Press release

Applications open for Medical Humanities Investigator Awards

Applications open today for world-class scholars in the medical humanities and bioethics to apply for Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities.

The scheme covers two categories, Medical History and Humanities and Ethics and Society, enabling scholars to pursue individual, bold visions with greater flexibility. It builds on moves by the Wellcome Trust towards more expansive, longer term research in medical history and humanities, together with an expansion in scope of the current bioethics programme to include the social aspects of biomedical research and health interventions more broadly, as well as research evaluating the effectiveness of public engagement and health communication interventions.

Awards of up to £200,000 per year for up to seven years will be made to scholars in established academic posts, depending on their career history, ambition and vision, and the resources required to realise this vision. The Awards will be made to researchers at two levels - New Investigator and Senior Investigator - depending on their experience. They will complement existing schemes, which support scholars in the medical humanities at all stages of their careers.

The Investigator Awards scheme in Medical Humanities marks a departure away from funding medium-term project and programme grants, which can tie researchers into a cycle of focusing on securing grants rather than tackling major research problems.

Awards will be decided by interview, giving the opportunity for scholars to present and argue their cases to groups of world-class peer reviewers. The interviews will focus on the excellence of the applicant, the importance of the question to be addressed and the proposed approach to tackling the problem.

The deadline for the first full applications will be 2 September 2011.

The first recipients of the Investigator Awards in biomedicine will be announced tomorrow.