Press release

Outstanding scholars receive inaugural Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities

The Wellcome Trust today announces the first recipients of its Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities, awarded to world-class scholars asking the most important questions at the interface of science, medicine and the humanities.

The Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities cover medical history and humanities, and ethics and society, enabling scholars to pursue individual, bold visions with greater flexibility. The scheme builds on moves by the Wellcome Trust towards more expansive, longer-term research in the medical humanities.

Recipients of the first awards are researching topics that include the social and psychological impact of emerging assisted reproductive technologies; the technologies, ethics and programmes of tuberculosis control; and East Asian medicine in the past millennium.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "We received a very high quality of applications for the new Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities and are delighted to be able to support such outstanding scholars across a wide range of research topics. The awards will provide flexible support to researchers across a broad range of institutions, allowing them to explore challenging questions in both ethics and medical history in its historical and cultural contexts."

The awards, which range from £700 000 to just over £1.26 million for up to five years, are 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 are made to researchers at two levels - New Investigators and Senior Investigators - depending on their experience. They complement existing schemes, which support scholars in the medical humanities at all stages of their careers.

As with the Investigator Awards in biomedicine, 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.

The full list of recipients is as follows:

Jonathan Barry (Senior Investigator), University of Exeter
The medical world of early modern England, Wales and Ireland, c.1500-1715

Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Senior Investigator), University of York
The local bases of global health: primary health care in South Asia and beyond, 1945-2010

Mary Dixon-Woods (Senior Investigator), University of Leicester
Ethics of patient safety and quality in healthcare

Susan Golombok (Senior Investigator), University of Cambridge
Future families: the social and psychological outcomes of emerging assisted reproductive technologies for individuals, families and society

Ian Harper (Senior Investigator), University of Edinburgh
Understanding TB control: technologies, ethics and programmes

Jessica Reinisch (New Investigator), Birkbeck College
The reluctant internationalists: a multidisciplinary history of public health and international organisations, movements and experts in the 20th century

Volker Scheid (Senior Investigator), University of Westminster
Beyond tradition: ways of knowing and styles of practice in East Asian medicine, 1000 to present

Rosamund Scott and Stephen Wilkinson (Joint Senior Investigators), King's College and University of Keele
The donation and transfer of human reproductive materials