Leading a research programme

If you have a PhD (or equivalent) and significant postdoctoral research experience then you may be ready to lead, or already be leading, your own independent research programme. 

During this career stage

In this career stage, you’ll:

Qualifications, skills and experience you'll need

To be eligible for our funding at this level, you must have a PhD or equivalent, and significant postdoctoral research experience. 

You must have a compelling research vision that is original and has impact.

In the early stages of your independent research career, you should have made important contributions to your research area eg publications, patents, software development or an impact on policy.

To apply for more senior funding, you’ll already be leading your own independent research programme. In addition:

Our funding in biomedical science and population health research

Early stages of an independent career

Later stages of an independent career

Our funding in humanities and social science

After you’ve led a research programme

Established independent researchers can apply for more funding at this level or consider careers related to research or outside of research.

Overview of our schemes that support careers in research

How we support research careers

Besides our funding schemes, we work in many ways to support careers in research.

Flexible careers

We understand that different people choose different career paths, so we want to provide flexible research career opportunities.

Tips for running your own research group

A career in research [PDF 914KB] has useful resources about everything from negotiating a start-up package to building an international reputation.

Other funding opportunities

View and compare biomedical research funding schemes offered by Wellcome and seven other UK funders on the Medical Research Council website.