Developing research leaders

Our Research Leadership Development Programme connects senior researchers with great leaders to help improve their skills. 

Leadership development helps make the teams and organisations we fund more successful.

Many research leaders have had little or no formal leadership training. The Research Leadership Development Programme addresses this issue for current and potential leaders.

What the programme involves

The Research Leadership Development Programme has two immersive parts, or 'learning journeys'. Each part lasts for four days.

Our partner Monitor Deloitte runs the activities in both parts of the programme. The activities explore three basic issues:

Part one: London, UK

The first learning journey takes place in November every year, in London. 

It looks at leadership outside biomedical research. The participants visit a range of organisations to meet the people in charge.

This part of the programme doesn't include any structured teaching or training. It encourages the participants to find new perspectives by talking to successful leaders.

The 2017/18 London learning journey runs from 20–23 November 2017.

Part two: Boston, USA

The second learning journey takes place the following March, in Boston.

It looks at leadership within biomedical research. As well as meetings with scientific leaders, it includes more hands-on skill development.

The 2017/18 Boston learning journey runs from 5–8 March 2018.

How the programme is funded

The fee for the 2017/18 Research Leadership Development Programme is £24,000 per participant (inclusive of VAT). This includes all activities, meals and accommodation.

Wellcome subsidises 75% of this fee. The host institution is responsible for the remaining 25% (£6,000), as well as all travel costs.  


To be eligible for nomination, you should:

Your research institution must support your application in writing.

Each year our funding partners nominate a few non-Wellcome-funded researchers for us to consider. Because they do this independently, we can’t help individual non-Wellcome-funded researchers with the process.

We invite applications from researchers worldwide.

How to apply

Applications for the 2017/18 Research Leadership Development Programme are now closed.

Applications for the 2018/19 programme will open in January 2018.


What our researchers say

The chance to be up close and personal with genuine leaders was a very powerful device.
Professor Derek K Jones, Director of the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre
This course was transformative...I now take a much more active role in leadership within my institution.
Professor Helen McShane, Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Research Fellow, University of Oxford

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact Claire Fenton

Flexible careers

We understand that different people choose different career paths, so we want to provide flexible research career opportunities.