Wellcome Trust: Grants for Brain Research

OVERVIEW: The UK-based Wellcome Trust invests in a wide range of science research that investigates the biomedical, population health, humanities, and social sciences. 

IP TAKE: Grantseekers should expect some serious competition for this foundation’s grants, especially those applying from outside the UK and Ireland.

PROFILE: Established in 1936, the Wellcome Trust was established by the pharmaceutical tycoon Sir Henry Wellcome’s will. Now it is one of the largest charitable foundations in the world. Its billions of dollars in funding have backed projects in over 70 countries, supporting more than 14,000 people. The trust’s primary mission is to “improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive.” It has a wide range of focus areas, including Biomedical Science, Population Health, Product Development and Applied Research, Humanities and Social Science, and Public Engagement and Creative Industries.

The trust conducts most of its brain-related funding through its Biomedical Science Program, which currently offers thirty-six different grant opportunities, or “schemes,” in various fields. These may take the form of Fellowships and Personal Support; Seed, Pilot, or Starter Grants; Collaborative/Team Research; Ph.D. and Masters Programs; Undergraduate Scholarships; Equipment or Research Funding; and Research Enrichment. Some specific areas of study supported by Wellcome include those related to cellular and molecular neuroscience, basic Neurobiology, neural signaling and function, sensory neurosciences, autonomic nervous system, neuro-immunology, and genetics.

Wellcome’s substantial grants may range anywhere from $100,000 to $1.5 million. To learn more about the trust’s grantees, explore its list of grantholders. Grantseekers are advised to research the foundation’s granting schemes carefully to find the most appropriate program.

All of Wellcome’s grant applications may be conducted through its online portal. Note that Wellcome conducts the majority of its grantmaking in the UK and Ireland, although it is not opposed to funding organizations abroad.


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