Engagement Fellowships

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

Scheme at a glance

Where your activity will take place:

UK, Republic of Ireland

Level of funding:

Salary and research expenses covered

Duration of funding:

Up to 2 years

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 and the desire to develop as leaders
  • a clear understanding of how you will use the fellowship and why now is the right time in your career.

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.

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

  • 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 2.0% if this hasn’t been confirmed.

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

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

  • You can ask for travel and subsistence costs to visit any relevant organisations or conferences. 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
  • 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.
  • You can also ask for desk space within The Hub, in Wellcome Collection.

You can also apply for Research Enrichment funding to increase the impact of your work through activities in open research and diversity and inclusion.

What we don’t offer

We don't fund overheads.

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

Start your application

Stages of application

For this round we have removed the preliminary application stage. 

  1. Submit your application

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

  2. Review and shortlisting

    Applications will be assessed by a panel of Wellcome Trust staff. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview.

  3. Interview

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

Disabled applicants

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


We consider applications once a year.

2018 round

  • Application deadline

    8 February 2018, 17:00 GMT

  • Interviews

    27 April 2018


Republic of Ireland

Key dates

We consider applications once a year.

2018 round

  • Application deadline

    8 February 2018, 17:00 GMT

  • Interviews

    27 April 2018

Contact us

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

People we've funded