Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships
This scheme offers recently qualified postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to start independent research careers, working in some of the best research environments in the world.
Scheme at a glance
Career stage: Postdoctoral research
Where your host organisation is based: UK, Republic of Ireland
Type of researcher: Basic, Public health
Level of funding: £300,000, including salary, fellowship supplement and research expenses
Duration of funding: 4 years
Who can apply
Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships are aimed at researchers who want to undertake a guided period of research and will go on to lead their own independent research.
You must either be in the final year of your PhD studies or be an early-career researcher with some initial postdoctoral experience.
You should have started to make important contributions to your area of research, eg publications, patents, software development or an impact on policy.
You must have an eligible sponsoring organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer the fellowship for the full duration of the award.
You must also:
- be a UK or European Economic Area national
- have, or expect to have, a PhD from a UK or Republic of Ireland university.
If you've been away from research (eg for a career break, maternity leave, or long-term sick leave), committee will allow for this when considering your application.
Program is looking for
During this fellowship, it is expected from you to develop your scientific independence and expand your research horizons so that you can become a leader in the field. You could do this by developing new skills and/or by working:
- across disciplines
- in new research environments or sectors
- in more than one research location, either in the UK or another country.
It is expected from you to think about your long-term vision and the skills and competencies you’ll need.
You should identify an important biomedical or population health research question that is within our scientific remit. Committee wants you to drive the development of your proposal (although you should also get advice from your research sponsors and mentor).
The evaluation committee will review:
- your research contributions
- the quality and importance of your research question(s)
- your knowledge of the scientific area
- the feasibility of your proposal
- the suitability of your choice of research sponsors and environments
- your vision of how this fellowship will contribute to your career development.
At the end of this fellowship, you should be able to show:
- you have the potential to be an independent leader in your area of research
- you have the skills and experience to apply for more advanced (intermediate level) funding schemes.
Who can't apply
You can't usually apply if:
- you have previously held or are currently completing a nationally competitive fellowship at an equivalent level
- you're currently applying for another Wellcome fellowship.
You can't apply if you want to combine research with a continuing clinical career in medicine, psychology, dentistry or veterinary practice. Instead, see our clinical fellowship schemes.
If you've already been unsuccessful with a full application for this scheme, please contact us before you apply.
What's expected of your host organisation
You must have an eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer your fellowship. When your host organisation submits your application, they must agree to provide the space and resources you'll need from the start date through to the end date of your award.
You must identify a sponsor and mentor who possess strong track records in research, training and mentorship.
Your sponsor should:
- be someone you propose to work with at the host organisation – usually the group leader or principal investigator of the group in which you'll do your research (they don’t have to be the head of department)
- hold an established post at the host organisation for the duration of your fellowship
- provide scientific guidance during the application process and throughout your fellowship
- support your development as a researcher during your fellowship.
You should also identify a research sponsor at every additional research environment you propose to work in, including if you work in a different research group at the same organisation. The research sponsor should guarantee you access to space and resources and provide relevant scientific guidance for the required period.
Your mentor should:
- be an experienced researcher, normally based outside your research environment
- provide independent support and advice during your fellowship
- be committed to helping you achieve your career aspirations.
The Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship is for four years and can be held on a part-time basis. An award of £300,000 provides support for:
- a basic salary (determined by your host organisation)
- a fellowship supplement of £2,500 a year, for your personal support
- research expenses directly related to your proposal
Stages of application
Submit your preliminary application
You must submit your preliminary application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker(opens in a new tab).
On the application form, you must upload letters of support from your:
- current supervisor(s)
- proposed sponsor (maximum of 500 words)
These are the only letters you need to provide. If your current supervisor is also your proposed sponsor, they can write two separate letters or provide all the details in one letter.
The evaluation committee will assess your eligibility and suitability, and give advice about your competitiveness. They will give you a decision within four weeks of the preliminary application deadline. If suitable, you will be invited to submit a full application.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.