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Wellcome Trust-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Postdoctoral Fellowships

MIT microscope
Wellcome Trust–Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide four years’ support for recently qualified postdoctoral researchers to gain experience of research at the interfaces between biology/medicine and mathematics, engineering, computer, physical or chemical sciences.
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The Trust is not accepting any further new applications for this scheme and the details here are for information only.

This scheme offers opportunities for postdoctoral scientists to undertake research at the interfaces between biology/medicine and mathematics, engineering, computer, physical or chemical sciences, firstly at MIT and then at a UK institution.

Candidates will be expected to identify an important biomedical research question and to propose a personal interdisciplinary training programme to achieve their research aims.

The aim is to support those who will train in a new research area that is complementary to, but distinct from, their current field of expertise, to enable an interdisciplinary approach to their research question - e.g. you might be a physicist wanting to work on a biology-based programme, or a biologist wanting to undertake a bio-engineering project.

What’s included

The fellowship is for four years full-time, with the fellow based at MIT for two to three years (Phase 1) before returning to a host institution in the UK for the remainder of the award (Phase 2). Applicants are not expected to have made definitive arrangements for their return to the UK at the time of their initial application; the Trust acknowledges that any current plan may well be subject to change.

Research at MIT

Your initial application will relate to the time to be spent at MIT (Phase 1).

For Phase 1, the Wellcome Trust will provide a stipend, at a level to be determined by your MIT faculty sponsor(s), and additional support to cover miscellaneous expenses including travel, health insurance and small items of equipment. The MIT faculty sponsor(s) will meet all research costs.

Research on return to the UK

For Phase 2, the Wellcome Trust will consider providing an appropriate salary for the fellow, research expenses (to cover materials and consumables, animals, if justified, and modest equipment) for the one- to two-year period back in the UK, as well as provision for public engagement costs.

The award of funds for the return to the UK (Phase 2) will be dependent on submission of a competitive application for continuation of the project at a UK host institution, which will be subject to peer review and possible interview.

The fellow may request the postponement of the return to the UK for up to three years (with funding for this period provided by another source). If the Wellcome Trust agrees to the postponement of the return to the UK, an application form as detailed above will be required for approval before funds for the postponed Phase 2 are awarded.


These awards are open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area.

If you have already spent a year or more training or working in an academic or research institution in the United States, you are not eligible to apply to this scheme.

You should be about to submit your doctoral thesis or have up to, but no more than, three years’ postdoctoral experience from date of your PhD viva to the deadline for applications to the scheme.

Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration.

You may have a background in any appropriate field of study (e.g. biology or medicine or chemistry or physics) but you must propose to address an important biomedical research question.

The proposed research should fall within the Wellcome Trust's normal funding remit.

Sponsorship and supervision

You will require:

  • an MIT faculty sponsor(s) who can guarantee that MIT will meet all your research costs while you are based in their laboratory, including research expenses and access to equipment - he/she must have a contract of employment at MIT and have tenure beyond the duration of the proposed fellowship
  • a UK mentor who will provide you with independent support and advice for the duration of the award.

Resubmissions are not allowed.

Application process

Applications will be peer reviewed and shortlisted for interview by the relevant Interview Commitee.

You will be notified in writing of your success, or otherwise, in reaching the next round of the competition. Decisions will not be available by telephone.

Shortlisted candidates will be notified two weeks before the interview date. Interviews will be conducted at our offices in London.

Awards will be conditional upon a satisfactory performance at interview.

Application advice

You should give careful thought to your choice of MIT faculty sponsor(s) and UK mentor. Appropriate individuals will possess strong track records in research, training and/or mentorship.

You should drive the identification of a research question and the development of the proposal. However, we expect your MIT faculty sponsor(s) and UK mentor to provide you with advice and support during the application process. In particular, the MIT faculty sponsor(s) must guarantee to meet all your research costs while you are based in their laboratory, including research expenses and access to equipment.

You will be expected to focus on your research for the duration of the award.

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

Reviewers typically assess:

  • your track record
  • the importance of the research question
  • the interdisciplinary training component (such as, will a biologist be gaining experience in technologies and/or approaches that are not typically used in biomedical research or will a physicist, for example, be conducting research in a biomedical context?)
  • your choice of appropriate research sponsors
  • the feasibility of the approach
  • your vision of how the fellowship will contribute to your career development
  • your longer-term aspirations.

Resubmissions are not allowed.


The Trust is not accepting any further new applications for this scheme. You may wish to look at our Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme.

Contact us

About your application

Queries can also be sent to:

Dr Eleanor Groves
Grants Management
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
+44 (0)20 7611 8524

Current award holders

Details of all current WT-MIT Postdoctoral Fellows are available.

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Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888