The Wellcome Early-Career Awards is now open for applications for early-career researchers from any discipline who are ready to develop their research identity.
Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.
- A Wellcome Early-Career Award provides a salary for the grantholder and up to £400,000 for research expenses. If you are eligible to request overheads or overseas allowances, they won’t count these against the £400,000 limit for research expenses.
- The award usually lasts for 5 years, but may be less for some disciplines, such as humanities and social science.
- The award may be held on a part-time basis. They will extend the duration of the award to reflect this.
- You should ask for a level and duration of funding that’s justifiable for your proposed research.
- You can only hold one of these awards. They do not offer renewals.
- The award includes:
- A basic salary (determined by your host organisation)
- Relocation allowance
- Continuing professional development and training
- Materials and consumables
- Access charges
- Travel and subsistence
- Overseas allowances
- Fieldwork expenses
- Inflation allowance
- Open access charges
- Clinical research costs
- Public engagement and patient involvement costs
- Contract research organisations
- Other costs
- 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.
- Your research can be in any discipline – including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), experimental medicine, humanities and social science, clinical/allied health sciences, and public health – as long as it has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing, and aligns with their funding remit.
- 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.
Career stage and experience
- 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).
- You may also have some postdoctoral experience in your proposed field of study, but no more than three years unless you can demonstrate how other factors have impacted on your research career. When they review how much postdoctoral experience you have, they will allow for part-time work, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, career breaks and other significant amounts of time spent outside research, for example clinical training.
- They will also consider whether you have changed research discipline. For example, moving from astrophysics to computational neuroscience. There may be some crossover, such as in research sites or techniques, but the shift should still be a significant change.
- 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.
- You must have sponsorship from an eligible host organisation in one of the following:
- It can be a:
- Higher education institution
- Research institute
- Non-academic healthcare organisation
- Not-for-profit organisation.
- You should choose a research environment that provides you with the appropriate training, resources and experience to deliver your project and develop your research skills and identity. They encourage you to move away from your current research environment. This may mean moving from your group or department, but it is not essential to move organisations.
- You are not eligible to apply if:
- You have an existing tenured (salaried) post for the duration of the award. 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.
For more information, visit https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/schemes/early-career-awards