Investigator Awards in Science are provided by the Wellcome Trust for the purpose of providing all who hold established posts in eligible organisations with the same opportunity to obtain funding. Awards provide flexible support at a level and length appropriate to enable researchers to address the most important questions of relevance to the Trust’s scientific remit. Awards may be small or large, but applicants should set out a compelling case for their research, while ensuring that their proposal and requested funding are appropriate to their experience to date and distinct from other research income that they may already hold.
Applications are judged relative to career stage, ie:
- Researchers in the early stages of their independent career should be able to show that they can innovate and drive advances in their field of study, and demonstrate considerable promise for the future. Their research, funding and training track records should be strong relative to their career stage.
- Researchers with more experience are expected to have achieved more in terms of the originality and impact of their research, their track record of attracting research grant support, and success in training and mentoring others. Senior researchers should be internationally recognised as a leader in their field.
Research proposed should not replace activities already supported in the institute.
Applicants must be based at an eligible higher education or research institution in the UK, Ireland or a low- or middle-income country. Applicants should be employed in an established academic post, ie a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract, salaried by the host institution. Applicants are also eligible if they have a written guarantee of an established academic post at the host institution, which they will take up by the start of the award.
Applicants based in a low- or middle-income country in sub-Saharan Africa, south-east Asia or south Asia (with the exception of India), are eligible to apply if they fulfil the above eligibility criteria and are working within the Trust’s broad science funding remit. Applicants based in a low- or middle-income country outside the areas mentioned above are eligible to apply only if they are carrying out research in the fields of public health and tropical medicine.
Applicants in the early stages of an independent research career should:
- Have a strong track record in research, relative to the stage of their career and research experience to date.
- Have published significant intellectual contributions to research.
- Have begun to forge an international reputation for excellence in their field.
- Show evidence of achievement as an independent researcher in their chosen area, eg by the award of research grant funding.
- Have begun to establish a training record and experience of coaching or mentoring less experienced researchers.
More senior researchers, depending on experience to date, are expected to:
- Be an internationally recognised research leader in their field.
- Have made significant contributions, demonstrated by a strong record of important publications or other outputs.
- Have a track record of attracting significant research support from major funding bodies.
- Have a strong training record supporting the development and mentorship of less experienced researchers.
Applications are encouraged from researchers who have worked in industry or other non-academic research environments, or have taken career breaks, and joint applications are welcomed from two researchers with complementary expertise working closely together on a shared proposal.
Royal Society and RCUK researchers may be eligible to apply and are advised to contact the Trust.
Awards can be small or large, typically up to £3 million, and last up to seven years.
Applications should be submitted through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker system by the closing date of 12 March 2018.