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Research Fellowships

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This scheme supports humanities and social science scholars at all stages of their career but not in an established academic post, who wish to undertake a period of research in any area of human and animal health.

Strong preference is given to applicants with a good prospect of achieving an academic career in the field.

What's included

The maximum duration is three years full-time equivalent.

The awards are full-time but may be awarded on a part-time basis if a case can be made that personal circumstances require this.

Fellowships provide research expenses and a salary, plus appropriate employer's contributions.

Provision for public engagement costs


You are eligible to apply if you are a postdoctoral scholar not in a tenured or otherwise long-term established post (employment on a rolling contract is regarded as tantamount to holding an established post), wishing to carry out an extended period of research on a specific project.

You will also be expected to have been awarded your PhD before you are eligible to apply. Applications from candidates who are still awaiting their viva by the time of the full application will not normally be accepted.

Your application must be sponsored by an established and normally senior member of the department, unit or institute in which the award is to be held.

Applicants must be based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or a low-to-middle-income country.

Application process

Please use WT Grant Tracker to complete your preliminary application.

When applying, we will ask you to select a funding area for your application. This will help us route your application to the appropriate grants team when it arrives at the Trust.

Please select ‘Medical Humanities’ if your proposal uses a predominantly humanities approach.

Please select ‘Society and Ethics’ if your proposal uses a predominantly social science approach, or involves a normative, empirical or conceptual ethical enquiry.

If your preliminary application is successful, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Download a sample full application form.

Full applications are considered by either the Medical Humanities or Society and Ethics Expert Review Group, depending on the area of the proposed research.

If shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview by either the Medical Humanities or Society and Ethics Interview Committee. You will be shown reviewer comments before the interview.


A preliminary application must be submitted before a full application is invited.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

2016 deadlines

January round

  • 22 January 2016: closing date for preliminary applications
  • 30 March 2016: closing date for full applications

The schedule for full applications received by 30 March 2016 closing date is as follows:

  • May 2016: shortlisting
  • July 2016: interviews

July round
6 July 2016: closing date for preliminary applications

20 September 2016: closing date for full applications

The schedule for full applications received by 20 September 2016 closing date is as follows:

  • November 2016: shortlisting
  • January 2017: interviews

Contact us

About your eligibility, the application process or general queries about grants
+44 (0)20 7611 5757

About the content of your project or proposal
+44 (0)20 7611 5757

About our online application system
+44 (0)20 7611 8383

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