New funding to boost global research capacity in humanities and social science

We’re launching two new calls to fund international exchange networks and infrastructure costs for humanities and social science researchers around the world.

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Wellcome is committed to supporting a thriving environment for the most innovative and challenging research on health in the humanities and social sciences (HSS). We’re pleased to announce two new, one-off funding calls that will help us to do this – the International Exchange Awards and Research Development Awards.

To focus on these new initiatives, we are going to pause the HSS Investigator and Collaborative Awards schemes for one year from mid-2020. This will not affect current holders of awards under these schemes.

International Exchange Awards

These awards will be made to groups of researchers based in at least two different countries. They are designed to encourage radical and innovative research agendas through the exchange of knowledge, people and resources.

We want to create cohorts of HSS researchers with in-depth experience of conducting research - and teaching - outside their home country. 

Research Development Awards

These awards are likely to be made to groups of researchers in a single organisation or region. We want emerging and established clusters of HSS research excellence to have access to a reliable source of infrastructure funding so they can concentrate on building research agendas and developing careers.

Both the International Exchange and Research Development awards will be open to eligible institutions based anywhere in the world.

Why Wellcome is doing this

We have been delighted with the success of the HSS Investigator and Collaborative Awards in creating new knowledge and enabling significant advances in our understanding of health.

These new awards will give us an opportunity to focus on building the research environments that make transformative research possible.

Pausing our current HSS Investigator and Collaborative Awards will be an opportunity for us to reflect on how our schemes can continue to foster exciting, transformative research on health in the humanities and social sciences.

Timeline for existing and new HSS awards

The Investigator and Collaborative Award Schemes will continue to run as normal until 2020.

The last preliminary deadline before the funding pause will be in January 2020, with awards being made in July 2020. 

The two new awards will launch in July 2019 and we’ll provide full details then.

Deadlines for expressions of interest will be in spring 2020. Awards are likely to be made in early 2021. 

We anticipate that funding for research proposals for established researchers will return in the academic year 2021/22. 

Key dates

Investigator Awards and Collaborative Awards

  • July 2019: preliminary deadline
  • Jan 2020: funding decisions
  • Jan 2020: final preliminary deadline
  • July 2020: final funding decisions.

Schemes pause.

International Exchange Awards and Research Development Awards

  • July 2019: launch
  • Spring 2020: deadlines for expressions of interest
  • Autumn 2020: full application deadlines
  • Spring 2021: funding decisions.