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Research Enrichment – Open Research

This funding supports Wellcome grantholders to develop innovative ways to make their research open, accessible and reusable.

This scheme will close after the 15 April 2020 application deadline. We are reviewing our funding approach for open research to ensure we target our support in the most effective way. In the meantime, if you have an innovative idea about making research outputs open, accessible or reusable, email

Scheme at a glance

Career stage:

  • ,
  • ,

Level of funding:

Up to £50,000

Duration of funding:

Funding will end at the same time as your main Wellcome grant

Who can apply

You can apply for this funding if you have a proposal for innovative open research activities that will increase the impact of the research funded under your main Wellcome grant.

You must be:

  • a current Wellcome-funded grantholder 


  • a successful applicant to one of our schemes – you've received an award confirmation letter.

In both cases, you must be the lead applicant.

All of our funding schemes are eligible for Research Enrichment – Open Research funding, apart from the following:

You must be able to complete your proposed activities by the end date of your main Wellcome grant.

If you are not eligible for this scheme, you can still apply for funding through our Open Research Fund.

Your proposal

Your proposed activities should include opportunities for you to:

  • make the research outputs from your main Wellcome grant more open, accessible and reusable, so they can have the greatest possible impact
  • develop innovative and ambitious ways to advance open research.

The activities we support can take many forms. For example, you could use the funding to:

  • help researchers find, access and reuse your data, for example by creating data visualisations or developing ways to rapidly query or mine datasets, improve metadata, or share sensitive data in a secure way
  • improve the reproducibility and transparency of your research, for example by sharing research outputs that would have not otherwise been available (like null and negative results or enhanced protocols), or using virtual machines to package data and code together
  • allow your research outputs to be shared in real-time (or near real-time), for example using open lab notebooks
  • improve software use, for example by creating training guides and resources, holding workshops, or carrying out usability testing
  • encourage greater participation and engagement in your research, for example by crowdsourcing views on datasets, or using social media to generate new research ideas and collaborations
  • embed open research practices, for example by trialling open research approaches in organisations and communities, or visiting and learning from other open research pioneers.

We will review:

  • the vision for your proposed activities, including aims, target audiences, and how you’ll advance open practices in your research field
  • how your proposed activities will increase the usability and accessibility of research outputs from your main Wellcome grant
  • how you’ll evaluate the outcome and impact of your proposed activities, including success and risk indicators.

Who can't apply

You can't apply to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.

Other schemes

Research Enrichment – Public Engagement

Helping Wellcome grantholders to engage the public with their research. This scheme was previously known as the Provision for Public Engagement.
Full details of Research Enrichment – Public Engagement

Research Enrichment – Diversity and Inclusion

Enabling Wellcome grantholders to identify and tackle barriers to diversity and inclusion in their work.
Full details of Research Enrichment – Diversity and Inclusion
Scheme finder

You can ask for Research Enrichment – Open Research funding of up to £50,000.

You should ask for a level of funding that's justifiable for the scale and scope of your grant, and proposed open research activities.

Enrichment funding will end at the same time as your main Wellcome grant.

Funds can be used for a range of costs such as:

  • You can ask for funding for staff to deliver your proposed plan. Staff may include data managers or IT staff.

    We won't cover the salaries of staff already funded by their organisation.

  • We will cover costs for you to work with or commission developers to build a new software tool or application.

  • We will cover costs for you to purchase cloud-based storage or software licences etc.

  • You can ask for costs to:

    • communicate your open research plans to potential users and collaborators
    • create training guides and resources
    • hold training workshops
    • promote uptake and use to others in your research field and the wider community.
  • You can ask for costs to conduct user-testing, focus groups etc.

  • We will pay travel costs for you to:

    • attend relevant training events and conferences
    • visit users and collaborators.

    You can also ask for costs to cover caring responsibilities if you or any staff employed on your grant attend a conference. This includes childcare and any other caring responsibility you have, provided:

    • Wellcome is paying your salary
    • the conference is directly related to your research project
    • the caring costs are over and above what you'd normally pay for care
    • the conference organiser and your employing organisation are unable to cover the costs.

    You can ask for up to £1,000 per person for each conference.

    Carbon offset costs

    This is a new policy. It applies to all types of travel costs Wellcome provides.

    You can ask for:

    • the cost of low carbon travel where practical, even if it's more expensive (for example travelling by train instead of flying)
    • project-related resources or activities that provide an alternative to travel, such as video conferencing, communication and file-sharing software
    • costs to offset the carbon emissions of the journeys you make.

    We won't pay for the core infrastructure that your host organisation should provide, unless outlined in our overheads policy. Examples include:

    • organisation-wide video conferencing packages
    • high-speed broadband
    • HD screens.

    See our carbon offset policy for travel for information on what you and your organisation need to do.

  • contingency costs, as long as these are reasonable and you can justify them
  • VAT on fees where the VAT can't be reclaimed.

What we don’t offer

You can't use Research Enrichment – Open Research funding for:

  • activities that are part of our mandatory open access and data, software and materials management and sharing requirements for Wellcome-funded grantholders
  • activities that were anticipated and funded as part of your main Wellcome grant
  • the standard costs of managing and sharing data, software and materials, which should be included in your main Wellcome grant application 
  • open access publication costs, or other publication costs, eg colour or page charges
  • maintenance and support for ongoing running costs of an existing database, software tool or other resource, unless this involves the development of significant new functionality to benefit open research.

We don't fund overheads.

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

Start your application

Stages of application

  1. Submit your application

    Complete your application on Grant Tracker.

    View the Sample full application form for Research Enrichment [PDF 115KB].

    You can also apply for enrichment funding for public engagement and diversity and inclusion. You’ll need to complete a separate application form for each type of funding. Applications will be assessed separately.

    If you’re already a Wellcome-funded grantholder

    You can apply at any time from your award date, but you need to be able complete your programme of activities by the end date of your main Wellcome grant. 

    If you’re applying for your main Wellcome grant

    You can begin your application for Research Enrichment funding at any time while you’re applying for your main Wellcome grant. 

    You should only submit your Research Enrichment application when you’ve been informed that your main Wellcome grant has been awarded.  

  2. Decision

    Wellcome staff will assess your application.

    We aim to give you a decision within ten weeks of the application deadline. There are no interviews. 

    In most cases, feedback won’t be provided to unsuccessful applicants. 

    Unsuccessful applicants should not reapply, unless specifically invited to do so.

Disabled applicants

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


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

April 2020 round

  • NEW application deadline (extended by 1 week due to COVID-19)

    15 April 2020, 17:00 BST (was 8 April)

  • Decision

    June 2020

Key dates

This is the final round for this scheme.

April 2020 round

  • NEW application deadline (extended by 1 week due to COVID-19)

    15 April 2020, 17:00 BST (was 8 April)

  • Decision

    June 2020

Grants awarded

Find out about some of the people and projects we've funded for this scheme.

Contact us

Contact our information officers if you have a question about funding.