ask for these costs under our overheads policy. Examples of these costs include:

      • organisation-wide video conferencing packages
      • high-speed broadband
      • HD screens.

      See our carbon offset policy for travel for information on what you and your organisation need to do.

      Subsistence costs

      If you’re away for up to one month you can ask for subsistence costs. These include accommodation, meals and incidentals such as refreshments or newspapers.

      If your administering organisation has a subsistence policy, use their rates.

      If your administering organisation doesn’t have a subsistence policy, please use the HMRC rates.

      If you’re away for more than one month and up to 12 months, we will pay reasonable rental costs only, including aparthotels. You should discuss appropriate rates with your administering and host organisations, or Wellcome, as appropriate. We expect you to choose the most economical options, booked in advance where possible.

      If you’re from a low- or middle- income country and will be working in a high-income country for more than one month and up to 12 months, you can also ask for up to £10 a day to cover extra costs, such as transport and incidentals.

      If you’re away for more than 12 months, we will pay the costs of your housing. You should discuss your needs with your administering and host organisations.

      The allowance we provide will be based on family and business need. We will set the maximum allowance we pay for each location. This will be based on current market data or, where data is unavailable, in consultation with your administering organisation, using equivalent market rates. Please contact us if you need help calculating the costs.

      We will cover the direct expenses you have to pay to find and rent a home. We will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishment.

      Overseas research

      If you or any research staff employed on your grant will be doing research away from your home laboratory, we'll help with the additional costs of working on the project overseas. Please see the 'Overseas allowances' section for details.

  • We cover fieldwork costs if they’re essential and you can justify them. Costs can include:

    • survey and data collection, including communication and data collection services and any associated costs such as essential field materials, travel costs and language translation services
    • the purchase, hire and running costs of vehicles dedicated to your project
    • expenses for subjects and volunteers, including the recruitment of participants, their participatory fees and travel costs
    • statistical analysis.

    You can ask for other fieldwork costs that aren’t listed here, but you’ll need to justify them.

  • We will add an inflation allowance to your award.

    How we calculate your inflation allowance

    Your inflation allowance is based on your total eligible costs and the duration of the award. You'll receive the following allowance if the costs in your application are in pounds sterling, euros or US dollars.

    Award duration (in months)Inflation allowance

    These rates are calculated using compound inflation at 2.0% a year from Year 2 onwards.

    If your costs are in any other currency, we will use an inflation allowance that reflects the inflation rate of the country where the host organisation is based.

    What to include in your application

    The costs in your application must be based on current known costs, excluding inflation.

    You should allow for salary pay awards during Year 1. These should be based on pay awards already agreed; if you don’t know what the pay award is yet then use our inflation rate.

    Wellcome's studentship stipend scales for non-clinical/basic science PhD studentships include an annual increase for inflation.

  • If your organisation receives block funding, you can ask them to cover your open access article processing charges.

    If you're at an organisation that doesn't receive block grant funding, we’ll supplement your grant when your paper has been accepted for publication.

    You can't ask for these charges in your grant application.

  • Costs you may ask for (you will have to justify these costs in your application):

    • specialist publications that are relevant to the research and not available in institutional libraries
    • consultancy fees
    • expenses for subjects and volunteers – includes recruitment of participants, their participatory fees and travel, as well as interviewee expenses
    • reasonable research-associated costs related to the feedback of health-related findings but not any healthcare-associated costs
    • costs associated with developing an outputs management plan
    • questionnaires, recruitment material, newsletters etc for clinical, epidemiological and qualitative research studies
    • public engagement materials where dissemination (including printing and publishing) is a key activity of the project
    • recruitment, advertising and interviewee travel costs for staff to be employed on the grant
    • purchase, hire and running costs of project-dedicated vehicles
    • limited capital building or refurbishment essential to your project
    • PhD student fees for postgraduate research assistants employed on your grant
    • formal transferable skills and personal development training, including the International Funders Award.

    Costs we won’t pay:

    • estates costs, such as building and premises costs, basic services and utilities – this also includes phone, postage, photocopying and stationery, unless you can justify these within a clinical or epidemiological study
    • page charges and the cost of colour prints
    • indirect costs – this includes general administration costs such as personnel, finance, library, room hire and some departmental services
    • research, technical and administrative staff whose time is shared across several projects and isn’t supported by an audit record
    • PhD stipends
    • charge-out costs for major facilities – departmental technical and administrative services, and use of existing equipment
    • cleaning, waste and other disposal costs
    • office furniture, such as chairs, desks, filing cabinets, etc.
    • clothing such as lab coats, shoes, protective clothing
    • non-research related activities, eg catering, room and venue hire for staff parties, team-building events and social activities
    • indemnity insurance (insurance cover against claims made by subjects or patients associated with a research programme)
    • ethics reviews, unless you are in a low- or middle-income country
    • radiation protection costs.

    Costs grantholders can claim on biomedical science research grants.

What we don’t offer

We don't fund costs for capital build or refurbishment.

We don't fund overheads unless they're included on this page.

This scheme is now closed.


This is a one-off scheme.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    11 October 2018, 17:00 BST

  • Full application deadline

    10 January 2019

  • Decision

    March 2019

Grants awarded

Find out about some of the people and projects we've funded for this scheme.

Contact us


If you have a question about the scope and content of your proposal, contact the Our Planet, Our Health team.