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Improved flexibility of Wellcome Trust senior biomedical schemes

12 April 2012

The Wellcome Trust is increasing the flexibility of its senior level schemes, aligning its Principal and Senior Research Fellowships with its Investigator Awards to increase the number of opportunities for fellowship candidates to apply for funding. It has also introduced a supplement to support the recruitment of international talent to the UK science community.

From October 2012, applications for the fellowships will be reviewed alongside those for Investigator Awards. Applications will first be considered by expert review groups (as is currently the case), and those that are shortlisted will then undergo additional peer review by specialists in the field before the candidates are interviewed by the same panel as Investigator Award applicants.

The panel will have additional membership to reflect its expanded remit in considering both Investigator Awards and senior level fellowships.

The expert review groups and interview panel will meet three times per year. This will increase the opportunities to apply for Senior Research Fellowships, which are currently only considered once per year. This change is intended to ensure that researchers can apply when the time is right for them, maximising their chances of success.

The Trust will continue to require preliminary applications for these senior level fellowships, to provide advice and guidance for prospective candidates. The full application forms will be revised in line with those used for Investigator Awards.

Applicants will be asked for a shorter proposal, which will be focused on the research questions to be pursued rather than methodological detail. The application process will normally be completed within four months of receipt of the full application.

The Trust's commitment to funding the best researchers will be further enhanced by the newly launched International Recruitment Supplement. The supplement is designed to reduce the barriers to recruiting the best biomedical scientists to the UK academic community by contributing, in partnership with the host organisation, to start-up packages and other costs associated with their recruitment. This funding will only be awarded in association with a Trust Investigator Award, Principal Research Fellowship, or Senior Research Fellowship.

For more information, visit the biomedical science funding schemes page.

Image credit: EM Unit, UCL Medical School, Royal Free Campus, Wellcome Images.

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