Cryo-Electron Microscopy Equipment Grants

These grants are for structural and cell biologists who want to use cryo-electron microscopy equipment in their research. 

Scheme at a glance

This scheme is now closed

Career stage:

Leading a research programme

Where your host organisation is based:


Type of researcher:


Level of funding:

£500,000 to £4 million

Duration of funding:

Up to 5 years

Who can apply

You can apply for a Cryo-Electron Microscopy Equipment Grant if you, and any coapplicants, have:

  • An academic or research post (or the equivalent). 
  • A track record in getting grant funding.
  • A salary already in place for the duration of the award period. Any coapplicants who don’t have salary support for the duration of the grant are eligible to apply if they have at least one year’s personal salary support at the proposed start date of the grant.

What we're looking for

When we look at your application, we'll assess:

  • how the cryo-electron microscopy equipment will benefit your research
  • your track record 
  • your host organisation’s financial contribution 
  • evidence of demand for the equipment
  • the availability of other cryo-electron microscopes locally/nationally
  • management and sustainability plans
  • expertise in operating the equipment
  • added value for Wellcome-funded research.

What's expected of your host organisation

Your host organisation must provide a supporting statement that outlines:

  • how the equipment will contribute to their overall research strategy
  • their contribution towards the equipment (financial or otherwise).

Host organisation’s contribution

If you ask for more than £500,000, the host organisation should contribute at least 20 per cent towards the cost of the equipment.

Contributions can include support in-kind as well as money, such as the provision of key support posts and maintenance contracts.

We offer expenses to cover costs of the cryo-electron microscopy equipment. This includes both entry-level and high-end equipment.

We’ll be negotiating standardised pricing directly with the equipment vendors.

We’ll fund the equipment:

  • purchase, delivery and installation
  • maintenance
  • training.

We’ll cover VAT and import duties if the usual UK exemptions on equipment used for medical research don’t apply.

If you move to a different organisation after you've been awarded the grant, the equipment must remain at the organisation to which it was awarded.

We don't fund on a proportion of full economic costs in UK universities.

Stages of application

  1. Contact us

    First, contact Tom Collins at to discuss:

    • your research plans
    • why you need cryo-electron microscopy equipment
    • how your proposal could fit into a national strategy for the provision of cryo-electron microscopy. 
  2. Submit your application

    Applications are by invitation only.

  3. Scientific review

    The Cryo-EM Advisory Committee will review your full application.

  4. Decision

    We aim to notify you of our decision within four weeks of the committee meeting.

Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.


You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.

  • Application deadline

    17 October 2016

  • Committee review

    December 2016


Leading a research programme

For researchers with a PhD or the equivalent, and significant postdoctoral research experience.


You're not a clinically qualified researcher.

Contact us

About the scope and content of your proposal

About your eligibility or the application process

About our online application system