an independent research- funding charity. established 1936. funded from private endowment. interests range from science to history of medicine to public engagement. Grant spend 2008/09: c£550m The Wellcome Trust
Strategic Plan 2010-20 One vision Three focus areas Five challenges
Our new vision and mission Our vision is to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health Our mission is to support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health
Three focus areas… Supporting outstanding researchers supporting the best researchers at all stages of their careers; creating the best research environments; influencing the policy landscape Accelerating the application of research stimulating Technology Transfer, clinical research and uptake to policy & practice Exploring medicine in historical and cultural contexts fostering medical humanities, education & public engagement
Five major challenges… Maximising the health benefits of genetics and genomics Understanding the brain Combating infectious diseases Investigating development, ageing & chronic disease Connecting environment, nutrition and health
How we work: The best people “….simply put, the best way to administer a creative research environment is to find people of great talent and reasonable ambition – whatever their specific disciplines – and leave them to their own devices” Joshua Lederberg, The Scientist, 1991
Grant Funding Investigator Awards (from October 2010, replacing project, programme and equipment grants) Fellowships: Clinical, Basic & ‘Tropical’ Training, Intermediate & Senior Strategic Awards: Strategic Awards Themed Initiatives Translational Awards Medical Humanities & Public Engagement
Investigator Awards: Long-term support for world-class researchers with the vision to innovate, take risks and explore the most challenging questions in their field of study. Long term funding: greater impact Well resourced: enable researchers to realise their vision. Flexible spend: follow research where it leads: innovate and take risks People focus Interview stage; developing a community of researchers
Investigator Awards New Investigator Awards: To support world-class researchers who are no more than five years from appointment to their first established academic position and are currently forging an international reputation for excellence in their field Senior Investigator Awards: To support world-class researchers in an established academic position who are working at the forefront of their field and already possess an outstanding track record.
Internationally competitive research programmesBroader aims - flexibilityPrincipal Applicant needs proventrack record of research and fundingSalaries for 3-4 posts, plus equipment, travel and materials, for five years. Awards typically in the region of £750k-£1.5mInternationally competitive research programmesBroader aims - flexibilityPrincipal Applicant needs proventrack record of research and fundingSalaries for 3-4 posts, plus equipment, travel and materials, for five years. Awards typically in the region of £750k-£1.5m What can you ask for on Investigator Awards? £100k - £425k per year for up to 7 years direct costs of research not own salary costs no proportion of FECs ie: no change to policy Costs awarded to be finalised after the decision is made and will depend on scientific needs of proposed research
Issues Funding young researchers. The short-term funding treadmill. The time taken to undertake the application review process. The burden of the Peer Review system. The size of the Application Form. The influence of ‘grantsmanship’. The role of detailed experimental design. Interaction between grant-holders and their funders.
Features & Innovations Generous, flexible and long-term support. Funding for the best young researchers. A more rapid decision-making process. Review conducted by experts who understand the specific requirements of the scheme. A shorter Application Form, with administrative details / detailed costs only sought at the award stage. Assessment by interview. Development of an Investigator Award community.
CV details check Main application submission Expert Review Group Scientific review & short-listing External peer review Selection Panel Interviews Application Process Application Form - Candidate track record -Research vision, approach & importance. - Total funding sought - Letter Institutional commitment Assessment Criteria - Candidate track record and standing - Research question and approach. - Suitability of research environment - Relevance to Strategic Challenges
Investigator Awards - Timetable 30 July 2010: Final closing date for full project and programme grant applications. 1 October 2010: Applications for Investigator Awards can be submitted. 22 November 2010: Closing date for the first round of Investigator Award applications. March 2011: Final Funding Round for project and programme grant applications. May 2011: First Investigator Awards made.
Strategic Awards & Themed Initiatives Flexible support to fund ambitious initiatives in biomedical sciences, translational research, public engagement and the medical humanities. Normally provide support for 5 years. Preliminary applications for Strategic Awards may be submitted at any time and are assessed on a rolling basis. Contact the Trust to discuss.
International Funding Technology Transfer Medical Humanities Public Engagement Other Funding
And finally, some useful sources of further information about the Trust…. 2010 – 2020 Strategic Plan Annual Review 2009 Wellcome Trust Website Wellcome News Grantholders eNewsletter