Capital Awards

This scheme funds the creation and renewal of exhibition and engagement spaces, usually within museums or science centres in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

Scheme at a glance

Where your audience is:

UK, Republic of Ireland

Level of funding:

Usually above £250,000

Contact us

About your eligibility, the application process, funding policies or general queries about grants:

About the scope and content of your proposal:

About our online application system:

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Getting here

Key dates

Applications are considered once a year.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    13 May 2016

  • Preliminary application decision

    June 2016

  • Full application deadline

    October 2016

  • Interviews

    March 2017

Projects we've funded

Eligibility and suitability

Who can apply

You can apply for a Capital Award if:

  • You’re part of an organisation with exhibition or engagement space. This space must engage the public with ideas about health and wellbeing, and must need to be renewed, replaced or redeveloped.


  • You want to set up a new organisation or space that engages the public with ideas about health and wellbeing. 

Your organisation should be in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. If it's based outside these areas, but has strategic links with the Trust's work, we may still consider your project.

Your project should:

  • propose an innovative and ambitious vision for engaging people with ideas about health and wellbeing
  • attract at least 30,000 visitors a year
  • remain accessible to visitors for at least eight years after completion
  • draw on academic research related to health and wellbeing.

Financial expectations
Your project should involve funding from other sources (ie charitable, private or government).

Your organisation must commit to providing ongoing operational costs over the lifetime of the exhibition or engagement space.

Other schemes

The Hub Award

Bringing researchers and other creative professionals together at Wellcome Collection, to work on a two-year project.
Full details of The Hub Award

Society Awards

Supporting public engagement projects that encourage the public to consider and debate issues raised by health and wellbeing research. Grants range from £40,000 to around £250,000.
Full details of Society Awards
Scheme finder

What we offer

Capital Awards are usually above £250,000. Support can include:

  • development and building/refurbishment

  • staff/personnel costs for those who are essential to the project

  • initial public engagement programming costs

  • essential equipment

    Equipment purchase

    You can ask for items of equipment that are essential to your proposed engagement project. Costs may include purchase, delivery, installation, maintenance and training, where necessary.

    We will cover VAT and import duties if:

    • the usual UK exemptions on equipment used for medical research don’t apply
    • you’re applying from a non-UK organisation, and you can show these costs can’t be recovered.

    Equipment maintenance

    We will cover maintenance costs for equipment if:

    • you are requesting it in your application
    • it is equipment we have already funded and the original award used to purchase the equipment has ended
    • it is equipment we have already funded, it is over five years old, and it’s cost effective to keep maintaining it
    • it is equipment funded by another source and you are applying from an organisation outside the UK or Republic of Ireland.

    We won’t cover maintenance costs for equipment if there is a mechanism in place to recoup these costs through access charges.

  • other costs that are essential to the project and you can justify them.

How to apply

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

Start your application

Stages of application

  1. Contact the Wellcome Trust

    Please contact us at least six weeks before the preliminary deadline to discuss the scope of your proposal. If your proposal meets our criteria, we’ll ask you to submit a preliminary application.

  2. Submit your preliminary application

    Your preliminary application should outline your project vision, background, aims and objectives, target audience and partnerships. We’ll assess your preliminary application and, if it’s approved, ask you to submit a full application.

  3. Submit your full application form

    View a sample full application form for Capital Awards [PDF 1.4MB].

  4. Peer review

    Applications are peer reviewed by at least five independent reviewers. We’ll invite applicants to respond to reviewers' comments.

  5. Interview

    The Capital Awards Committee, whose members are a mixture of Trust staff and external advisers, will conduct interviews at the Wellcome Trust offices in London


We consider applications once a year. We don't accept late applications.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    13 May 2016

  • Preliminary application decision

    June 2016

  • Full application deadline

    October 2016

  • Interviews

    March 2017


Republic of Ireland