Wellcome Early-Career Awards

This scheme provides funding for early-career researchers from any discipline who are ready to develop their research identity. Through innovative projects, they will deliver shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing. By the end of the award, they will be ready to lead their own independent research programme.

Career stage:

Early-career researcher

Where your administering organisation is based:

Level of funding:

Your salary and up to £400,000 for research expenses. If eligible, you may also request additional funding for overseas allowances and overheads.

Duration of funding:

Usually 5 years, but may be less for some disciplines, and may only be longer if held on a part-time basis.

Key Dates:

Activity Dates
Application Submission October 6th, 2023 – February 15th, 2024
Shortlisting April 2024
Interviews July 9-11th, 2024

You can apply to this scheme if you are an early-career researcher and you are ready to design, plan and deliver your own innovative research project that aims to:

  • advance understanding in your field


  • develop methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research.

During the award, we expect you to:

  • expand your technical skills and/or your experience of different research methodologies or frameworks
  • build a collaborative network with other researchers in your field
  • develop your people management skills
  • advance your understanding of how to complete research responsibly and promote a positive and inclusive culture.

Career stage and experience

At the point you submit your application, you must have completed a substantive period of research training relevant to your discipline.

You must have:

  • completed a PhD (for example, in the life sciences) or an equivalent higher research degree. At the point of application you must have passed your viva examination.


  • if you have not started a PhD or equivalent degree, at least four years’ equivalent research experience (for example, in the humanities and social sciences).

You can apply if you hold a permanent, open-ended or long term rolling contract and are based in a low- or middle-income country. All other eligibility criteria apply.

You may also have some postdoctoral experience in your proposed field of study, but no more than three years unless you can demonstrate how other factors have impacted on your research career. When we review how much postdoctoral experience you have, we will allow for part-time work, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, career breaks (for example, parental leave or long-term sick leave) and other significant amounts of time spent outside research (for example, clinical training).

Who can’t apply

You are not eligible to apply if:

  • You have an existing tenured (salaried) post for the duration of the award (unless based in a low- or middle-income country). You can only relinquish an existing tenured (salaried) post to take up an Early-Career Award if your current post is not research-based.
  • You have made an application to this scheme and you are waiting for a decision.
  • You hold, or have held, an equivalent award at this career stage. An equivalent award does not include short-term funding.

For more info: https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/schemes/early-career-awards