The Wellcome Trust

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					The Wellcome Trust

Visit to Birkbeck College

     27 April 2005
                  Outline of talk

• Introduction to the Wellcome Trust
• Funding opportunities
     Personal support including fellowships
     Research grants
     Equipment grants
     International
     Public interest
     History of Medicine

• Writing a good grant application
   What is the Wellcome Trust?

  The Wellcome Trust is an independent
research-funding charity, established under
the will of Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936. It is
funded from a private endowment, which is
managed for long-term stability and growth.

“To foster and promote research
   with the aim of improving
   human and animal health”
  The restructured science funding

 The five new funding streams:
• Immunology and Infectious Disease
• Population and Public Health
• Neuroscience and Mental Health
• Physiological Sciences
• Molecules, Genes and Cells
Funding Opportunities
…Some brief comments on the grant
review process

• External Peer Review
• The Funding Committee
• Interviews (for certain personal awards)
        What is personal support?

  Your salary – for a certain duration

 …And appropriate research support, which may
• Research assistance
• Running costs
• Equipment
• Collaborative travel
              University Award

 • Allow Universities to attract strategically
important research staff
Two types of award:
      • Research staff in academic post
      • Research technologist / analysts

 • Preliminary application required

• Portfolio of schemes for both basic and
 clinician scientists

• Support available for individuals at all stages
 of their career
      Personal support – outline of schemes
                                   Principal Research

            Senior Fellowships                          Senior Fellowships
             in Basic Science                           in Clinical Science

             Research Career                            Intermediate Clinical
         Development Fellowships                             Fellowships

Research Re-Entry          Advanced Training            Research Training
   Fellowships                  Fellowships                Fellowship

      Science and Veterinary Graduates        Medical, Dental and Veterinary Graduates
    Advanced Training Fellowships

• For postdoctoral scientists
• Research training in a new discipline or in a
 new aspect of their own field
• Training can be in UK or abroad if appropriate
   Research Career Development
• 3-6 years postdoctoral experience
• 4 year awards; includes 1 RA and research
• To establish independence
     Career Re-entry Fellowships

• To enable postdoctoral scientists to return to
 independent research after a career break
• 4 year awards
• Re-training if appropriate
     Senior Research Fellowships

• 5-10 years postdoctoral experience;
 independence demonstrated
• 5 year awards, renewable for 5 years
• Include research assistance and running
• Annual competition
    Principal Research Fellowships

• Candidates with an established track
  record in research at the highest level

• Ten years salary support plus a 5 year
  programme grant (renewable)

• Particularly suited for scientists based overseas who
  wish to work in the UK or Republic of Ireland
Research Grants
                   Project Grant
• Up to 3 years support (range £150-£300K)
 Funds for
   Hypothesis-driven projects
   Development of technologies or
    establishment of biological resources
   Modest pilot studies

• No preliminary application: if eligible download form
 from web-site
               Programme Grant

• 5 years support (~£1 million)
• Allows flexibility and opportunity to concentrate
 on research
• Applicants must have a proven track record
• Contact Trust staff as preliminary application
 Eligibility to be a Principal Applicant
 Individuals who hold:
• An academic post in the UK or Eire, and have
 their contract of employment with a University
• Honorary academic appointments (including NHS
 appointees) and are embedded within a University
• Fellowships from the Trust, Royal Society, Lister
 Institute etc.
• Researchers seeking their own salaries who do not
 fit the criteria for Trust fellowships
    Eligibility for co-applicant status
 As for principal applicant, but also:

• Scientists working outside the UK or Eire
 University system, who will make a key contribution
 to the research

• Research assistants expected to make a
 significant contribution, and who had an intellectual
 input into the proposed research
                Equipment Grant

• Multi-user items. Up to £1M

• Contribution from University suggested

• Preliminary application required
         International Funding

• Basic & Clinical Research
  - Fellowships
  - Collaborative support
• Health Consequences of Population Change
• Tropical Medicine
  - Overseas Research Units
              Public Interest
• Public engagement
  - Exhibitions
  - Informed debate
  - Consultation
• Biomedical Ethics
  - Support for research projects
  - Support for seminars
           History of Medicine

• Wide portfolio of schemes, including
 personal support

• History of Medicine Library
Making an Application
            Applying for grants

 Funding for:
• Research Assistance
• Consumables
• Equipment
• Animals
• Collaborative travel
• Use of services of departmental technicians
               Applying for grants
 Elements to consider:
• A strong central hypothesis
• Preliminary Data
• Co-applicants and collaborations
• Justification for resources
• Environment and independence
• Why is your research important?
• Clear research plan/Focused aims
             Writing the proposal
• Hypothesis-driven
        ensure that the work you propose addresses
       an hypothesis and is not simply a technique or
       process refinement exercise

• Realistic Time-frame
        the proposed programme of research must
       realistically fit into the constraints of the award -
       up to 3 or 5yrs for a project or a programme
       grant respectively or 4-10 yrs for Fellowships
• Collaborators
       Enlist the assistance of collaborators for the project
      if necessary

       A good application can often be strengthened with the
      involvement of experts - they may expedite results and
      improve the technical quality

       obtaining signed consent of collaborators clearly demonstrates
      their willingness to participate in the project, and
      reassures the reviewers that the work can be performed
            Scientific justifications

• Staff
• Research resources
• Animals

   Do not underestimate the importance of providing
   reasonable and realistic justifications for staff and
   resources (do not leave it until the last moment!).
   Animals need to be accurately accounted
   for and justified.
              and finally….
    from colleagues and/or mentors and
   Wellcome Trust Staff

    ask for as many independent views and
   or comments on the proposal as possible

    seek opinions from colleagues outside your
   field as to readability, focus etc
Thanks for your time!