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Research Training Fellowships

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This scheme is for medical, dental, veterinary or clinical psychology graduates who have little or no research training, but who wish to develop a long-term career in academic medicine. Applications are encouraged from individuals who wish to undertake substantial training through high-quality research in an appropriate unit or clinical research facility, towards a PhD or MD qualification.

Further opportunities for clinicians to undertake a high quality PhD are provided by the Clinical PhD Programmes and the Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Programmes.

What's included

Fellowships are normally for two to three years. In exceptional cases a fellowship may be for up to four years for those who wish to undertake a relevant Masters training or diploma course. All training requests must be fully justified in the application.

Fellowships provide:

  • research expenses (e.g. consumables, travel, support to attend scientific meetings, fieldwork and data collection)
  • fellow's salary, set according to age, experience and our policy on enhancement.

The necessary equipment and facilities required for the proposed research must be available to the candidate, so it is essential that a laboratory or unit appropriate to the research proposed is selected. Substantial requests for equipment are not accepted.

Funding is not provided for PhD/MD tuition fees, although the Flexible Funding Allowance associated with the Fellowship may be used to contribute towards this expense. Funding may be requested for training activities relevant to the aims of the Fellowship, including, and when appropriate, for a Masters or Diploma.

Candidates who are currently funded on a one-year grant and wish to pursue a PhD may apply for a two-year Research Training Fellowship. We do not provide top-up funding.

We provide appropriate allowances to fellows based in low- and middle-income countries/overseas.

The research project should normally be undertaken in the UK or Republic of Ireland and candidates may request to spend up to three months overseas during the fellowship. For candidates who are carrying out research in public health and tropical medicine in a low- and middle-income country location, the duration of the fellowship may be spent overseas.

Candidates who wish to pursue research in epidemiology or bioinformatics, and need to undertake a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene or a Masters degree as an essential entry point, may be considered for an extra year's funding and course fees.

Fellowships may be taken up on a part-time employment basis, where appropriate. Applicants are advised to consult their training authority on conversion to a flexible NTN and discuss with us.


The fellowship is open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area (EEA) for fellowships to be held in a UK or Republic of Ireland institution. Non-UK candidates should contact the office for advice before submitting an application.

You should have little to no research experience and it should not normally be more than ten years from the date of your first medical, dental or veterinary qualification. Due allowance will be given to those whose career has been affected by a late start or for personal reasons (e.g. time away due to maternity, paternity, adoption leave, other caring responsibilities or ill-health).

You should have completed general professional training as defined by the relevant college.

  • Medical graduates must have passed the relevant exam for their specialty, e.g. MRCP, MRCS, MRCOphth/FRCOphth Part 1, MRCPsych, MRCOG Part 1, MRCPCH, FRCA Part 1. GPs are advised to contact the office to clarify their eligibility.
  • Dental candidates must have obtained MFD, MFDS, MGDS, MFGDP or equivalent.
  • Veterinary candidates should have a degree in veterinary medicine (e.g. BVSc, BVM&S, BVMS, BVetMed, VetMB) and some experience in clinical practice. An intercalated degree is desirable, but not essential.
  • Clinical psychology candidates must have obtained a professional Doctorate-level qualification in Clinical Psychology accredited by the British Psychological Society before taking up the award. Candidates are advised to contact the office to clarify their eligibility.

You are expected to undertake a high-quality research project that balances the provision of training with the opportunity to advance knowledge in a given area. A project based solely on a systematic review of a particular area is not suitable, unless it includes a significant element of methodological innovation.

The proposed research should fall within our normal funding remit.

Time permitted for clinical duties or other non-research activity during the fellowship is normally restricted to a maximum of eight hours or two programmed activities per week.

Applications that previously would have fallen under the remit of the clinical epidemiology, tropical medicine, health services research or medical microbiology are now considered under this scheme. Candidates carrying out research in the areas of public health and tropical medicine will be considered by the Public Health and Tropical Medicine Interview Committee.

The Trust does not normally accept unsolicited resubmissions. Applicants wishing to resubmit should contact the Office for further advice before submitting an application.

Sponsorship and supervision

Your sponsoring laboratory must be in an eligible NHS or academic institution in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

Your sponsor must have a contract of employment with the academic institution or, in the case of an NHS employee, an honorary academic appointment. He/she must also have tenure beyond the duration of the proposed fellowship and be in a position to guarantee space and facilities for the tenure of the award.

For research to be carried out primarily in a low- and middle-income country, an appropriate training institute and sponsor must be identified.

Sponsors and supervisors are advised to read all the scheme information provided here.

More information about these roles can be found on the Glossary page.

Application process

A full application form should be completed, via the Trust’s eGrants online application system and submitted at any time before the published deadline. (Note: select the 'Research Training Fellowship’ form in the ‘Scheme Name’ drop-down menu, then select ‘Training Fellowship’ to choose the full application form).

The application will be reviewed and, if successful, you will be shortlisted for interview at our headquarters in London. (You will be notified two weeks before the interview date as to whether you have been shortlisted.)

Application advice

Reviewers typically assess:

  • your career to date
  • the scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed project
  • the significance of the science
  • the suitability of your supervisor, sponsor and host environment.

You should give careful thought to your choice of supervisor/sponsor. Appropriate individuals will possess strong track records in research and mentorship.

It is hoped that your supervisor will provide you with guidance during the application process as well as mentorship throughout the fellowship. Sponsors and encouraged to view their support and mentorship as part of a longer-term commitment to help you realise your career aspirations to be a clinical academic.

You can apply through any eligible UK or Republic of Ireland sponsoring institution. The Wellcome Trust Centres for Research in Clinical Tropical Medicine can offer support for researchers carrying out projects in clinical tropical medicine in low- and middle-income countries.

Please refer to the Application information pages for more advice about applying for a grant.

You are encouraged to contact the relevant office if you have any queries regarding the scheme, a potential application or career issues (see 'Contacts').

The Trust does not normally accept unsolicited resubmissions. Applicants wishing to resubmit should contact the Office for further advice in advance of submitting an application.

You may not apply for more than one Wellcome Trust fellowship scheme at any one time.


Applications are considered three times a year.

Applications from candidates carrying out research in the areas of public health and tropical medicine will be considered by the Public Health and Tropical Medicine Interview Committee (PHATIC). All other applications will be considered by the Clinical Interview Committee (CIC).

Candidates will be notified two weeks before the interview date as to whether they have been shortlisted. Interviews will be conducted at the Wellcome Trust's offices in London.

  • Next full application deadline: 7 July 2014 (5pm)
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 13-14 November 2014 (CIC) and 24-26 November 2014 (PHATIC)

Details of future deadlines:

  • Round 2 full application deadline: 22 September 2014 (5pm)
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 5-6 February 2015

  • Round 3 full application deadline: 9 February 2015 (5pm)
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 24-26 June 2015

Schedule for full applications submitted to 7 July February 2014 deadline:

  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 25-27 June 2014 (CIC) and 18-20 June 2014 (PHATIC)

Late applications will not be accepted at any stage.

Fellowships must be taken up within one year of award.


Enquiries may be emailed to sciencegrants@wellcome.ac.uk or telephone the Grants Information Desk: +44 (0)20 7611 5757.

See Contact us for our postal address.

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