Overheads policy

Wellcome funds the direct costs of research, but not overheads. We expect the organisations we fund to cover overhead costs. But in specific circumstances you can ask for these costs.

The direct costs of the research include:

  • staff salaries
  • consumables
  • animals
  • travel
  • equipment.

Organisations must cover overhead costs. They include:

  • estates, for example building and premises
  • research, technical and administrative staff whose time is shared across several projects
  • administration, for example personnel, finance, library, and room hire.

There are circumstances where we may fund overheads:

  • the organisation depends on contributions towards overheads for it to be operationally and financially viable
  • it helps our charitable mission.

Researchers can ask for overheads (for example research management and support costs) if their grant will be based at:

  • a small charitable and not-for-profit organisation
  • an organisation in a low- or middle-income country.

These costs must directly support the activity funded by the grant.

See our funding scheme pages for information on how to ask for these costs.

How charitable research is funded in the UK university sector

Wellcome, together with other UK medical research charities, will only pay the direct costs of research at UK universities.

The UK higher education funding bodies provide funding for directly allocated and indirect costs associated with charity-funded research.

In England, this funding is called the Charity Research Support Fund. Similar funding is provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Northern Ireland government.