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Our vision

Our vision is to improve health by supporting bright minds in science, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement.

We focus on three key areas of activity, reaching across five major research challenges.

Focus areas

Our funding focuses on supporting outstanding researchers, accelerating the application of research and exploring medicine in historical and cultural contexts.

Outstanding researchers

We believe that breakthroughs emerge when the most talented researchers are given the resources and freedom they need to pursue their goals.

Application of research

We are committed to maximising the application of research to improve health by focusing on new product development and the uptake of patient-oriented research advances into clinical practice.

Medicine in culture

We strive to embed biomedical science in the historical and cultural landscape, so that it is valued and there is mutual trust between researchers and the wider public.

Research challenges

Our five major challenges address some of the most pressing and fundamental problems that confront human and animal health.

To tackle these challenges we provide support within the UK and abroad for biological, clinical and translational research, public engagement activities and an exploration of the historical, cultural and ethical issues.

Maximising the health benefits of genetics and genomics We fund a wide array of research into how genes affect health and disease, and work to ensure that this knowledge lead to new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent illness.
Understanding the brain We support research to improve understanding of how the brain functions and to find improved approaches for treating brain and mental health disorders.
Combating infectious disease Finding new ways to prevent and treat the bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases that kill millions of people worldwide every year.
Investigating development, ageing and chronic disease

We aim to develop an integrated understanding of how the body develops, functions and ages, and of the factors that contribute to the onset and development of chronic disease.

Connecting environment, nutrition and health Global health is under serious threat from the interlinked issues of access to nutrition, food security and climate change. We foster a multidisciplinary approach to address these problems.

Flexible research careers

We make every effort to ensure we provide a flexible and fair funding system that allows excellent applicants, both women and men, to be successful. 

Monitoring our progress

To help inform future strategy and build the evidence base to demonstrate the importance of biomedical research to the economy and wider society, we monitor the outcomes and impacts of our support.

Strategic Plan

View and download our Strategic Plan 2010-20 and the two-yearly updates.


Explore our interactive guide to the Wellcome Trust’s history from 1936 to the present.


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Keep in touch

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