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Seed Awards in Science help researchers develop novel ideas that will go on to form part of larger grant applications to the Wellcome Trust or elsewhere.

Scheme at a Glance:

Career stage: Early, Intermediate, Returning to research
Where your host organisation is based: UK, Republic of Ireland, Low- and middle-income countries
Type of researcher: Basic, Clinical, Public health
Level of funding: Up to £100,000
Duration of funding: Up to 2 years

Eligibility & Sustainability:

Who can Apply?

To apply for a Seed Award in Science, you must:

  • have completed a PhD or an equivalent higher degree
  • be based at a host organisation in the UK, Republic of Ireland or an eligible low- or middle-income country (apart from India)
  • receive personal salary support from your host organisation, or have a personal award or fellowship that provides a salary but no research expenses, for the duration of the Seed Award in Science
  • have a research project that is within our scientific remit.

Go to the World Bank website to see a list of low- and middle-income countries.


Who Can’t Apply

Seed Awards in Science are not for:

  • discrete projects with no follow-on plans
  • bridge funding or short-term fellowships.

You can’t apply if:

  • you already have funding at a similar level to a Seed Award in Science (or you’ve had it in the 12 months before the closing date for this award)
  • you’ve held a Seed Award in Science in the past
  • your salary comes from Wellcome Trust funding (eg Institutional Strategic Support Fund).

If you’ve already made two unsuccessful applications for this award, you usually can’t submit another application for 12 months.

If you’re based at a core-funded research organisation, you can’t usually apply. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility.


What we’re looking for

Seed Awards in Science help researchers develop new ideas to make them competitive for larger awards (from us or other organisations). We particularly encourage researchers:

  • at the start of their independent careers
  • who want to develop ideas outside their discipline or area of expertise.

These awards give scope for innovative methodologies and activities, such as:

  • pilot and scoping studies
  • preliminary data gathering
  • proof-of-principle studies
  • planning sessions
  • collaborative network meetings.

We encourage applications for interdisciplinary research across our Science, Humanities and Social Science, and Innovations funding.


What we Offer

A Seed Award in Science is worth up to £100,000 for a duration of up to two years. The support includes:

  • research expenses, including research assistance

What we Don’t Offer

Seed Awards in Science cannot be used to pay your personal salary costs.

We don’t provide funds for directly allocated or indirect costs unless they’re included on this page.

Key dates:

  • We consider applications three times a year.
  • We consider applications three times a year. You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don’t accept late applications.

October 2017 round
The application form will be available on Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker in early July 2017.

Application deadline : 2 October 2017
Decision : December 2017

July 2017 round
Application deadline : 3 July 2017
Decision : September 2017

March 2017 round
Application deadline : 13 March 2017
Decision : May 2017


How to Apply for this grant

Log in to our online grants system (Grant Tracker). You can save your application and return to it any time.

You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT).

Start your Application

    1. Submit your full applicationYou must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker(opens in a new tab).View the  Sample full application form for Seed Awards in Science [PDF 1.5MB].
    2. Scientific review and shortlistingWellcome staff and the Seeds Advisory Panel will assess the applications.
    3. DecisionWe aim to give you a decision within nine weeks of the application deadline. There are no interviews. In general, we don’t provide specific written feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Contact us

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.

Or call

+44 (0)20 7611 5757

Application deadline : 3 July 2017

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