Multi-user Equipment Grants (Closed)

These grants provide support for multi-user items of equipment.

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:

£100,000 to £1 million

Funding duration:

Up to 5 years

Key dates

This scheme will close in 2021.

January 2021 round

This is the final round.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    12 January 2021, 17:00 GMT

  • Invited full application deadline

    20 May 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Committee review

    July 2021

Who can apply

You can apply for a grant if you, and any coapplicants, have:

  • an academic or research post (or the equivalent)
  • a track record in getting grant funding.

The lead applicant must have a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract, or the guarantee of one, with a salary paid by your host organisation for the duration of the award.

Coapplicants must have at least one year's personal salary support at the proposed start date of the grant.

If you, or any coapplicants, hold a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract but have to get your salary from external grant funding, you can ask us for this in your application. If this applies to you, or any coapplicants on your grant, you must commit at least 10% of your working hours to this grant. In this case, your host organisation must confirm details about your employment contracts or their policy on salary recovery costs.

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

Who can't apply

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

What we're looking for

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

  • how the proposed equipment will directly benefit your research and that of others 
  • your track record 
  • your host organisation’s financial contribution 
  • evidence of demand for the equipment
  • whether you’ve considered that similar equipment may be available locally/nationally
  • pilot data showing the suitability of the equipment
  • management and sustainability plans
  • expertise in operating the equipment
  • the cost of the equipment (including manufacturer discounts)
  • added value for Wellcome Trust-funded research.

What's expected of your host organisation

Your host organisation must provide a supporting statement that outlines:

  • how the equipment will contribute to their overall research strategy
  • their contribution towards the equipment (financial or otherwise).

Host organisation’s contribution

Your host organisation should contribute at least 25 per cent towards the cost of the equipment. Contributions can include support in-kind as well as money, such as the provision of a key support post.

Additional contributions

If a significant proportion of potential users are not funded by us, you should get a contribution from an alternative source.

Other schemes

Biomedical Resource and Technology Development Grants

Providing support for researchers who want to establish or maintain biomedical resources (including databases and collections) for the benefit of the wider scientific community.
Full details of Biomedical Resource and Technology Development Grants

Longitudinal Population Study Grants (Closed)

Providing support for researchers who want to establish, maintain or enhance longitudinal population studies (LPS) for the benefit of the wider scientific community.
Full details of Longitudinal Population Study Grants (Closed)
Scheme finder

A Multi-user Equipment Grant offers up to five years of support. We don't usually consider applications that ask for less than £100,000 or more than £1 million. Please contact us for more details.

Expenses may include:

  • We will cover the salary costs of all staff, full or part time, who will run the equipment and/or manage it.

    If you’re doing fieldwork or clinical studies in a low- or middle-income country, we’ll consider requests for more research staff.

    If you, or any coapplicants, hold a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract and have to get your salary from external grant funding, you can ask us for this in your application. See the ‘Eligibility and suitability’ section above for more information.

    We won’t cover the salaries of research personnel.

    We don't provide studentship stipends.

    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:

    • 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:

      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.

        • 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.
      • 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.
  • Equipment purchase

    You can ask for items of equipment that are essential to your proposed research project.

    Costs may include:

    • purchase, delivery and installation
    • maintenance and training
    • minor refurbishment if the new equipment needs specialised housing.

    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.
  • 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.
  • We will add an inflation allowance to your award if you're asking for salary costs for staff.

    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 allowance if the costs in your application are in pounds sterling, euros or US dollars.

    Award duration (in months) Inflation allowance
    0-12 0.0%
    13-24 1.0%
    25-36 2.0%
    37-48 3.0%
    49-60 4.1%
    61-72 5.1%
    73-84 6.2%

    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 you need to carry out clinical trials or research using NHS patients or facilities, we will cover some of the research costs.

    Annex A of the guidelines for attributing the costs of health and social care research and development (AcoRD) sets out the costs we cover, and which costs should be funded through the Department of Health in England, or its equivalent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If you're based in the Republic of Ireland, we would expect you to adhere to the spirit of these principles.

    Further information on our clinical trials policy.

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

If you move to a different organisation after you've been awarded a Multi-user Equipment Grant, the equipment must remain at the organisation to which it was awarded.

What we don’t offer

A grant doesn’t include:

  • capital build costs
  • travel allowance
  • project consumables.

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. Submit your preliminary application

    You must submit your application through Grant Tracker.

    View the Sample preliminary application form for Multi-user Equipment Grants [PDF 167KB]

    Get some tips to help you write a Wellcome grant application.

  2. Review of preliminary applications

    We'll assess your eligibility and suitability. If suitable, we'll invite you to submit a full application.

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

    Complete the full application form on Grant Tracker. 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.

    View the Sample full application form for Multi-user Equipment Grants [PDF 337KB]


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

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

  5. Decision

    The Multi-user Equipment and Technology Development Committee will review your full application.

    We aim to notify you of our decision within four weeks of the committee meeting.

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.


We don't accept late applications.

January 2021 round

This is the final round.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    12 January 2021, 17:00 GMT

  • Invited full application deadline

    20 May 2021, 17:00 BST

  • Committee review

    July 2021

More information

Find out about how we've worked with the funding community to develop principles and obligations setting out what we expect from those responsible for clinical training, trainees and funders across the UK.

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