Development Fund for Broadcast, Games and Film

The Development Fund has been replaced by the Public Engagement Fund.

Previously, the Development Fund supported early stage ideas for TV, radio, games and film projects inspired by biomedical science and its impact on our lives.

Scheme at a glance

This scheme is now closed

Project stage:

Research and development, Production and project delivery, Building your organisation

Where your audience is:

UK, Republic of Ireland

Level of funding:

Up to £10,000

Duration of funding:

Up to 1 year

Who can apply

Development Funds are open to those working in the broadcast, games and film industries. You must have an idea that: 

  • you can develop into a high-impact, well-researched proposal 
  • will potentially lead to further funding and a broadcast or distribution platform
  • will engage an audience in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way.

You can use the funding in many ways, such as to:

  • research and write a script 
  • create a treatment and/or teasers and sizzle reels
  • build game prototypes
  • brainstorm ideas with researchers at workshops.

In some circumstances, research and development funds can be used for a project that’s already in production but needs additional development and/or research to shape the final production. Your development idea should:

  • target an audience in the UK or Republic of Ireland (the subject matter can be international)
  • involve experts through direct collaboration and/or an advisory role.

Who can't apply

You can't apply if your proposal is:

  • a current affairs programme
  • a health promotion or campaign
  • academic research (apart from when it's integral to your project’s development, eg action research).

For production funding of up to £40,000 for fully developed projects, see our Co-production Fund.

For public engagement surrounding your project (eg film outreach through Q&A screenings), see our People Awards.

For experimental art films and digital art projects, see our Small Arts Awards.

What we're looking for

A successful application will show:

  • a fresh approach to a subject
  • the potential to reach, captivate and enthral entertainment-seeking (rather than science-seeking) audiences
  • how your team will work with expert advisers to develop the project and affect its outcome
  • that careful thought has been given to the science context and its social implications
  • the need for and potential impact of Wellcome Trust funding
  • project feasibility, including justification for its budget
  • the track record of the project team and partners.

Development Funds up to £10,000 are available, and can last for up to a year.

What we don’t offer

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

The Development Fund has been replaced by the Public Engagement Fund.

Disabled applicants

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


Research and development
Production and project delivery
Building your organisation
Republic of Ireland

Contact us

For general queries about grants, contact

Projects we've funded