Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

Wellcome Trust

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Deadline: Jun 17, 2021 10:00am PDT (Full proposal)

Grant amount: £300,000

Fields of work: Human Physiology Epidemiology & Public Health Developmental Biology / Embryology Cell Biology Cognitive Science Neuroscience Genetics & Genomics Molecular Biology Infectious & Parasitic Diseases Immune System Diseases Health & Medicine Show all

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD Student

Funding uses: Research, Fellowship

Location of project: Ireland, United Kingdom

Location of residency: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus Show all

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within a few years of receiving their PhD

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About this funder:



NOTE: We’re changing our funding schemes.The way we fund research is changing to support our new strategy. A simplified set of funding schemes will be open for applications in summer 2021.

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

This scheme offers recently qualified postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to start independent research careers, working in some of the best research environments in the world.

What We're Looking For

During this fellowship, we expect you to expand your research horizons and develop your scientific independence so that you can become a leader in the field. 

The idea for the research project should be yours and you should drive the development of your proposal, although you can take advice from research sponsors and mentors.

The scope of your proposal should be broader than that of a typical postdoctoral position. It should enable you to explore a research area within our science remit that will set you apart from your research sponsors.

You could do this by developing new skills and/or by working:

  • across disciplines
  • in new research environments or sectors
  • in more than one research location, either in the UK or another country (apart from mainland China).
  • We expect you to think about your long-term vision and the skills and competencies you’ll need.

What We Offer

The Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship is for four years and can be held on a part-time basis. An award of £300,000 provides support for:

  • a basic salary (determined by your host organisation)
  • a fellowship supplement of £2,500 a year, for your personal support
  • research expenses directly related to your proposal

We’ll consider requests for additional funding if it’s scientifically justified, eg non-human primate research.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who can apply
    • Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships are aimed at researchers who want to undertake a guided period of research and will go on to lead their own independent research.
    • You must either be in the final year of your PhD studies or be an early-career researcher with some initial postdoctoral experience.
    • You should have started to make important contributions to your area of research, eg publications, patents, software development or an impact on policy.
    • You must have an eligible sponsoring organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer the fellowship for the full duration of the award.
    • You must also:
      • be a UK or European Economic Area national
    • or
      • have, or expect to have, a PhD from a UK or Republic of Ireland university.
    • If you've been away from research (eg for a career break, maternity leave, or long-term sick leave), we'll allow for this when we consider your application. 
  • What's expected of your host organisation
    • You must have an eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer your fellowship. When your host organisation submits your application, they must agree to provide the space and resources you'll need from the start date through to the end date of your award.
    • You must identify a sponsor and mentor who possess strong track records in research, training and mentorship.
    • Your sponsor should:
      • be someone you propose to work with at the host organisation – usually the group leader or principal investigator of the group in which you'll do your research (they don’t have to be the head of department)
      • hold an established post at the host organisation for the duration of your fellowship
      • provide scientific guidance during the application process and throughout your fellowship
      • support your development as a researcher during your fellowship.
    • You should also identify an additional sponsor at every other research environment you propose to work in, including if you work in a different research group at the same organisation. They should guarantee you access to space and resources and provide relevant scientific guidance for the required period.
    • Mentor
      • Your mentor should:
        • be an experienced researcher - usually a group leader - who already knows you
        • work outside the group(s) you propose to work in during your fellowship
        • support your career development during your fellowship.


  • You can't usually apply if:
    • you have previously held or are currently completing a nationally competitive fellowship at an equivalent level
    • you're currently applying for another Wellcome fellowship.
  • You can't apply if you want to combine research with a continuing clinical career in medicine, psychology, dentistry or veterinary practice. Instead, see our clinical fellowship schemes.
  • If you've already been unsuccessful with a full application for this scheme, please contact us before you apply again. We don't usually accept resubmissions of full applications.  
  • You can't apply to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.


This page was last reviewed April 06, 2021 and last updated April 06, 2021