International Training Fellowships (Closed)

This scheme offers nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at postgraduate or postdoctoral level.

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 £150,00 to £300,000 for salary, fees and research expenses

Funding duration:

3 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 Training Fellowship if:

You must want to undertake a guided period of research so that you can consolidate your existing experience and explore new areas of research.

You must:

  • have a PhD and be an early-career researcher


  • have a degree in a relevant subject and some initial research experience


  • be a clinically qualified doctor (and be qualified to enter higher specialist training), vet, dentist or clinical psychologist, and have some initial research experience. 

If you don't have a PhD, we expect you to start one at the same time as the fellowship. You should register for your PhD at a local academic organisation. If this isn't possible, contact us before submitting your application.

If you are in the last year of a PhD, you must have been awarded the PhD before you start the fellowship. We don't provide PhD top-up funding.

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

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 experience
  • the quality and importance of your research question(s)
  • your knowledge of the scientific area
  • the feasibility of your proposal
  • the suitability of your choice of sponsor, supervisors and environments
  • your vision of how this fellowship will contribute to your career development.

We encourage fellows to collaborate with researchers in other low- and middle-income countries.

At the end of this fellowship, you should be able to show:

  • you have the potential to be an independent leader in your area of research
  • you have the skills and experience to apply for more advanced (intermediate level) funding schemes.

For more information, read our Guidance on International Training Fellowships [DOCX 25KB].

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 an NIH Fogarty fellowship
  • 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 can do your training at centres of excellence regionally or internationally. 


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:

  • have an ongoing research programme
  • have a strong track record in research, training and mentorship
  • provide you with guidance during the application process and fellowship.

You can nominate your sponsor as a supervisor, if appropriate.

Other schemes

International Intermediate Fellowships

Offering nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to lead their own research programmes.
Full details of International Intermediate Fellowships

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 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 Training Fellowship is for three years, unless you want to hold it on a part-time basis. 

If you want to do Master's training or a diploma course relevant to the research proposal, the fellowship can last up to four years. You must be able to justify this training. 

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 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 your salary during the grants. It should reflect the skills, responsibilities and expertise needed to carry out the role, and 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.

    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. We will automatically increase your salary from Year 2 onwards, 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 should register for your higher degree at a local academic organisation. If this isn't possible, contact us to discuss it before submitting your application.

If you ask for research assistance you must give a strong justification for it.

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 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:

    • 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 and guidance on using Grant Tracker.

  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 Training Fellowships [PDF 454KB].

  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. Interview

    If you're invited for interview, you'll be asked to make a short presentation. This will be followed by questions from the International Interview Committee. Interviews take place at the Wellcome offices in London. We'll provide travel and accommodation costs. Get advice on how to prepare for a Wellcome funding interview.

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

Researcher stories

Read about the career journeys of some of our researchers.

Develop your research career

See our other postgraduate training or postdoctoral research schemes.