Wellcome Screenwriting Fellowship in partnership with BFI and Film4

We award this fellowship to a screenwriter whose work is bold, original and authentic. 

Selected from a list of writers nominated by the film and television industries, Lucy Prebble (Succession) has received the 2019 fellowship. 

What the fellowship is about

We run the fellowship to:

  • recognise cinematic storytelling that’s visionary, original and enquiring
  • offer a unique and thought-provoking experience for a screenwriter or writer/director
  • inspire future ideas for film
  • explore the intersection between cinema and science.

Hear more about the Screenwriting Fellowship from past fellows and members of the judging panel.

Our Screenwriting Fellows

2019: Our current fellow is Lucy Prebble (Succession).

2018: Rungano Nyoni (I Am Not a Witch). Rungano explored the commonalities between the people of First Nations who are often forced to modernise and change their way of life. Her research has taken her from London to Botswana.

2017: Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum). Michaela worked with a range of researchers and leading experts on different states of consciousness, the brain, memory and cognition, as well as meeting with expert endocrinologists, to inform her next project.   

2016: Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey). Sally immersed herself in researching her forthcoming drama about Yorkshire landowner, diarist, mountaineer and traveller Anne Lister, exploring historical attitudes to sexuality and mental health.

2015: Carol Morley (The Falling, Dreams of a Life). Carol is currently researching the life of artist Audrey Amiss, whose work and life she discovered through Audrey’s extraordinary archive at Wellcome Library.  

2014: Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin, Sexy Beast). Jonathan explored a range of psychological, historical and ethical themes during his fellowship, which are now feeding into his next project.

2013: Clio Barnard (The Arbor, The Selfish Giant). Clio's latest film Dark River, which she developed during her fellowship after meeting with psychologists and psychiatrists working on traumatic memory, received its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.  

What we’re looking for

Still from the film Dark River
Still from Clio Barnard's Dark River. She says: "The Screenwriting Fellowship is a unique opportunity to switch between the minute details and rigours of research and to stand back to try and see the big picture."
We award the fellowship to a screenwriter with a distinctive voice. They should have a strong portfolio of previous work that's been produced for film and/or TV.

We expect our Screenwriting Fellows to:

  • be curious and open-minded
  • make time to explore, research and think
  • act as an ambassador for Wellcome in the film industry.

Many of the opportunities offered as part of the award take place in the UK. Our fellows don't have to be UK based, but they should be in the UK for much of their fellowship year.

What we offer

Wellcome wants to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We believe the best way to encourage creativity is to allow people time and space.

This year-long fellowship offers a chance to explore the unrivalled resources available through Wellcome. We work with each fellow to tailor their year to their interests.

Fellowship activities might include:

We don't expect our Screenwriting Fellows to produce a script during their fellowship. Instead, we hope they will immerse themselves in the new experiences we can offer.

How we choose Screenwriting Fellows

This fellowship is an annual industry-nominated award. We announce the fellow each November.

We work with BFI, Film4 and industry organisations to identify potential fellows. A panel of industry experts, chaired by an independent professional, makes the final decision.

Our partners

Find out more about how the BFI supports UK film-makers, or find out more about Film4 Productions.