Secondment Fellowships

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

Career stage:

Postgraduate training, Postdoctoral research

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:

or you must be a PhD student or postdoctoral researcher funded by one of the following:

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

or

  • 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:

    For more information, contact:

    or

  • 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:

    • masterplan galleries in London, Bradford, Manchester and York
    • temporary exhibitions, for example about cancer, and music, science and technology
    • working with communities on the museums' collection in our 'One Collection' project.

    To discuss potential projects, please email research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk.

    Find out more on the Science Museum Group website.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is the authority responsible for public health within the United Nations system. The Regional Office for Europe is one of WHO’s six regional offices around the world.

    Programmes at the Regional Office for Europe address many topics, including:

    • health information
    • the social determinants and cultural contexts of health
    • communicable and non-communicable diseases
    • health systems
    • environment
    • health.

    Researchers on six-month secondments work in the Evidence-Informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) team. It promotes the systematic use of health research evidence in policy making.

    Researchers play a key role in implementing EVIPNet methodology in focus countries in Eastern Europe by:

    • gathering the necessary evidence to develop a policy brief
    • taking part in a workshop – or facilitating it with someone else – to develop a policy brief on a priority issue in a focus country
    • leading a public discussion on the health issue in the policy brief.

    You may also be asked to monitor and evaluate knowledge translation.

    For more information, email Tanja Kuchenmüller at kuchenmullert@who.int.

  • 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 research 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 applicants from all over the UK. 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.

Your host organisation will pay for office and research costs during the secondment.

If you’re currently working part time, it may be possible to do your secondment part time too. 

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

  1. Contact the secondment host organisation

    Discuss your interest in working at the host organisation on the phone or by email.

  2. Submit your application online

    You must submit your application through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker.

    View the Sample full application form for Secondment Fellowships [PDF 166KB]

  3. 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. 

Dates

We consider applications once a year. You must submit your application by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.

  • Application deadline

    8 May 2018, 17:00 BST

  • Decision

    Early July

Definitions

Postgraduate training

For people who have, or are about to finish, an undergraduate degree and want to go on to do a Master's or PhD.

Postdoctoral research

For researchers with a PhD or equivalent.

Key dates

We consider applications once a year.

  • Application deadline

    8 May 2018, 17:00 BST

  • Decision

    Early July

Contact us

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:

POST: Dr Peter Border at borderp@parliament.uk, +44 (0)20 7219 2876, or Sarah Bunn at bunnsk@parliament.uk, +44 (0)20 7219 1860.

Science Museum: research@sciencemuseum.ac.uk

WHO: Tanja Kuchenmüller at kuchenmullert@who.int

OECD: Fabrice Murtin, fabrice.murtin@oecd.org