Grant funding data 2015 to 2016

This data is about our funding activities up to October 2016. It shows the number and value of awards in our grant portfolio, our grant expenditure, and application and award rates.


  • Our current grant portfolio comprises 3,506 grants worth £3.9 billion.
  • In 2015-16 we received over 5,000 applications and made 1,461 awards worth £822 million.
  • Over the past five years, application numbers have grown by 67% and our spending has grown by 28%.

Current portfolio

We fund a wide range of activity across the health research remit.

Grant funding by area of activity

Download the data [CSV 394B]

21% of our grants are for cultural and social contexts of health, and public engagement and education. The average value of these awards is lower, so they account for 5% of our total spend.


Grant funding by type

Download the data [CSV 143B]

41% of our current portfolio is for personal support grants – Investigator Awards, Fellowships and Studentships. 

31% of our current portfolio supports places – including core support for the Sanger Institute and the Francis Crick Institute.

Applications and awards

In 2015-16, Wellcome received over 5,000 applications requesting £5bn in funding, and made 1,461 awards worth £822m.

Funding amounts by area

Applications, awards and award rates over the past five years

Download the data [CSV 204B]

The total number of awards we've made has risen by 67%. The total amount we've awarded has risen by 28% over the past five years.

Award rate data only includes applications and awards assessed in competition. 

Most schemes have an award rate of 20-25%.

People we fund

We currently support:

  • 411 Investigator Awards

  • 45 Principal Fellowships

  • 143 Senior Fellowships

  • 353 Intermediate Fellowships

  • 178 Early Career (Postdoctoral) Fellowships

  • 955 (Pre-doctoral) Studentships.

Awards over time

Download the data [CSV 291B]

The numbers of early career and intermediate fellowships have risen since we introduced the Sir Henry Dale Fellowships and increased funding for the Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships in 2014.


Women receive fewer of our more senior personal awards in Science, and in Humanities and Social Science. This is in line with the number of applications from women for those schemes.

Places we fund

We currently fund research activity in more than 100 countries.

21% (£831m) of our current funding supports work outside the UK, with 14% (£524m) supporting research in low- and middle-income countries.


31 UK organisations hold more than £10m in current grant funding.

Our UK grant funding report [PDF 41KB] has high-level information on the number of awards, value of awards and award rates at these 31 organisations.

Peer review

Written peer review

In 2015-16 we made 8,203 requests for written peer review and received 3,814 reports, a response rate of 46%.

Funding and interview committees

In 2015-16 we had 36 different funding and interview committees, made up of 485 experts.

Of our committee members, 41% are women and 69% are based in the UK.

More information

This data captures the activities we support through our grants and awards. The figures differ from those in our Annual Report and Financial Statements as they:

  • include full commitment values for awards made as Programme Related Investments
  • exclude directly funded activities, including Wellcome Collection
  • exclude supplements, funds, written back and other adjustments.

Full information about our funding each year is in our Annual Report and Financial Statements.

Read our grant funding data 2016-17