Secondment Fellowships are for humanities and social science researchers who we already fund. Researchers spend three to six months working at non-academic organisations to develop their skills.
Scheme at a glance
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.
Level of funding:
A fully-funded extension to a fellowship, PhD or research assistant position
Duration of funding:
3 to 6 months
Who can apply
You can apply for a Secondment Fellowship if you're a researcher in humanities and social science who we already fund.
Either you must hold one of the following awards:
- Doctoral Studentships
- Research Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science
- Research Fellowships for Health Professionals
or you must be a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher funded by one of the following:
- Investigator Awards in Humanities and Social Science
- Collaborative Awards in Humanities and Social Science.
If successful, you'll undertake a project during your secondment. This will depend on your research interests and the needs of your host organisation. You should discuss your project idea with your proposed secondment host organisation. Your work at the organisation should not be an extension of the research we're already funding.
Secondment host organisations
You can either propose to work at:
- one of our four existing partner organisations
- another non-academic organisation of your choice (this can range in size, for example from a small local charity to a large investment bank).
Existing partner organisations
POST is Parliament’s in-house source of scientific advice. Its key services are:
- advising on research evidence relating to public policy
- writing impartial summaries of research from academic organisations, think tanks and non-governmental organisations
- identifying trends in research and analysing the implications for Parliament
- connecting parliamentarians with leading researchers
- helping people who work in Parliament to develop their skills in using research evidence.
A three- or six-month secondment at POST helps researchers to develop their knowledge of policy work and raise the profile of their research in Parliament.
Researchers get the opportunity to:
- work with MPs, peers and their support services
- work with businesses, academia, regulatory bodies, non-governmental organisations and government departments
- draft concise briefing materials
- respond to comments from internal and external peer review
- organise seminars in Parliament or elsewhere to inform or disseminate their work
- attend select committees and all-party parliamentary group meetings
- attend relevant conferences, workshops and seminars
- take part in training provided by the Houses of Parliament.
You can read POST briefing notes written by Wellcome-funded fellows on the Parliament website:
- Briefing notes for the medical history and humanities programme.
- Briefing notes for the society and ethics programme.
For more information, contact:
- Dr Peter Border at email@example.com, +44 (0)20 7219 2876
- Sarah Bunn at firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 (0)20 7219 1860.
The Science Museum Group's collection forms a record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Its museums in London, Manchester, Bradford, York and Shildon attract over 5 million visitors a year.
Secondments are usually six months. Researchers gain an insight into the Group’s collections, public displays, and events.
Possible secondment projects include:
- working with the collection
- public engagement
- contributing to masterplan galleries in London, Bradford, Manchester and York
- contributing to temporary exhibitions.
To discuss potential projects, please email email@example.com.
Find out more on the Science Museum Group website.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is the coordinating authority responsible for international health issues. It acts as a specialised agency within the United Nations system. The Regional Office for Europe is one of WHO’s six regional offices around the world.
Researchers on six-month secondments work in the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe team. It promotes the systematic and transparent use of health research evidence in policy making.
Researchers play a key role in implementing EVIPNet methodology in focus countries in Eastern Europe by:
- assisting network member countries in accessing, appraising, synthesising and supporting the use of evidence on high-priority policy issues
- participating in and/or supporting the organisation and implementation of research-to-policy training workshops
- supporting the development of new tools and approaches to strengthen national evidence-informed policy-making
- monitoring and evaluating network activities.
For more information, email Tanja Kuchenmüller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of the OECD is to promote policies that will improve the wellbeing of people around the world. The OECD works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change.
In 2018, the Household Statistics and Progress Measurement Division will work on a number of projects, including:
- mental health measurement
- the geo-localisation of health outcomes
- wellbeing in Latin America
- job quality measurement
- trust statistics
- the use of surveys to measure the welfare value of time
- measuring businesses' impacts on wellbeing
- the production and use of national statistics on diversity
- Sustainable Development Goals.
A researcher on a six-month secondment in the division will contribute to developing a research and statistical agenda on a relevant project.
You can read reports on wellbeing and its measurement on the OECD website.
For more information, email Fabrice.Murtin@oecd.org
What's expected of your host organisation
Your secondment organisation must agree to pay for office and project costs.
The secondment organisation does not have to administer or pay for:
- your salary
- your stipend
- any additional costs you face by working at the secondment organisation eg travel, accommodation and childcare.
If your host secondment organisation isn’t one of our four existing partners, they must provide you with a letter to upload to your online application form, explaining:
- how your secondment will enrich their work
- how they will support you.
A Secondment Fellowship is usually for three to six months, depending on the host organisation.
It’s a fully-funded extension to a fellowship, PhD or research assistant position.
We want to encourage you to apply wherever you are based. If you don’t live within reasonable daily travelling distance of your chosen host organisation, we’ll fund your extra travel, accommodation, childcare and other relevant costs.
If you’re currently working part time, it may be possible to do your secondment part time too.
What we don’t offer
We don't fund office and project costs during the secondment.
You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT).Start your application
Stages of application
Applicants proposing to work at one of our four existing partner organisations
Contact the secondment host organisation
Discuss your interest in working at the host organisation on the phone or by email.
Submit your application to your current university for approval
Complete the application form on Grant Tracker. Submit it to the 'authorised organisational approver' at your current university for approval. Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to review and submit your application before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application.
Your current university reviews the application and submits it to us
Your application must be submitted by 17:00 BST on the deadline day.
Assessment and decision
Wellcome and the relevant secondment host organisation will assess your application. This process may involve an interview. We will let people know the decision by July.
If successful, you'll agree a start date with your secondment host organisation and your current supervisor.
Applicants proposing to work at a different non-academic organisation
If you want to arrange your own secondment with a different partner organisation, this will involve more work on your part – we won't be able to do this for you. You should:
- contact the organisation with your proposal
- make the arrangements with them eg start date, location
- get a letter of support from a person at the organisation with the authority to do this.
You then need to submit your application online (see step 2 above). We'll review your application and let you know if you're successful. If you're arranging your own secondment, there are no interviews involving Wellcome staff.
If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.
We consider applications once a year. We don't accept late applications.
16 April 2020, 17:00 BST
We consider applications once a year.
16 April 2020, 17:00 BST
Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.
If you have a question about the scope and content of your project, contact:
Science Museum: email@example.com
WHO: Tanja Kuchenmüller at firstname.lastname@example.org
OECD: Fabrice Murtin, email@example.com