What we do

Wellcome improves health for everyone by funding research, leading policy and advocacy campaigns, and building global partnerships.

Collaborative research that involves a diverse range of people from different fields of interest is key to progress in health science – and to achieving our aim of fostering a healthier, happier, world. 

But many researchers feel they lack the time, finances, and creative environments they need to make breakthroughs.  

That’s why we’re committed to funding ambitious global research projects that will transform our understanding of life, health, and wellbeing.

Two researchers at the Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford.

Discovery research

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. 

Plus, we’re taking on the biggest health challenges facing humanity – climate and health, infectious disease, and mental health – to find urgent solutions and accelerate preventions.  

Testing soil health in Western Kenya

Climate and health

Our vision is a world in which climate change does not harm health in the communities it affects most.

Residents in Mexico City wash their hands as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19.

Infectious disease

Our vision is a world in which escalating infectious diseases are under control in the communities most affected. 

A woman wearing a swimming cap swims in cold water with her eyes closed

Mental health

Our vision is a world in which no one is held back by mental health problems.

How we're doing it 

We’re spending £16 billion by 2032 on projects across a range of academic disciplines – including physical and social sciences, and the humanities – to ensure researchers have what they need to be ambitious, creative, and make new discoveries.

As a global charitable foundation, we want researchers worldwide to engage with us, partner with us, and apply for funding for pioneering projects that will help to solve the most pressing health challenges facing humanity. 

We use the evidence from research we fund to persuade policy makers – as well as commercial, charitable, and non-governmental organisations around the world – to keep human health at the heart of key decisions.

Legislators at the UN voting on an issue

Policy and advocacy

We bring together people and resources from across society to get the most out of research. 

Health research should be open to anyone with a great idea, so we’re actively working to remove barriers people may face, and to support a diverse and inclusive research environment. 

We also make it easier and more equitable for data scientists globally to innovate with health data

Our work so far 

We want researchers worldwide to apply for funding for pioneering projects that will help to solve the most pressing health challenges facing humanity. Activities we have supported include:

Supported the formation of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

CEPI helps fill critical gaps in vaccine funding and research, which was essential to the quick and effective rollout of Covid-19 vaccines globally.

Supported the discovery of single cell sequencing

Led to the creation of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) - an international consortium that charts the cell types in a healthy body from development, through adulthood, to old age.

Funded Cambridge study on same sex parenting

The evidence generated by the Centre of Family Research project was used to campaign for same-sex marriage in the United States.

Learn more about what we do