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.
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During postdoctoral research
During this stage in your research career, you’ll be guided by more experienced researchers while you:
- consolidate your research skills and experience
- explore new research areas
- experience new research environments
- develop your independence
- expand your network of collaborators
- deliver research contributions, eg publications or policy-related work.
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:
- started to make significant contributions to research
- developed your own research ideas
- delivered previous research projects
- established collaborations.
You'll need to be able to describe your long-term research vision beyond this career stage.
Read about the career journeys of some of our researchers.
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 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 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
Enabling medical, dental, veterinary and clinical psychology graduates to continue their research at postdoctoral level and develop scientific independence. The scheme provides support for up to eight years and the flexibility to balance research and clinical responsibilities.
Offering short-term funding for biomedical researchers to travel between the UK and the Middle East to learn new techniques and develop academic collaborations.
Supporting researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.
Offering postdoctoral research scientists the opportunity to re-establish their scientific careers after a continuous break from research of at least two years.
Offering recently qualified postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to start independent research careers, working in some of the best research environments in the world.
Providing small grants to support basic biomedical scientists as they develop their independent research careers. The scheme is a collaboration between the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) and the Wellcome Trust.
Offering nationals of low- and middle-income countries the opportunity to receive training at postgraduate or postdoctoral level.
Our funding in humanities and social science
Offering practising health professionals the opportunity to carry out humanities or social science research, in any area of health.
Supporting postdoctoral researchers in health-related humanities and social sciences who do not hold established academic posts.
Funding programmes of activities that enable researchers to build professional networks, develop new research agendas and increase the impact of their work.
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:
- fellow leading a research programme (eg funded by a charity, research council or a university)
- lecturer or other academic post
- core-funded group leader (short-term or tenured)
- researcher in sectors outside of academia, eg industry, policy.
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.
Explore all career stages
For undergraduates who are thinking of a research career.
For people who have, or are about to finish, an undergraduate degree, and want to go on to do a Master's or PhD.
For researchers with a PhD or equivalent.
For researchers with a PhD or the equivalent, and significant postdoctoral research experience.
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.
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.