Wellcome Trust–Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide four years’ support for recently qualified postdoctoral researchers to gain experience of research at the interfaces between biology/medicine and mathematics, engineering, computer, physical or chemical sciences.
This scheme offers opportunities for postdoctoral scientists to undertake research at the interfaces between biology/medicine and mathematics, engineering, computer, physical or chemical sciences, firstly at MIT and then at a UK institution.
Candidates will be expected to identify an important biomedical research question and to propose a personal interdisciplinary training programme to achieve their research aims.
The aim is to support those who will train in a new research area that is complementary to, but distinct from, their current field of expertise, to enable an interdisciplinary approach to their research question - e.g. you might be a physicist wanting to work on a biology-based programme, or a biologist wanting to undertake a bio-engineering project.
These awards are open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area.
If you have already spent a year or more training or working in an academic or research institution in the United States, you are not eligible to apply to this scheme.
You should be about to submit your doctoral thesis or have up to, but no more than, three years’ postdoctoral experience from date of your PhD viva to the deadline for applications to the scheme.
Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration.
You may have a background in any appropriate field of study (e.g. biology or medicine or chemistry or physics) but you must propose to address an important biomedical research question.
The proposed research should fall within the Wellcome Trust's normal funding remit.
Sponsorship and supervision
You will require:
- an MIT faculty sponsor(s) who can guarantee that MIT will meet all your research costs while you are based in their laboratory, including research expenses and access to equipment - he/she must have a contract of employment at MIT and have tenure beyond the duration of the proposed fellowship
- a UK mentor who will provide you with independent support and advice for the duration of the award.
Resubmissions are not allowed.
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The fellowship is for four years full-time, with the fellow based at MIT for two to three years (Phase 1) before returning to a host institution in the UK for the remainder of the award (Phase 2). Applicants are not expected to have made definitive arrangements for their return to the UK at the time of their initial application; the Trust acknowledges that any current plan may well be subject to change.
Research at MIT
Your initial application will relate to the time to be spent at MIT (Phase 1).
For Phase 1, the Wellcome Trust will provide a stipend, at a level to be determined by your MIT faculty sponsor(s), and additional support to cover miscellaneous expenses including travel, health insurance and small items of equipment. The MIT faculty sponsor(s) will meet all research costs.
Research on return to the UK
For Phase 2, the Wellcome Trust will consider providing an appropriate salary for the fellow, research expenses (to cover materials and consumables, animals, if justified, and modest equipment) for the one- to two-year period back in the UK.
The award of funds for the return to the UK (Phase 2) will be dependent on submission of a competitive application for continuation of the project at a UK host institution, which will be subject to peer review and possible interview.
The fellow may request the postponement of the return to the UK for up to three years (with funding for this period provided by another source). If the Wellcome Trust agrees to the postponement of the return to the UK, an application form as detailed above will be required for approval before funds for the postponed Phase 2 are awarded.