Discovery research leads to new insights into our life, health and wellbeing. Researchers from any background have the freedom and flexibility to ask bold and creative questions that will improve our health. 

Why we support discovery research 

Advances in health will come from unexpected sources, and many interventions have come from curiosity-driven discovery research aimed solely at understanding how life works. 

The knowledge and understanding our researchers generate could not only solve the health challenges we have chosen to focus on, but also inspire further improvements in human health that others take forward.  

We want to promote a positive research culture, support personal development and good leadership, while making sure that research careers are open to everyone and lead to the highest quality research. 

By focusing on discovery research, we want to enable researchers to be ambitious, take on difficult problems, and adopt creative and innovative approaches to push the boundaries of our understanding of life, health and wellbeing.

Michael Dunn, Director of Discovery Research, Wellcome

What we're doing 

We support a broad programme of discovery research to yield new insights and tools with the potential to push the boundaries of existing knowledge or techniques through:

  1. providing flexible funding for individuals and teams in any discipline to pursue bold and creative research into life, health and wellbeing through our schemes 
  2. being innovative and creative in how we provide more directed funding to achieve our vision 
  3. forging partnerships and supporting networks we believe will lead to significant shifts in understanding and to help us support a positive research environment 

Funding schemes

new and simplified, open to researchers in any discipline at any career stage

Find out more

Reimagine research

we can all help to build a better research culture – one that is creative, inclusive and honest

Make your voice heard

Diversity and inclusion

we're committed to making health research open to anyone with a great idea

Read our strategy

Latest report 

Our team 

  • Michael Dunn, Director, Discovery Research 

See everyone who's in our science teams and humanities and social science team.