Wellcome Trust: Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science

    This scheme provides support for outstanding postdoctoral scientists based in academic institutions in the UK and Republic of Ireland (RoI). Candidates are expected to have an excellent track record in their scientific field and be able to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research.


    You should have between seven and normally twelve years' research experience (from the date of your viva to the decision date, i.e. interview) at postdoctoral level, or veterinary equivalent, and have a substantial record of publications in your chosen area of research in leading international journals.

    Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration (e.g. time away due to personal reasons such as maternity, paternity, adoption leave or other caring responsibilities; ill-health or working in a non-research environment/role such as industry).

    Where applicants have taken formal maternity, paternity or adoption leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), the Trust will allow an additional six months for each period of parental leave when assessing eligibility. Each case will be considered individually and the employing institution may need to confirm that the applicant qualifies for this provision.

    You must be:

    • a UK/EEA national

    • a non-EEA national who either has a relevant degree from a UK university, or has worked in the UK for at least a continuous three-year period

    • an exceptional biomedical scientist, who does not fall within the categories above, whose recruitment to the host institution would be advantageous to both the applicant and the institution.

    Please note that if you hold an established post you are not eligible to apply for a fellowship to be held at your current employing institution. However, in exceptional circumstances, we are willing to consider a preliminary application if you wish to move institution and are able to make a strong scientific justification for the move.

    Holders of Senior Fellowships supported by other UK funding bodies are not eligible to apply.

    The Trust does not normally accept resubmissions of main applications for its fellowships. Please contact the Office for further advice.

    You may not apply for more than one Wellcome Trust fellowship scheme at any one time.


    You must have an eligible sponsoring host institution in the UK or RoI with the support of the relevant Head of Department, or equivalent (e.g. Centre Director, Head of School, etc.), who can guarantee that you will be supported in leading your own independent research team and that adequate space and resources will be provided for the duration of the award.


    The Head of Department (or equivalent):

    • must have a contract of employment with the host institution or, in the case of an NHS employee, an honorary academic appointment

    • should give an undertaking that if an award is made, you will be granted the status and prerogatives of other academic staff of similar seniority

    • should not expect you to spend more than eight hours per week on activities unrelated to the Fellowship (e.g. teaching duties).

    Your sponsor is encouraged to view his/her support and mentorship of you as part of a longer-term commitment to help you realise your career aspirations.

    The Trust would expect you to have one sponsor. However, if you propose to undertake fieldwork or research in a low- or middle-income country, you may be required to identify an appropriate Head of Department, or equivalent (e.g. Director of Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme), in your overseas institution.

    More information about these roles can be found on the Glossary page.


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    The fellowship is for five years in the first instance, and provides:

    • a basic salary, as determined by the host institution (normally up to £55 000 pa) with an additional Trust supplement of £12 500 pa

    • the essential costs of the research programme (e.g. consumables, equipment, research assistance, overseas allowances, collaborative travel and subsistence, fieldwork and data collection)

    • an inflation allowance and support to attend academic/scientific conferences

    • provision for public engagement costs.

    Additional funding is available to enable institutions to recruit exceptional scientists to the UK from overseas. The International Recruitment Supplement (IRS) is designed to be part of the fellowship, providing a competitive start-up package and covering some of the other costs associated with an individual’s recruitment. Candidates are advised to speak to their host institution before submitting a preliminary application.

    Fellowships may be taken up on a part-time employment basis, where appropriate.

    This Fellowship is subject to competitive rolling scientific review every five years, and renewed awards will be funded on the basis that the Trust and the host institution will each provide 50 per cent of the Fellow's employment costs for the duration of any renewal period.

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