This scheme offers nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at Master’s degree level.
£120,000 including salary, studentship stipend, fees and research expenses
30 months (12 months taught Master’s course and 18 months research project)
This scheme will close in 2021. These are the final dates.
13 April 2021, 17:00 BST
This is the final round.
24 August 2021, 17:00 BST
You can apply for an International Master's Fellowship if:
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 the:
You can’t apply if you’re:
We wouldn't usually expect you to apply if you already have a Master's. Please contact us before you apply.
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.
You must be based at an eligible host organisation in a low- or middle-income country for the research project. 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 (for example centre director or head of school) in your host organisation.
The sponsor must be able to guarantee that you’ll have a post for the duration of the fellowship. The sponsor should not expect you to spend more than eight hours a week on non-research activities (for example 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.
You must have a supervisor who will be responsible for the day-to-day supervision of your research project.
You should also have additional supervisors for each period that you spend outside your host organisation, including your taught course. They must agree to provide the space and resources you’ll need.
You should give careful thought to your choice of supervisor(s).
A supervisor should:
You can nominate your sponsor as a supervisor, if appropriate.
An International Master's Fellowship is for 30 months, unless you want to hold it on a part-time basis.
The first 12 months should be dedicated to doing a taught Master of Science (MSc) course at a recognised centre of excellence anywhere in the world.
The following 18 months is for your research project at an eligible organisation in a low- or middle-income country.
An award of £120,000 provides support for:
The support includes:
If your taught course or training is in the UK, you can use £16,000 a year (outside London) or £18,000 a year (in London) to cover the cost of your stipend. If your course or training is outside the UK, you should check living costs with your prospective training organisation.
We support distance learning taught Master's degrees.
If your stipend is liable for tax in the country you're based in, you can use the funds to cover the taxed amount.
The support includes:
As this is a fellowship scheme, you must request your salary on the grant.
We will fund the total cost of your salary for the full 30 months 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 your salary during the grant. It should reflect the skills, responsibilities and expertise needed to carry out the role, and include:
For Year 1 include any known pay awards for this period or an assumed percentage equivalent to our current inflation rate of 2.0% if this hasn’t been confirmed. Your salary should automatically increase from Year 2 onwards, based on our current inflation allowance rates.
Find out more about fellows working on a Wellcome grant.
If Wellcome is going to pay your salary on the grant, you can use your fellowship funds to pay for visa costs to help you take up the post at your host organisation. You can also use them for:
If you have to move to take up the post at your host organisation, you can use up to £1,000 to pay for these costs.
You can use your funds to cover overheads if your grant will be based at a:
You can also pay for overheads on any part of your grant that is sub-contracted to any of the organisations listed above.
You cannot use your funds to cover overheads if your grant will be:
Overheads can include:
The total cost for overheads should not be more than 10% of the total amount awarded. These costs must directly support the activity funded by the grant.
We will pay for the materials and consumables you need to carry out your proposed research, including:
The fellowship funds can cover the cost of buying animals if they’re essential to your project. We’ll also fund the charge-out rates for animal house facilities, but only if your organisation uses full economic costing methodology.
These costs include:
We may not pay the full charge-out rate for an animal house facility if we've provided significant funding towards the infrastructure and/or core support of the facility.
If your organisation doesn’t use full economic costing methodology to establish charge-out rates for animal house facilities, funds may cover:
We don’t provide estates or depreciation costs.
Your chosen research environment(s) should have the necessary equipment for you to complete your work. The fellowship can be used to cover smaller items of equipment that are essential to your proposed research project. Costs may include purchase, delivery, installation, maintenance and training, where necessary.
We will cover VAT and import duties if:
We will cover maintenance costs for equipment if:
We won’t cover maintenance costs for equipment if there is a mechanism in place to recoup these costs through access charges.
We will cover the cost of one personal computer or laptop per person up to £1,500.
We won't pay for:
You can use some of your grant to cover 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:
We don’t cover the costs of:
If the facilities or equipment were paid for by a Wellcome grant, you can only use the funds for access charges if:
You can use up to £1,500 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.
You can also use your funds to cover caring responsibilities if you attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:
You can use up to £1,000 per person for each conference.
Your funds can cover travel and subsistence costs for visits to collaborators, and for collaborators to visit your laboratory. You’ll need to justify each visit and its duration.
You can also use your funds to pay for other essential visits, for example to facilities, for sample collection and for fieldwork. You can include subsistence costs.
This is a new policy. It applies to all types of travel costs that Wellcome provides.
You can use your funds for:
You can also use your funds to cover project-related infrastructure costs to minimise your travel. This is in line with our overheads policy. Examples include:
See our carbon offset policy for travel for information on what you and your organisation need to do.
If you’re away for up to one month you can use your funds for subsistence costs. These include accommodation, meals and incidentals (eg 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, you can use the funds for 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 use 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 cover 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.
We cover fieldwork costs if they’re essential. Costs can include:
Costs the fellowship funds may be used for:
Costs the funds won't cover:
*We will fund these costs in the case of animal-related research.
Costs grantholders can claim on biomedical science research grants.
We don't fund overheads unless they're included on this page (for example research management and support costs).
You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT).Start your application
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 and research supervisor. 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:
You can also get some tips to help you write a Wellcome grant application and guidance on using Grant Tracker.
Log in to our online application system Grant Tracker. Do this at an early stage so that you can familiarise yourself with the system.
You can view a PDF version of the online form here: Sample full application form for International Master's Fellowships [PDF 353KB]
You must complete every section of the form. Your sponsor and supervisor will need to complete some of the sections.
When you've completed the form, submit it to your host organisation. 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.
The approver at your host organisation must submit your application to us by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day.
We may take up to four months to consider your full application. We will let you know if you are not eligible.
The International Interview Committee will review your application and make the final decision. There are no interviews for these fellowships. If successful, you must take up the fellowship within one year of the award.
If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.
You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.
13 April 2021, 17:00 BST
This is the final round.
24 August 2021, 17:00 BST
Find out about some of the people and projects we've funded for this scheme.
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:
Read about the career journeys of some of our researchers.