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Senior Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine

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Purpose

This scheme supports outstanding researchers from low- and middle-income countries to establish themselves as leading investigators at an academic institution in a low- and middle-income country location.

This fellowship is the most senior of a series of career awards aimed at building sustainable capacity in areas of research that have the potential for increasing health benefits for people and their livestock in low- and middle-income countries.

Research should be aimed at understanding and improving public health and tropical medicine of local, national and global relevance. Public health and tropical medicine cover a wide range of health problems, including communicable and non-communicable diseases. Topics include:

  • demographic, social science and health economic studies
  • epidemiological, field and community based studies
  • health care systems and policy research
  • measurement of infectious and chronic disease burden
  • population studies
  • clinical trials and case control studies
  • studies of disease mechanisms in the natural host
  • determinants of disease susceptibility and resistance
  • immunity or resistance in natural hosts or vectors.

What's included

Fellowships are for up to five years in the first instance and provide support that includes:

The salary should normally be based on the pay scales of the employing institution and must be justified by the head of the institution. The salary level should be appropriate for the holder of a competitive grant and allow him/her to focus full-time on research.

If the fellow is already in receipt of a salary from the host institution, the host institution may use the salary to pay for a replacement member of staff while we provide the fellow's salary for the duration of the fellowship. It is not expected that the fellow will hold a salary in addition to the one provided by the Trust.

Overseas allowances will be provided for periods of training or collaborative research spent outside the home institution country, where appropriate.

Research-dedicated costs (excluding salary costs) should not exceed £100 000 per annum.

This fellowship is subject to competitive rolling scientific review every five years, and renewed awards will be funded on the basis that the Trust and the host institution will each provide 50 per cent of the Fellow’s basic employment costs for the duration of any renewal period.

Eligibility

We will consider applications that fall within the Public Health and Tropical Medicine remit. This covers research on infectious and non-communicable diseases within the fields of public health and tropical medicine that is aimed at understanding and controlling diseases (either human or animal) of relevance to local, national or global health. This includes:

  • demographic, social science and health economic studies
  • epidemiological, field and community based studies
  • health care systems and policy research
  • measurement of infectious and chronic disease burden
  • population studies
  • clinical trials and case control studies
  • studies of disease mechanisms in the natural host
  • determinants of disease susceptibility and resistance
  • immunity or resistance in natural hosts of vectors.

This can include laboratory based molecular analysis of field or clinical samples, but projects focused solely on studies in vitro or using animal models will not normally be considered under this scheme.

You must be a national of a low- and middle-income country, and be either a:

  • graduate in a subject relevant to public health or tropical medicine (for example; biomedical or social science, veterinary medicine, physics, chemistry or mathematics) with a PhD and at least five years' postdoctoral experience, or
  • medical graduate with a higher qualification equivalent to membership of the UK Royal College of Physicians (i.e. qualified to enter higher specialist training), or be recognised as a specialist within a relevant research area, and have at least five years' research experience.

Applicants who do not have a PhD but who are educated to first degree or Master's level and have substantial research experience, as evidenced by their publication record, may be considered.

You should have a substantial record of publications in your chosen area of research in leading international journals. Applications are particularly encouraged from outstanding low- and middle-income country researchers working overseas who wish to return to their home country.

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 or other caring responsibilities, or ill-health).

Where applicants have taken formal maternity, paternity or adoption leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), the Trust will allow an additional six months for each period of parental leave when assessing eligibility. Each case will be considered individually and the employing institution may need to confirm that the applicant qualifies for this provision.

Senior Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine are not available to researchers in India. Instead, please see the funding schemes offered by the Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance.

We do not normally accept resubmissions of fellowship applications.

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

Sponsorship and supervision

You must be based at an eligible host institution in a low- and middle-income country, and have an appropriate sponsor who is a Head of Department (or equivalent), and holds an established post for the duration of the fellowship and has a track record in research and research training.

Your sponsor is expected to support you in your research and to ensure that you will be released from the majority of your administrative and teaching commitments to enable you to focus on research.

You must have the full support of your sponsor, who should give an undertaking that, conditional only on your sustained performance as a research worker:

  • if a suitable vacancy arose locally or elsewhere, support would be given to you as a candidate for the post
  • the sponsoring department would hope during the tenure of the fellowship to be able to arrange for a suitable new post for you.

An additional sponsor(s) must be identified for periods outside the host institution, i.e. the institution(s) where periods of training will take place.

You may apply to remain in your current laboratory (even if you already hold an established post), to return to one where you have previously worked, or to move to a new laboratory, in a low- and middle-income country.

The time permitted for clinical duties or other non-research activity during the fellowship is normally restricted to a maximum of eight hours each week.

In terms of renewal, fellowships will be subject to a competitive, rolling scientific review every five years. If successful, Senior Fellowships will be renewed on the basis that the Trust and the host institution will jointly fund the Senior Fellow's salary through a partnership for the duration of any renewal period.

In general, fellowships may be held in 'not for profit' institutions that are able to sign up to our Grant Conditions. Institutions that have not previously received significant funding from the Trust will be required to submit information to enable us to assess eligibility. Applications will not be considered by a decision-making committee until all eligibility checks have been completed.

Application process

Please use WT Grant Tracker to complete your application.

Awards will be made following a rigorous review process and interview. The application process may take up to four months to complete, from receipt of the main application, and consists of the following stages:

  • Preliminary application - assessment of eligibility and advice on competitiveness
  • Invited main application - review by the relevant Expert Review Group and shortlisted for interview
  • Interview - by Interview Panel, with additional peer review from relevant scientific experts.

Stage 1: preliminary application
Your preliminary application must be accompanied by an institutional statement of commitment from your host institution sponsor confirming that:

  • the Fellow will be granted the status and benefits of other academic staff of similar seniority
  • the institution will support a successful application for renewal and will jointly fund the Fellow’s employment costs through the shared 50:50 funding arrangement for the duration of any renewal period.

Stage 2: main application
If a main application is invited, you will be asked to complete the main application form. The form will require you to provide information additional to that provided in the preliminary application, particularly in relation to your research vision. It will also include details relating to (as appropriate):

  • your data management/sharing plan
  • your proposed clinical trial
  • your proposed use of animals

Download a sample of the full application form.

A copy of the home institution's salary scale and justification of your salary level from the head of department should be submitted with your full application.

Stage 3: scientific review and shortlisting
Main applications are reviewed and shortlisted for interview by one of the Trust’s Expert Review Groups.

Stage 4: External peer review
Before interview, we will seek comments from external export referees, which will include members of the Trust’s Peer Review College.

Stage 5: Interview
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the Interview Panel.

Interviews will be conducted at the Wellcome Trust's offices in London. Travel and accommodation costs will be provided.

Application advice

Reviewers typically assess:

  • the calibre of the candidate
  • the quality and importance of the research question(s)
  • the approach to solving these questions
  • the suitability of the research environment.

Successful applicants will have a substantial record of publications in their chosen area of research in leading international journals.

Award process

If successful, and before an award letter is issued, candidates will be asked to provide:

  • full details of the costs requested
  • information on human participation, biological samples and personal data
  • information on consultancies, equities, directorships and commercial exploitation
  • details of key collaborator(s)
  • other details, as required.

We reserve the right not to process an application if the scheme's eligibility criteria are not met.

Successful applicants may have the opportunity to apply for Enhancement funding.

Deadlines

Applications are considered three times a year.

The timetable for the next round of the competition is below:

  • Next preliminary application deadline: 24 May 2016 (5pm)
  • Main application deadline: 27 July 2016 (5pm)
  • Shortlisting of candidates by Expert Review Group: September 2016
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews by Interview Panel: 30 November 2016 – 2 December 2016

  • Next preliminary application deadline: 19 September 2016 (5pm)
  • Invited full application deadline: 21 November 2016 (5pm)
  • Shortlisting of candidates by Expert Review Group: January 2017
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews by Interview Panel: 5-7 April 2017

Schedule for preliminary applications submitted to 8 December 2015 deadline:

  • Main application deadline: 26 February 2016 (5pm)
  • Shortlisting of candidates by Expert Review Group: April 2016
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews by Interview Panel: 5-7 July 2016

Invitations to complete a main application form will usually be sent to candidates within one month of the preliminary application deadline.

Interviews will be conducted at the Wellcome Trust’s offices in London.

Late applications will not be accepted at any stage.

Current award holders

This fellowship is the most senior of a series of career awards aimed at building sustainable capacity in areas of research that have the potential for increasing health benefits for people and their livestock in low- and middle-income countries.

A full list of current fellows in Public Health and Tropical Medicine is available.

Contact us

About your eligibility, the application process or general queries about grants

About the content of your project or proposal

About our online application system

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