Wellcome Trust: Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

    This fellowship provides a unique opportunity for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent research careers, working in the best laboratories in the UK and overseas.

    Candidates will be expected to identify an important biomedical research question and to develop and deliver a personal programme to achieve their research aims.

    It funds the best researchers with the most innovative and exciting ideas in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and also devote a significant proportion of our funding to support those working overseas, in the form of personal and research support, collaborations and support for symposia, conferences and workshops.

    The areas which are in particularly promoted are listed below.

    • Adjuvant developmen,
    • Influenza research,
    • Reducing animal use in research,
    • Stem cell research.


    These awards are open to individuals with a relevant connection to the European Economic Area.

    For preliminary applications submitted after November 2014, you must be in the final year of your PhD studies or have no more than two years of postdoctoral research experiencefrom the date of your PhD vivaat the final decision point (i.e. interview). Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration (e.g. time away due to 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.

    The proposed research should fall within the Wellcome Trust's normal funding remit.

    Sponsorship and supervision

    You must have an eligible sponsoring institution in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer the fellowship for the full duration of the award.

    You may be sponsored by your current host institution but are encouraged to begin your fellowship at a new research location.

    You will require a:

    • Sponsor (normally the Head of Department, or equivalent, e.g. Centre/Unit Director) who can guarantee that the sponsoring institution will administer the award for the full tenure of the fellowship

    • mentor who will provide you with independent support and advice for the duration of the award

    • research sponsor in every different research environment who must be able to guarantee you access to space and resources for the required period and provide relevant scientific guidance.

    A sponsor may also be nominated as a research sponsor or mentor on an application. However, we would not expect a single individual to be proposed for all three roles.

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

    Resubmissions of full applications are not normally allowed.


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    The Fellowship is for four years full-time. Fellowships may be taken up on a part-time employment basis with the tenure of award lengthened accordingly.

    The Fellowship provides an award of £250 000. These funds provide support for:

    • the basic salary as determined by the host institution, with an additional Trust enhancement for basic science fellows

    • research expenses (materials and consumables; animals; travel and overseas subsistence; support to attend scientific meetings; small items of equipment, e.g. laptop; and fieldwork and data collection).

    Support funds for research staff or equipment are not provided. It is expected that appropriate research locations will be selected and that the majority of the necessary equipment and facilities required for the proposed research be available to the candidate.

    Awarded Fellows can also apply for provision for public engagement costs, which provide dedicated funds to enable grant holders to engage with the public with their research.

    Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellows in the third or fourth year of their Fellowship are also eligible to apply for the Wellcome Trust and BBC placement scheme. This scheme provides Fellows with the opportunity to undertake a four-week internship at the BBC science unit in Central London or Glasgow, to gain first-hand experience of the broadcast media environment and an understanding of the development, production and commissioning process of TV programmes.

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