International Intermediate Fellowships (Closed)

This scheme offers nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to lead their own research programmes.

We’re changing our funding schemes

The way we fund research is changing to support our new strategy.

Scheme at a glance 

This scheme is now closed

Lead applicant career stage:
Administering organisation location:
Funding amount:

Usually £400,000 to £800,000 for salary and research expenses

Funding duration:

5 years

Key dates

This scheme will close in 2021. These are the final dates.

April 2021 round

This is the final round.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    7 April 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Full application deadline

    29 June 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Funding decision

    Due to Covid-19, we may not be able to hold interviews. Candidates will be contacted with further details.

Who can apply

You can apply for an International Intermediate Fellowship if: 

You should be driving your own research and be ready to lead an independent research programme.

You can apply if:

  • you have a PhD or you're a clinically qualified doctor (and qualified to enter higher specialist training), vet, dentist or clinically qualified psychologist 
  • you have significant research experience
  • you have made important contributions to your area of research eg publications, patents, software development or an impact on health policy or practice.

You can apply if you have a permanent or rolling employment contract, but only if you're at the early stages of an independent career. Please contact us first to discuss.

This scheme may be of particular interest if you're an early-career fellow (such as an International Training Fellow) and this fellowship is the next step in your career as a research scientist.

If you've been away from research (eg for a career break, maternity leave, or long-term sick leave), we'll allow for this when we consider your application.

Your research proposal

Your research proposal should be within our science remit and focus on a health priority in a low- or middle-income country.

When we consider your application, we'll look at:

  • your research contributions
  • the scientific merit of your proposed project
  • the significance of the research
  • the feasibility of your proposal
  • the suitability of your sponsor and host environment for both your research and for the development of your independent career.

By the end of this fellowship you should:

  • have achieved international standing in your area of research
  • be leading your own research programme
  • have the skills and experience to apply for senior level fellowships or permanent positions at a research organisation.

For more information, read our Guidance on International Intermediate Fellowships [DOCX 26KB].

Who can't apply

You can't apply if:

  • you've previously held, or currently hold, an internationally competitive fellowship at an equivalent level eg MRC/DFID African Research Leader scheme
  • you're a researcher in India – instead see the Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance 
  • you're currently applying for another Wellcome fellowship.

If you've already been unsuccessful with a full application for this scheme, please contact us before you apply again.

You can't apply to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.

What's expected of your host organisation

You must be based at an eligible host organisation in a low- or middle-income country for the research project. This could be your current organisation or a different one.

When your host organisation submits your application, they must agree to provide the space and resources you'll need from the start date through to the end date of your award.


You must have a sponsor who is a head of department or equivalent (eg centre director or head of school) in your host organisation.

If you plan to work for more than four months outside your host organisation, you must also have an additional sponsor at that location. The additional sponsor must agree to provide the space and resources you'll need.

Your sponsor must guarantee that the host organisation will provide: 

  • support to lead your own independent research
  • the status and benefits of other academic staff of similar seniority.

Your sponsor should not expect you to spend more than eight hours a week on non-research activities (eg clinical duties, teaching or administration).

Your sponsor's support and mentorship should be part of a longer-term commitment to help you achieve your career aspirations. 

Other schemes

Senior Research Fellowships

Supporting independent researchers who are emerging as global leaders in their field and want to tackle the most important questions in science.
Full details of Senior Research Fellowships

International Training Fellowships

Offering nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at postgraduate or postdoctoral level.
Full details of International Training Fellowships

International Master’s Fellowships

Offering nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at Master’s degree level.
Full details of International Master’s Fellowships
Scheme finder

An International Intermediate Fellowship is for five years, unless you want to hold it on a part-time basis. It cannot be renewed. 

The support includes:

  • As this is a fellowship, you must request your salary on the grant.

    We will fund the total cost of your salary for the entire period of the grant.

    You can only receive one salary during your grant. If you are already paid a salary, your host organisation may use it to pay the person who replaces you.

    You should ask your host organisation to calculate this during the grant. It should:

    • reflect the skills, responsibilities and expertise needed to carry out the role
    • be based on the pay scales of the organisation that will be employing you
    • be enough to allow you to focus full-time on research
    • be justified by the head of the organisation.

    Your salary should include:

    • your basic salary
    • employer’s contributions, including any statutory obligations (eg National Insurance contributions if you’re based in the UK) and pension scheme costs
    • 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 of 2.0%.

    From Year 2 onwards, we will automatically increase your salary, based on our current inflation allowance rates.

    Find out more about fellows working on a Wellcome grant.

    Visa and work permit costs

    If Wellcome is going to pay your salary on the grant, you can ask for visa and work permit costs to help you take up the post at your host organisation. You can also ask for:

    • visa costs for your partner and dependent children
    • Immigration Health Surcharge costs for you, your partner and dependent children if you will be in the UK for six months or more
    • essential associated costs, such as travel to attend appointments at a visa application centre or embassy if you can justify these.
  • If you have to move to take up the post at your host organisation, you can ask for £1,000. You'll need to justify this.

  • You can ask for overheads if your grant will be based at a:

    • university outside the UK or Republic of Ireland
    • research organisation that does not receive core funding for overheads
    • charitable or not-for-profit organisation
    • small or medium-sized commercial organisation.

    You can also ask for overheads on any part of your grant that is sub-contracted to any of the organisations listed above.

    If you’re based at a UK university you can’t ask for overheads for sub-contracted activity if your university will include the sub-contracted funding in its annual report to the UK Charity Research Support Fund.

    Overheads can include:

    • estates, for example building and premises
    • non-project dedicated administrative and support staff
    • administration, for example finance, library, and room hire.

    The total cost for overheads should not be more than:

    • 20% of the direct research costs if you’re based in a low- or middle-income country
    • 15% of the direct research costs if you’re based anywhere else.

    These costs must directly support the activity funded by the grant.

    How to apply for these costs

    In your grant application you must:

    • give a full breakdown of costs (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, or the sub-contracted organisation, confirming that the breakdown is a true representation of the costs incurred.

You can also apply for Research Enrichment funding to increase the impact of your work through activities in public engagement and diversity and inclusion.

What we don’t offer

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

You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT).

Start your application

Stages of application

  1. Before you apply

    It's important to check that your application is competitive. Please read the advice in the ‘Eligibility and suitability’ section above before you apply.

    We encourage you to discuss your application with your sponsor. They will give you advice about the intellectual quality and importance of your project. They will also help you to decide whether it’s the right time for you to apply.

    We also encourage you to contact your research office at your host organisation as early as possible in the application process. They should be able to advise you on:

    • how to structure your application, including the budget 
    • what information is needed to support your proposal 
    • how much time your host organisation will need to approve your application after you submit it. 

    You can also get some tips to help you write a Wellcome grant application.

  2. Submit your preliminary application

    You must submit your preliminary application through Grant Tracker.

    View the Sample preliminary application form for International Training and Intermediate Fellowships [PDF 143KB].

  3. Review of preliminary applications

    We'll assess your eligibility and give advice about your competitiveness and the resources you’ve requested. We'll give you a decision within four weeks of the preliminary application deadline. If suitable, we'll invite you to submit a full application.

  4. Submit your full application to your host organisation for approval

    Complete the full application form on Grant Tracker. A person at your host organisation with the role of 'authorised organisational approver' will get an automated email from Wellcome asking them to review and submit the application.

    Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to do this before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application.

    View the Sample full application form for International Intermediate Fellowships [PDF 318KB]

  5. Host organisation reviews your application and submits it to us

    Your application must be submitted by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day.

  6. External peer review

    We’ll seek written comments from external expert reviewers. 

  7. Scientific review and shortlisting

    The International Interview Committee will shortlist applications. If shortlisted, we'll notify you at least four weeks before an interview and send you unattributed comments from the external peer review.

  8. Funding decision

    Due to COVID-19, we are not holding interviews at the moment. Candidates will be contacted with further details about the decision-making process.

Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

What you need to know if you're a grant applicant or grantholder.


You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.

November 2020 round

  • Preliminary application deadline

    5 November 2020, 17:00 GMT (was 19 November)

  • Full application deadline

    4 February 2021, 17:00 GMT

  • Funding decision

    Due to Covid-19, we may not be able to hold interviews. Candidates will be contacted with further details.

April 2021 round

This is the final round.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    7 April 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Full application deadline

    29 June 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Funding decision

    Due to Covid-19, we may not be able to hold interviews. Candidates will be contacted with further details.

Grants awarded

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

Contact us


If you have a general question about this scheme, contact our information officers:


If you have a question about the scope and content of your proposal, contact the relevant person in one of our science teams:

Find a contact in our science teams

Develop your research career

See our other schemes for researchers who are interested in leading a research programme.