Engagement Fellowships

Engagement Fellowships support and develop the careers of emerging leaders in public engagement.

Scheme at a glance

Where your audience is:

UK, Republic of Ireland

Level of funding:

Salary and research expenses covered

Duration of funding:

Up to 2 years

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

This scheme has no further application deadlines for 2016. We will announce our new funding framework for public engagement schemes in November 2016.

People we've funded

Eligibility and suitability

Who can apply

Engagement Fellowships are open to a wide range of people, including:

  • professional science communicators
  • academics exploring health and wellbeing (eg, biomedical or social scientists and medical historians)
  • clinicians or healthcare professionals
  • professionals working in the arts and creative industries.

You can apply for an Engagement Fellowship if you have at least three years' experience of engaging the public with ideas around health and wellbeing.

You should be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland.

If you're employed by a UK academic organisation, and plan to remain so, we may ask you to show how you'll embed public engagement in your organisation when you return.

What we're looking for

We're looking for people with:

  • a vision for the future
  • leadership potential.

We want to:

  • accelerate and enhance the careers of talented people, propelling them to become the public engagement leaders of tomorrow
  • enable fellows to investigate and shape best practice in public engagement
  • raise the profile and prestige of public engagement with research
  • encourage a network of influential public engagement ambassadors.

What we offer

An Engagement Fellowship is for up to two years, or you can hold it part-time over a longer period. The support includes:

  • salary or salary buyout

    We will fund the cost of your salary during the fellowship. The amount we’ll provide depends on the proportion of time that you’ll spend on the fellowship (eg a pro-rata salary if you work part time).

    If you’re a freelancer, you should calculate your salary based on your approximate annual income for the past two years. You may need to justify the salary level you’re asking for.

    If you will continue to be employed by your current employer, we will pay salary costs for your organisation to employ someone to cover you while you are on the fellowship.

    You should ask your host organisation to calculate these costs. They should be based on the base salary grade for the post(s) that will need to be covered, and should include:

    • employer’s contributions, including any statutory obligations (eg National Insurance contributions if you’re based in the UK) and pension scheme costs
    • any incremental progression up the salary scale
    • locally recognised allowances such as London allowance.

    You should allow for salary pay awards during Year 1. These should be based on pay awards already agreed: if you don’t know what the pay award is yet then use our inflation rate. For Year 1 include any known pay awards for this period or an assumed percentage equivalent to our current inflation rate of 1.6% if this hasn’t been confirmed.

    From Year 2 onwards, we will automatically increase the salary, based on our current inflation allowance rates.

  • project costs

    You can ask for project costs of up to £30,000 a year, pro rata eg for activities, evaluation and contingency.

  • travel and subsistence

    You can ask for travel and subsistence costs to visit any relevant organisations or conferences. These don’t have to be limited to the UK, but you’ll have to justify the reasons for and length of each visit.

    Conference costs can include registration fees.

    You can also ask for costs to cover regular visits to the Wellcome Trust if you’re not based in London.

  • training, where appropriate

  • access to meeting space and facilities at Wellcome during the fellowship

  • desk space within The Hub, in Wellcome Collection

  • opportunities to work with Wellcome Trust staff to develop project ideas, where appropriate

  • a fellowship support programme, including facilitated progress meetings, senior management support meetings and career coaching.

What we don’t offer

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

How to apply

This scheme has no further application deadlines for 2016. We will announce our new funding framework for public engagement schemes in November 2016.

Find out more about the pause in our public engagement funding.

Stages of application

  1. Submit your preliminary application

    A panel of Wellcome Trust staff will assess your application, which should outline your vision, background and need for a fellowship. If suitable, we'll ask you to submit a full application.

  2. Submit your full application

    View a sample full application form for Engagement Fellowships [PDF 689KB].

  3. Review and shortlisting

    Full applications will be assessed by a panel of Wellcome Trust staff and the chair of the Engagement Fellowships Interview Committee. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview.

  4. Interview

    If you're invited for interview, you'll be asked to make a short presentation. This will be followed by questions from the Interview Committee. Interviews take place at the Wellcome Trust offices in London.


Republic of Ireland