Apply for Wellcome Early-Career Awards

Deadline Date: May 21, 2024

 Donor Name: Wellcome Trust

 Grant Size: $500,000 to $1 million

Apply for the Wellcome Early-Career Awards that provides funding for early-career researchers from any discipline who are ready to develop their research identity.

Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding related to human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.

Funding Amount

  • Your salary and up to £400,000 for research expenses. If eligible, you may also request additional funding for overseas allowances, overheads and adjustment support.
  • Usually 5 years, but may be less for some disciplines, and may only be longer if held on a part-time basis.

Eligible Countries

  • UK, Republic of Ireland, Low- or middle-income countries (apart from India and mainland China).

Eligibility Criteria

  • You can apply to this scheme if you are an early-career researcher and you are ready to design, plan and deliver your own innovative research project that aims to:
    • advance understanding in your field
    • develop methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research.
  • During the award, they expect you to:
    • expand your technical skills and/or your experience of different research methodologies or frameworks
    • build a collaborative network with other researchers in your field
    • develop your people management skills
    • advance your understanding of how to complete research responsibly and promote a positive and inclusive culture
  • At the point you submit your application, you must have completed a substantive period of research training relevant to your discipline.
  • You must have:
    • completed a PhD (for example, in the life sciences) or an equivalent higher research degree. At the point of application you must have passed your viva examination.
    • if you have not started a PhD or equivalent degree, at least four years’ equivalent research experience (for example, in the humanities and social sciences)
  • They consider postdoctoral experience as any periods spent in research after you passed your PhD/higher research degree viva.
  • You should be able to demonstrate:
    • a good understanding of research methodology
    • evidence of project delivery and analysis.
  • You should not need close supervision to complete your proposed research, although you may need training in new techniques and experimental approaches.
  • Host organisation
    • You must have sponsorship from an eligible host organisation in one of the following:
      • UK
      • Republic of Ireland
      • a low- or middle-income country (apart from India and mainland China).
    • It can be a:
      • higher education institution
      • research institute
      • non-academic healthcare organisation
      • not-for-profit organisation


You are not eligible to apply if:

  • You have an existing tenured (salaried) post for the duration of the award (unless based in a low- or middle-income country). You can only relinquish an existing tenured (salaried) post to take up an Early-Career Award if your current post is not research-based.
  • You have made an application to this scheme and you are waiting for a decision.
  • You hold, or have held, an equivalent award at this career stage. An equivalent award does not include short-term funding.
  • You cannot apply if you intend to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.

For more information, visit Wellcome.

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