MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

Wellcome: it’s not just for health and biomedical researchers.

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If you thought that Wellcome was a funder only for biomedical and health researchers, think again.

Although Wellcome is primarily known as a funder of biomedical research, it has always provided funding for bioethics and history of medicine projects. About five years ago the trust expanded its remit in this area, and it now spends more than £30 million a year on a wide range of humanities and social science projects that are relevant to health or biomedical research. In the past Wellcome have supported a huge range of disciplines that include anthropology, economics, geography, law, literature, philosophy, political economy, political science, science and technology studies and sociology.

Vector of a light bulb doodle

What kind of schemes do Wellcome offer?

The bulk of their funding is offered through open or responsive-mode schemes, although they do occasionally have themed calls. They range from small grants and seed awards, to fellowships, investigator awards and large collaborative grants.

Have a look at what they have on at the moment by following this link.

So what makes a good Wellcome proposal?

They’re looking for something ambitious but feasible. As an independent foundation they are able to support research that might not fit elsewhere, and in contrast to public funders, they’re less interested on research being applied or having a defined impact. In fact, a project that appears fixed on, say, trialling an intervention is less likely to be supported. That said, they want to fund work that has the potential to have relevance in the real world. They are interested in the research they support to offer a theoretical contribution, even if it’s mainly empirical in natural and/or has applied elements.

You can read the full article on Research Professional by following this link.

If you’re interested in learning more about Wellcome, head to their website for more information. The schemes however are competitive and RKE will often engage in a conversation with the funder around project suitability prior to beginning your application, so we would always encourage you to contact your Research Development Manager or Officer before moving forward with any research ideas. You can contact RKE at researchapplications@mmu.ac.uk.

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