Four-year PhD Programmes in Science (Closed)
This scheme funds PhD programmes that offer graduates outstanding training in scientific research.
Scheme at a glance
This scheme is now closed
- Type of researcher:
- Basic, Public health
- Where your administering organisation is based:
- UK, Republic of Ireland
- Level of funding:
Studentship stipends, fees and other costs
- Duration of funding:
Five annual intakes of students, starting in autumn 2020
Current science PhD programmes will continue to recruit PhD researchers up to 2024.
Who can apply
You can apply for this award if you're the proposed director of a PhD programme.
- be employed at an eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland
- be an international leader in your research field
- have a strong track record in postgraduate research training.
You can apply either for a new programme or to renew an existing programme.
The programme must provide training in research that falls within our science remit. This can include training in other disciplines, such as social science, engineering, maths, physics and chemistry.
The programme must be administered by an eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland. It can involve partnerships with eligible organisations based anywhere in the world. The programme can take place at more than one organisation.
Your team of potential supervisors must be experienced and/or trained at delivering postgraduate training.
The programme must have one director who is the lead applicant. It can also include additional co-directors.
Programmes must have:
- an excellent scientific environment
- a compelling rationale for the training programme
- high-quality, innovative training that supports the personal, professional and technical development of students during and after their PhDs
- a clear strategy to recruit diverse student intakes
- a commitment to support a positive research culture and to openly share best practice.
In addition, for programmes to be competitive they should have:
- a well-resourced research environment
- a clear and robust management structure
- a strategy for mentoring students
- an approach to supporting tailored transitions for individual students at the beginning and/or end of their PhDs
- a plan for supporting students to get credit for their work within a reasonable timeframe, eg by submitting papers to pre-print servers or Wellcome Open Research
- a plan for publishing data about student recruitment, completion rates and what students go on to do after their PhDs.
We expect programmes to demonstrate how they will monitor the progress of students, the success of the programme and the quality of the supervision.
Organisations applying for more than one programme
If your organisation is applying for more than one PhD programme, we'll consider them if:
- they are distinct from one another
- the relationship between the programmes is clear
- they have strong institutional commitment.
You must submit a separate application form for each programme. We may ask organisations to prioritise their applications.
Renewals of existing Wellcome programmes
If you are applying to renew an existing Wellcome-funded PhD programme, your application will be considered in competition with all the other applications.
Who can't apply
You can't apply for this award if you're looking for funding:
- to do your own PhD – see our Four-year PhD Studentships in Science instead.
- for a clinical PhD programme – see our PhD Programmes for Clinicians instead.
What's expected of your host organisation
You must provide evidence of institutional commitment to deliver and sustain the programme and to promote a positive research culture. We expect organisations to:
- provide administrative support for the programme
- cover the difference in fees for non-UK nationals
- give directors the time they need to oversee the programme's activities and recognise their contributions
- train and facilitate new independent group leaders to supervise students
- protect and support students' mental health
- enhance and promote a diverse and inclusive research environment
- comply with all our policies, including good research practice, research misconduct and bullying and harassment.
Four-year PhD Studentships in Science
PhD Programmes for Clinicians (Closed)
- 1 year of rotations followed by a 3-year research project
- 6 months of rotations followed by a 3.5-year research project
- a 4-year research project.
If you're based outside London:
- Year 1: £19,919
- Year 2: £21,542
- Year 3: £23,298
- Year 4: £23,997
If you're based in London:
- Year 1: £22,278
- Year 2: £24,093
- Year 3: £26,057
- Year 4: £26,839
- PhD registration fees at the UK/EU student rate
- college fees (where required)
- research expenses, including the cost of animals
- training, including technical, discipline-specific and transferable skills
- travel costs, including registration fees and childcare or any other caring responsibility cost
- transitions at the beginning and/or the end of the PhD studentship, enabling students to prepare for PhD training, advance their scientific careers or move to a career of their choice.
We provide funding for five intakes of students for each PhD programme.
We expect successful programmes to plan their recruitment so that the first students start their training in autumn 2020.
Each intake should have three to five students.
Each PhD studentship is for 4 years.
The structure of a studentship is flexible. For example:
We are also open to other variations including, for example, using a foundation year to attract students from different disciplines.
We will make a single award for each programme, based on the number of students in each intake. For each student, we will provide support for:
We'll also make a fixed contribution towards:
What we don’t offer
We don't fund overheads.
We don’t provide administrative costs.
Stages of application
This scheme is not currently open to applications.
Before you apply
Submit your preliminary application to your host organisation for approval
Complete the preliminary application form on Grant Tracker and submit it to the 'authorised organisational approver' at your host organisation for approval. Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to review and submit your application before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application.
The lead applicant on the form must be the proposed director.
You must provide an ORCID ID for each proposed supervisor. We will look at these records instead of CVs. Supervisors must make sure that any relevant information is up to date and visible to everyone. At a minimum, we need to be able to see current positions and publication records.
You must also upload a letter of institutional support from the vice chancellor(s) or equivalent on behalf of the host organisation(s).
Host organisation reviews your preliminary application and submits it to us
Your application must be submitted by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day.
Assessment of your preliminary application
The PhD Programmes Committee will assess your preliminary application. If shortlisted, we’ll invite you to submit a full application.
Submit your full application to your host organisation for approval
Complete the full application form on Grant Tracker and submit it to the 'authorised organisational approver' at your host organisation for approval. Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to review and submit your application before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application.
Host organisation reviews your full application and submits it to us
Your application must be submitted by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day.
Assessment of full application
The PhD Programmes Committee will assess your full application. We’ll give you a decision within a month of the committee meeting.
If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.
Preliminary applications deadline
30 January 2019, 17:00 GMT
Invited full applications deadline
10 June 2019, 17:00 BST
Find out about some of the people and projects we've funded for this scheme.
Contact our information officers if you need help with our online grants system (Grant Tracker).