We’re making this change to increase flexibility for researchers and so widen the pool of people who can apply for Wellcome support as they build a career in independent research.
We want to support the best researchers through our fellowships. We believe the emphasis should be on the independence, achievement and vision of those who apply.
The reality of research is that it doesn’t always follow an anticipated timescale, and the application of time constraints can close doors for those who may have moved disciplines, for example from maths or physics to biological science.
Anne Marie-Coriat, our Head of Research Careers, says: "By removing the post-PhD time restriction for all our fellowships, we are taking away an artificial barrier.
"It doesn’t make sense for someone with great ideas and great potential to be restricted from applying simply on the basis of the length of time since they were awarded a PhD."
The change will not disadvantage researchers who are in the early years of their career – applicants will be judged on achievements according to their experience.