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

We’ve launched two new calls to fund international exchange programmes and research development activities for humanities and social science researchers around the world.

Illustration showing lightbulb 'idea' and UK currency pound symbol

Credit: Wellcome

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 Programmes and Research Development Awards.

To focus on these new initiatives, we're 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 Programmes in Humanities, Social Science and Bioethics

This funding will help researchers to run international exchange programmes and gain in-depth experience of working and teaching outside their home countries.

The call is for groups of researchers based in the UK and at least one other country. 

Find out more about the International Exchange Programmes.

Research Development Awards in Humanities, Social Science and Bioethics

These awards are for groups of research leaders who want the time and resources to be able to take risks and push boundaries with their work.

The call is open to eligible institutions based anywhere in the world.

Find out more about the Research Development Awards.

Why Wellcome is doing this

We've 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. 

Preliminary deadlines for the two new calls will be in March 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. 

How to find out more

We’ll be holding a series of information sessions on the new calls in autumn 2019.   

  • 25 September (14:00 – 16:00) – London, Wellcome (fully booked)
  • 2 October (13:00 – 15:00) – University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • 7 October (14:00 – 16:00) – University of Leeds, Leeds (fully booked)
  • 7 November (14:00 – 16:00) – Wellcome, London (fully booked)

If you want to register for a session, email HSS@wellcome.ac.uk by 11 September 2019. Please put 'HSS information session' in the subject line and include the following details:

  • name, department, organisation 
  • your first and second choice of dates
  • whether you are interested in International Exchange Programmes or Research Development Awards.

We'll live stream the final session and make it available shortly afterwards.

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 Programmes and Research Development Awards

  • Autumn 2019: information sessions
  • March 2020: preliminary application deadlines
  • Autumn 2020: full application deadlines
  • Spring 2021: funding decisions.