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University Awards

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This scheme allows universities to attract or retain outstanding research staff at an early to mid-stage in their careers by providing support for up to five years, after which time the applicant takes up a guaranteed permanent post in the university.

A monograph or other substantial publications are expected to result from an award, and so teaching and other non-research commitments are expected to be minimal during the period of full Wellcome Trust support.

What's included

Up to five years' support is available, providing your full salary for three years, 50 per cent in the fourth year and 25 per cent in the fifth year.

Travel expenses to attend meetings are provided for five years, but research expenses are provided for the first three years of the award only.

Provision for public engagement costs


You must be nominated by your prospective head of department and have an undertaking from the head of the institution, vice-chancellor, principal or dean that your personal support will be taken over by the institution at the end of the Trust's grant.

If you are remaining in your current institution, you should not be in an established academic post at the time an application for an award is made.

Support is normally available only at lecturer level, although in exceptional cases awards to senior-lecturer level may be possible.

The host institution would normally be located in either the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland.

Application process

Initial enquiries about the scheme may be made by you (the potential candidate) or a department in an institution.

These enquiries should be followed by a preliminary application from you, in writing (preferably submitted by email), including:

  • an explicit statement from the head of the institution, vice-chancellor or dean demonstrating the institution's commitment to your research field, and a statement confirming that the institution will provide 50 per cent salary costs in year four, 75 per cent in year five and full salary thereafter
  • CV and full publication list
  • an outline of no more than two pages of the proposed project
  • a letter of support from the head of department, including a statement on your expected teaching/administrative load for the five-year period
  • the approximate cost of the proposal, broken down into your salary, equipment and project running costs.

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

Full applications must be submitted by the published deadlines. Late applications will not be accepted.


Applications are processed twice a year for consideration by Expert Review Group (for shortlisting) and interview meetings.

2015 deadlines

January round

  • 23 January 2015: closing date for preliminary applications
    2 April 2015
    : closing date for full applications.

The schedule for full applications received by the April closing date is as follows:

  • May 2015: shortlisting
    July 2015
    : interviews.

July round

  • July 2015: closing date for preliminary applications (exact date tbc)
    September 2015
    : closing date for full applications (exact date tbc).

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

  • November 2015: shortlisting
    January 2016
    : interviews.

We aim to advise all applicants whether they have been invited to submit full applications within three weeks of the preliminary application deadline.


Grants Section (Society and Ethics)
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK

T +44 (0)20 7611 8893

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