The Wellcome Trust ISSF is currently closed to applications. The information below is provided for reference only.
In partnership with the Wellcome Trust (via their Institutional Strategic Support Fund), the University has established a Life Sciences-focused Career Development Hub, mirroring the broad research remit of the Wellcome Trust in terms of support and funding eligibility.
The Covid 19 pandemic has been extremely challenging for many of our researchers, who have faced common challenges such as adjusting to home working, reduced social interaction and increased caring responsibilities (well-documented to be particularly acute in female staff), but also face unique sectoral challenges in terms of access to specialised laboratory space and equipment to undertake their core work. With these challenges in mind, and building on our previous funding schemes, we have provided a new and enhanced series of schemes in order to help address some of the issues faced by researchers whose careers have been setback by the Covid-19 pandemic, or may be facing other acute personal challenges in research momentum.
Pilot data Awards:
Excellent researchers across any of our highlighted career stages can apply for funding awards of up to £25,000 to deliver key experiments or other research work which provides compelling pilot data for a specified external application. Applications are expected to clearly demonstrate why the specific data is required as an enabler – for underpinning external funding applications this will be strengthened by feedback from internal (outside the applicant’s own research group) or external grant review.
In order to support researchers at any career stage, we are providing funding of up to £25,000 to address reviewer comments on key articles by the collection of new data. Applications are expected to clearly demonstrate why the specific data is required as an enabler – for publications, this should include review comments from the journal.
Collaboration and experience is essential to deliver world-leading research, and the ability to forge new collaborations has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. Excellent researchers at any of our highlighted career stages are therefore encouraged to apply for Mobility awards (covering travel, accommodation, subsistence and if well-justified a level of research consumables) of up to £25,000. These may establish new partnerships both in the UK and overseas, define critical research questions or learn new skills and techniques which can be brought back to Birmingham. Evidence of support from the partner site is required and requests for overseas visits must be able to demonstrate that their trip is feasible given any travel restrictions in place at that time. Whilst we are hopeful of supporting a number individuals through this stream, please note that awards will recognise the limited likelihood and risks of international travel, which your application should clearly mitigate.
Who does the Career Development Hub cover?
This approach covers a range of career stages within the Life Sciences, most importantly:
- Doctoral students, particularly those who have faced significant challenges accruing data during the pandemic;
- Transition from PhD to post-doctoral Fellowships;
- Postdoctoral fellows and early-career researchers looking to secure their first major Fellowship or personal award as lead investigator;
- Mid-career researchers (typically those with an established track record, at or below Senior Lecturer level) facing challenges to maintain career trajectory when moving from externally-funded Fellowships and/or adapting their research direction.
How to Apply
Applications should be made via the Online Application Form.
Please see the Wellcome Trust ISSF Carreer Development Hub Guidance for further information and details about the questions asked in the application form. If you have any questions which are not answered by the guidance, please get in touch at email@example.com.