Translation Fund

These are awards to help individuals and partnerships develop new biomedical technologies. They support projects from the proof-of-concept stage to being ready for the commercial market.

Scheme at a glance

This scheme is now closed

Level of funding:

From £500,000 to £5 million

Who can apply

The Translation Fund is open to individuals, teams, single organisations and collaborating organisations. We can support single projects or portfolio programmes.

Proposals can come from academic and commercial organisations worldwide of any size.

Academic organisations

All not-for-profit research organisations are eligible. These organisations must sign up to our grant conditions.

Commercial organisations

Commercial organisations can apply either as lead applicants, coapplicants or as collaborators.

As a charitable trust, we can use our money to fund companies where this furthers our aims. Read more in our programme-related investments policy [PDF 102KB].

Who can't apply

You may not be eligible for a Translation Award if:

  • you’ve submitted a similar application to another organisation
  • your project already has a significant amount of professional investment
  • you’re employed on a fixed-term contract with less than 12 months remaining.

Please contact us if any of the above apply to you.

What we're looking for

Projects can cover any aspect of technology development in any therapeutic area.  

Projects should:

  • address an unmet need in healthcare or in applied medical research, or offer a new solution to a problem
  • have demonstrated proof of principle, supported by experimental data
  • result in a product, technology or intervention that’s ready for market development
  • have a clear plan to make the product, technology or intervention attractive to another party after the award
  • include clear plans for leadership and management.

Other schemes

Collaborative Awards in Science

Funding teams of researchers, consisting of independent research groups, to work together on the most important scientific problems that can only be solved through collaborative efforts.
Full details of Collaborative Awards in Science
Scheme finder

Translation Fund costs can include:

  • We will cover the salary costs of all staff, full or part time, who will work on your project. Staff members typically include research assistants or technicians employed on your grant. If you’re doing fieldwork or clinical studies in a low- or middle-income country, we’ll consider requests for more research staff.

    We don’t usually provide a salary for the lead applicant for this scheme.

    How to cost salaries for research staff

    Staff salaries should be appropriate to skills, responsibilities and expertise. You should ask your host organisation to use their salary scales to calculate these costs, which should include:

    • basic salary
    • employer’s contributions, including any statutory obligations (eg National Insurance contributions if you’re based in the UK) and pension scheme costs
    • any incremental progression up the salary scale
    • locally recognised allowances such as London allowance.

    You should allow for salary pay awards during Year 1. These should be based on pay awards already agreed: if you don’t know what the pay award is yet then use our inflation rate. For Year 1 include any known pay awards for this period or an assumed percentage equivalent to our current inflation rate of 2.0% if this hasn’t been confirmed.

    From Year 2 onwards, we’ll automatically increase the salaries, based on our current inflation allowance rates.

    Find out more about the different staff categories and employing staff.

    We may make a contribution towards the salary of departmental technicians funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You will need to provide a full audit record of their time on your project.

    • We will pay for the materials and consumables you need to carry out your proposed research, including:

      • laboratory chemicals and materials (eg reagents, isotopes, peptides, enzymes, antibodies, gases, proteins, cell/tissue/bacterial culture, plasticware and glassware)
      • associated charges for shipping, delivery and freight.
    • You can ask for funds to buy animals if they are essential to your project. We will also fund the charge-out rates for animal house facilities if your organisation uses full economic costing methodology. These costs include:

      • running costs (including animal maintenance, any experimental procedures, licences and relevant staff training)
      • appropriate estates costs
      • cage and equipment depreciation costs, but not building depreciation costs.

      We may not pay the full charge-out rate for an animal house facility if we've provided significant funding towards the infrastructure and/or core support of the facility.

      If your organisation doesn’t use full economic costing methodology to establish charge-out rates for animal house facilities, you can ask for funds to cover:

      • the cost of buying animals
      • running costs (including animal maintenance, any experimental procedures, licences and relevant staff training)
      • staff costs, eg contributions towards the salaries of animal house technicians.

      We won’t provide estates or depreciation costs.

    • Equipment purchase

      You can ask for smaller items of equipment that are essential to your proposed research project. Costs may include purchase, delivery, installation, maintenance and training, where necessary.

      If you want to request larger items, please contact us before applying.

      We will cover VAT and import duties if:

      • the usual UK exemptions on equipment used for medical research don’t apply
      • you’re applying from a non-UK organisation, and you can show these costs can’t be recovered.

      Equipment maintenance

      We will cover maintenance costs for equipment if:

      • you are requesting it in your application
      • it is existing equipment that is:
        • funded by us or another source
        • essential to the proposed research project
        • more than five years old
        • cost effective to keep maintaining it.

      We won’t cover maintenance costs for equipment if there is a mechanism in place to recoup these costs through access charges.

      Computer equipment

      We will cover the cost of one personal computer or laptop per person up to £1,500.

      We won't pay for:

      • more expensive items, unless you can justify them
      • installation or training costs.
    • You can ask for the cost of access to shared equipment or facilities if they’re essential to your research project. These may include materials and consumables, plus a proportion of:

      • maintenance and service contracts
      • staff time costs for dedicated technical staff employed to operate the equipment or facility.

      We don’t cover the costs of:

      • estates and utilities
      • depreciation or insurance
      • other staff eg contributions towards departmental technical, administrative and management staff time.

      If the facilities or equipment were paid for by a Wellcome grant, you can only ask for access charges if:

      • the grant has ended
      • any support for running costs and maintenance contracts has ended.
    • We cover research management and support costs if:

      • your host organisation is in a low- or middle-income country and your grant will be directly awarded to that organisation,

      or

      • part of your grant will be sub-contracted to an organisation in a low- or middle-income country.

      We don't cover these costs if your host organisation will include the sub-contracted funding in its annual report to the UK Charity Research Support Fund.

      They can include:

      • training costs, eg transferable skills and personal development training for you and any other people employed on your grant
      • costs for short-term professional training for administrative, technical and support staff
      • administration, eg grant management, technical and administrative services
      • other costs which are necessary for your research, eg computing and internet access costs, access to electronic resources, facility and running costs such as utilities, furniture, waste disposal and incineration, and building maintenance.

      The total research management and support costs should not be more than 20% of the direct research costs you're requesting.

      See a list of low- and middle-income countries.

      How to apply for these costs

      You must

      • give a full breakdown of costs in your grant application form (you can't ask for a percentage of the research costs)
      • explain why these costs are necessary for your research
      • include a letter from the finance director of your host organisation with your application, confirming that the breakdown is a true representation of the costs incurred.
      • You can ask for these costs if you are applying from a university, a not-for-profit organisation or a small company.

        You should use the most suitable and economical form of travel. Please include a breakdown for each part of your trip, eg air fares and number of journeys.

        Travel costs

        Conference attendance

        You can ask for a contribution towards the costs of attending scientific and academic meetings and conferences, including registration fees. The limits are:

        • Lead applicant – £2,000 a year
        • Applicants who are asking for a salary on the grant –  £2,000 a year
        • Staff employed on your grant – £1,000 each a year

        You’ll need to specify the amount you’re requesting for each person.

        Collaborative travel

        You can ask for travel and subsistence costs for collaborative visits for you and any staff employed on your grant. You’ll need to justify each visit and its duration.

        Other travel

        We will pay for other essential visits, eg to facilities, for sample collection and for fieldwork. You can include subsistence costs.

        Subsistence costs

        If you’re away for up to one month you can ask for subsistence costs. These include accommodation, meals and incidentals (eg refreshments or newspapers).

        If your administering organisation has a subsistence policy, use their rates.

        If your administering organisation doesn’t have a subsistence policy, please use the HMRC rates.

        If you’re away for more than one month and up to 12 months, we will pay reasonable rental costs only, including aparthotels. You should discuss appropriate rates with your administering and host organisations, or Wellcome, as appropriate. We expect you to choose the most economical options, booked in advance where possible.

        If you’re from a low- or middle- income country and will be working in a high-income country for more than one month and up to 12 months, you can also ask for up to £20 a day to cover extra costs, such as transport and incidentals.

        If you’re away for more than 12 months, we will pay the costs of your housing. You should discuss your needs with your administering and host organisations.

        The allowance we provide will be based on family and business need. We will set the maximum allowance we pay for each location. This will be based on current market data or, where data is unavailable, in consultation with your administering organisation, using equivalent market rates. Please contact us if you need help calculating the costs.

        We will cover the direct expenses you have to pay to find and rent a home. We will not cover the cost of utilities or any refurbishment.

        Overseas research

        If you or any research staff employed on your grant will be doing research away from your home laboratory, we'll help with the additional costs of working on the project overseas. Please see the 'Overseas allowances' section for details.

      • If you or any staff will be spending 12 months or more in another country, we’ll help you with the costs of working on the project overseas.

        Our overseas allowances are based on the assumption that you’ll be paying income tax, either in your home country, or the country you will be working in. Your personal tax is your responsibility.

        We have 4 categories of allowances for this scheme:

        • You need to provide the following costs, as accurately as possible.

            • We will pay the airfares at the beginning and end of your time abroad, for you, your partner and dependent children. All flights should be economy class.  

            • freight allowance up to £8,000 (£4,000 each way)
            • BUPA Worldwide Medical Insurance with the Option of Worldwide Medical Plus, including emergency evacuation cover for you and your family
            • visa/vaccination costs and anti-malarial treatment for you, your partner and dependent children
            • Up to:

              • £3,000 a year if you are single
              • £4,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £5,000 a year if your children are travelling with you

              If you will be working at one of the Africa and Asia Programmes you can ask for a higher contribution. You should ask the programme administrators for advice on the level of costs you can ask for.

            • housing security costs
            • We will give you an education allowance if you will:

              • have dependent children travelling with you 
              • be working in a location where there isn’t a free education in English of the same standard as the UK.

              The allowance covers:

              • 90% of nursery school fees for 3 to 4 year olds up to a maximum of 15 hours a week
              • 90% of local junior school fees
              • 90% of local secondary school fees
              • 90% of UK boarding school fees if both parents and/or guardians will be living outside the UK                   
              • economy class return airfares for any children at a UK boarding school, at the beginning and end of each school term.

              The allowance doesn’t cover:

              • education costs for your children over the age of 18, once they have finished secondary school, eg university fees.
            • If you are spending two or more years in another country, we’ll pay a contribution towards annual leave airfares for you, your partner and dependent children to return to the UK.

              The number of return flights we’ll pay for depends on how long you’ll be spending overseas:

              • 24-35 months: 1 annual leave flight
              • 36-47 months: 2 annual leave flights
              • 48-59 months: 3 annual leave flights

              Flights should be economy class.

        • You need to provide the costs for outward and return airfares, health insurance and education allowance if you need them. These should be as accurate as possible. We will work out the other costs.

            • Your funds can cover the airfares at the beginning and end of your time abroad, for you, your partner and dependent children. All flights should be economy class.  

            • freight allowance up to £8,000 (£4,000 each way)

              BUPA Worldwide Medical Insurance with the Option of Worldwide Medical Plus for you and your family

              a contribution of £200 towards visa/vaccination costs for you, your partner and dependent children

            • Up to:

              • £3,000 a year if you are single
              • £4,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £5,000 a year if your children are travelling with you
            • You can use the funds to cover an education allowance if you will:

              • have dependent children travelling with you 
              • be working in a location where there isn’t a free education in English of the same standard as the UK.

              The allowance can cover:

              • 90% of nursery school fees for 3 to 4 year olds up to a maximum of 15 hours a week
              • 90% of local junior school fees
              • 90% of local secondary school fees
              • 90% of UK boarding school fees if both parents and/or guardians will be living outside the UK                   
              • economy class return airfares for any children at a UK boarding school, at the beginning and end of each school term.

              The allowance can't cover education costs:

              • if you'll be working in an English-speaking high-income country as you will usually have access to suitable public/state schools for your children
              • education costs for your children over the age of 18, once they have finished secondary school, eg university fees.
            • If you are spending two or more years in another country, you can use some of your funds towards annual leave airfares for you, your partner and dependent children to return to the UK.

              The rates are:

              • £500 a year if you are single
              • £1,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £1,300 a year if your children are travelling with you

              The number of return flights it can cover depends on how long you’ll be spending overseas:

              • 24-35 months: 1 annual leave flight
              • 36-47 months: 2 annual leave flights
              • 48-59 months: 3 annual leave flights

              Flights should be economy class.

        • You need to provide the costs for outward and return airfares, if you need them, as accurately as possible. We will work out the other costs.

            • We will pay the airfares at the beginning and end of your time in the UK, for you, your partner and dependent children. All flights should be economy class.  

            • freight allowance of £1,000

              a contribution of £200 towards visa/vaccination costs for you, your partner and dependent children

            • Up to:

              • £3,000 a year if you are single
              • £4,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £5,000 a year if your children are travelling with you
            • If you are spending two or more years in the UK, we’ll pay a contribution towards annual leave airfares for you, your partner and dependent children to return to your place of primary residence.

              The rates are:

              • £500 a year if you are single
              • £1,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £1,300 a year if your children are travelling with you

              The number of return flights we’ll pay for depends on how long you’ll be spending overseas:

              • 24-35 months: 1 annual leave flight
              • 36-47 months: 2 annual leave flights
              • 48-59 months: 3 annual leave flights

              Flights should be economy class.

        • You need to provide the costs for outward and return airfares, health insurance and, if you need them, anti-malarial treatment, housing security and education allowance. These should be as accurate as possible. We will work out the other costs.

            • We will pay the airfares at the beginning and end of your time abroad, for you, your partner and dependent children. All flights should be economy class.  

            • freight allowance of £1,000

              health insurance and anti-malarial treatment (if needed) for you, your partner and dependent children 

              a contribution of £200 towards visa/vaccination costs for you, your partner and dependent children

            • Up to:

              • £3,000 a year if you are single
              • £4,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £5,000 a year if your children are travelling with you
            • housing security costs if you will be working in a low- or middle-income country

            • We will give you an education allowance if you will:

              • have dependent children travelling with you 
              • be working in a location where there isn’t a free education of the same standard as your home country.

              The allowance covers:

              • 90% of nursery school fees for 3 to 4 year olds up to a maximum of 15 hours a week
              • 90% of local junior school fees
              • 90% of local secondary school fees
              • 90% of home country boarding school fees if both parents and/or guardians will be living abroad
              • economy class return airfares for any children at a boarding school, at the beginning and end of each school term.

              The allowance doesn’t cover education costs:

              • if you'll be working in an English speaking high-income country as you will usually have access to suitable public/state schools for your children
              • for your children over the age of 18, once they have finished secondary school, eg university fees.
            • If you are spending two or more years in another country, we’ll pay a contribution towards annual leave airfares for you, your partner and dependent children to return to your place of primary residence.

              The rates are:

              • £500 a year if you are single
              • £1,000 a year if your partner is travelling with you
              • £1,300 a year if your children are travelling with you

              The number of return flights we’ll pay for depends on how long you’ll be spending overseas:

              • 24-35 months: 1 annual leave flight
              • 36-47 months: 2 annual leave flights
              • 48-59 months: 3 annual leave flights

              Flights should be economy class.

    • We will provide funds if you need to outsource project work to:

      • contract research organisations
      • other fee-for-service providers.
    • If you are applying from a university we will add an inflation allowance to your award.

      How we calculate your inflation allowance

      Your inflation allowance is based on your total eligible costs and the duration of the award. If the costs in your application are in pounds sterling, euros or US dollars, you’ll receive the following allowance:

      Award duration (in months)Inflation allowance
      0-120.0%
      13-240.8%
      25-361.6%
      37-482.4%
      49-603.3%
      61-724.1%
      73-844.9%

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      These rates are calculated using compound inflation at 1.6% a year from Year 2 onwards.

      If your costs are in any other currency, we will use an inflation allowance that reflects the inflation rate of the country where the host organisation is based.

      What to include in your application

      The costs in your application must be based on current known costs, excluding inflation.

      You should allow for salary pay awards during Year 1. These should be based on pay awards already agreed; if you don’t know what the pay award is yet then use our inflation rate.

      The Trust’s studentship stipend scales for non-clinical/basic science PhD studentships include an annual increase for inflation.

    • You can ask for costs for page charges and/or costs for colour prints for your original research papers.

      You can also ask for the costs of publishing other material which is essential to the project, such as:

      • the proceedings of a workshop or conference we’ve funded
      • questionnaires, recruitment material, newsletters etc for clinical, epidemiological and qualitative research studies
      • the results of a clinical trial or epidemiological study
      • public engagement materials where dissemination (including printing and publishing) is a key activity of the project.

      Open access charges

      You can't ask for open access article processing charges in your application.

      If your organisation receives block funding through the UK’s Charity Open Access Fund you can ask it to cover these costs. If not, we’ll supplement your grant when your paper has been accepted for publication.

    • If you need to carry out clinical trials or research using NHS patients or facilities, we will cover some of the research costs.

      Annex A of the guidelines for attributing the costs of health and social care research and development (AcoRD) sets out the costs we cover, and which costs should be funded through the Department of Health in England, or its equivalent in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If you're based in the Republic of Ireland, we would expect you to adhere to the spirit of these principles.

      Further information on our clinical trials policy.

    • Costs you may ask for (you will have to justify these costs in your application):

      • fieldwork costs, including survey and data collection and statistical analysis
      • specialist publications that are relevant to the research and not available in institutional libraries
      • consultancy fees
      • expenses for subjects and volunteers – includes recruitment of participants, their participatory fees and travel, as well as interviewee expenses
      • reasonable research-associated costs related to the feedback of health-related findings but not any healthcare-associated costs
      • costs associated with developing an outputs management plan
      • recruitment, advertising and interviewee travel costs for staff to be employed on the grant
      • purchase, hire and running costs of project-dedicated vehicles.

      Costs we won’t pay:

      • estates costs – such as building and premises costs, basic services and utilities. This also includes phone, postage, photocopying and stationery, unless you can justify these within a clinical or epidemiological study.*
      • research, technical and administrative staff whose time is shared across several projects and isn’t supported by an audit record*
      • charge-out costs for major facilities* – departmental technical and administrative services, and use of existing equipment
      • cleaning, waste and other disposal costs*

      *We will fund these costs in the case of animal-related research.

      • indirect costs – this includes general administration costs such as personnel, finance, library, room hire and some departmental services
      • office furniture, such as chairs, desks, filing cabinets, etc.
      • clothing such as lab coats, shoes, gloves, protective clothing
      • non-research related activities, eg catering, room and venue hire for staff parties, team-building events and social activities
      • indemnity insurance (insurance cover against claims made by subjects or patients associated with a research programme)
      • ethics reviews, unless you are in a low- or middle-income country
      • radiation protection costs.

We usually take part in planning and managing Translation Fund projects. 

What we don’t offer

  • Estates costs, including building or refurbishment costs.
  • Indirect costs and overheads from academic organisations.

We don't fund overheads.

Successful applicants must sign up to our grant conditions.

Stages of application

  1. Submit your concept note

    Complete a Translation Fund concept note [DOC 90KB] and send it to innovations@wellcome.ac.uk

    The Innovations team will assess your concept note. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to submit a preliminary application.

  2. Submit your preliminary application

    If you’re selected to submit a preliminary application, you’ll need to explain your commercial strategy for:

    • the regulatory pathway
    • IP management
    • commercial barriers
    • routes to market.
  3. Submit your full application

    Our Translation Fund Committee will review and shortlist all preliminary applications. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to submit a full application.

  4. Peer review

    Our Innovations Advisory Group will consider your application. We’ll send unattributed comments to you before your interview.

  5. Presentation to the committee

    We’ll invite you to make a short presentation, followed by questions from the Translation Fund Committee and external experts. This will take place at the Wellcome Trust offices in London.

Disabled applicants

If you are disabled or have a chronic health condition, we can support you with the application process.

Dates

You must submit your application by 17.00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day. We don't accept late applications.

  • Preliminary application deadline

    13 June 2016

  • Full application deadline

    3 October 2016

  • Presentation to the committee

    January 2017

More information

Definitions

Contact us

About your eligibility, the application process, funding policies or general queries about grants

About the scope and content of your proposal only

About our online application system

People we've funded

Other schemes

Collaborative Awards in Science

Funding teams of researchers, consisting of independent research groups, to work together on the most important scientific problems that can only be solved through collaborative efforts.
Full details of Collaborative Awards in Science
Scheme finder