Postdoctoral research

If you have a PhD or equivalent, or you’re about to finish one, you can apply for our postdoctoral research funding in biomedical science, population health or humanities and social science. You don't need a PhD to apply for a Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

    During postdoctoral research

    During this stage in your research career, you’ll be guided by more experienced researchers while you:

    Qualifications, skills and experience you'll need

    To get funding for postdoctoral research, you should usually have, or expect to have, a PhD or equivalent. 

    You may also have some initial postdoctoral experience. 

    You should have:

    You'll need to be able to describe your long-term research vision beyond this career stage.

    Researcher stories

    Read about the career journeys of some of our researchers.

    Lucy's story: a journey between different disciplines

    Few careers are straightforward. Lucy took two years' break from academia, changed disciplines to return – and became a new parent just as she started her postdoc.

    Albert's story: a search for the ideal research environment

    Albert always knew the type of research he wanted to do. But to find the right research environment he had to move from industry to academia, and to a new country.

    Ben's story: clinician, scientist and entrepreneur

    Ben has always had a strong sense of what he wants to do. But as a clinician, he had to find ways to balance research with medical training and clinical practice.

    Our funding in biomedical science and population health research

    Our funding in humanities and social science

    After postdoctoral research

    If you want to continue your career in research, you should be ready to lead your own independent research programme. There are a number of possible options, including as a:

    If you decide not to pursue a career in research, there are many options open to you. You’ll have transferable skills that you can use in roles related to research or outside of research, eg in industry or teaching.

    Or you can move between research and other professions at different stages in your career.

    Find out more about the next stage in a research career: leading a research programme.

    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.