Frontiers meetings are a way for experts to help shape our direction and strategy in a particular area of our work.
The outcomes of the meetings might include:
- new strategic priorities
- changes to our funding schemes or themed calls
- a public engagement initiative or event.
The meetings are also a chance for participants to share ideas and make connections, opening up new opportunities in their own areas of work.
How Frontiers meetings work
Frontiers meetings are invite-only immersive retreats, which last for two days.
Each meeting brings together 30 thought-leaders from around the world, across science and health. They can include everyone from basic and social scientists to technology experts and policy leaders.
There's a governor or senior Wellcome staff member at every meeting. This means we have well-informed representatives at board discussions afterwards.
The meeting always results in a direct report to our Board of Governors. The discussions at the Board of Governors may then lead to a new approach or a change in strategic direction.
Our next Frontiers meeting
Become a Frontiers Innovator
Frontiers Innovators are a core part of our Frontiers meetings. We want you to share your experiences and knowledge, drive conversations and help devise fresh solutions with other innovators and experts in the field.
We're keen to hear new voices on the subject of mental health. We're inviting early-career researchers and professionals to apply to become a Frontiers Innovator.
You can come from academia, industry, education or any sector relevant to the topic. For example, you could be a psychiatrist, social scientist or policy maker, or work in education or technology.
We'll pay travel and accommodation costs for up to seven Frontiers Innovators to attend the meeting. All other participants are by invitation only.
For academics, we're looking for researchers who have just completed their PhD, postdocs, newly appointed fellows/lecturers and junior group leaders.
Outside academia, we're looking for people in the first ten years of their career. We'll take career breaks into account.
See 'How to apply'.
Our next Frontiers meeting takes place on 3-4 October 2016.
The theme is 'Protecting Mental Health – acting early against anxiety and depression'.
Mental health disorders are one of the largest contributors to the global burden of disease. Worldwide, 1 in 4 people are set to develop a mental health condition.
We want to know whether there's more we can do to accelerate research in mental health. We're particularly interested in the prevention and early detection of anxiety and depression.
Why mental health is important to us
Most mental health conditions are chronic. More than 75 per cent begin before the age of 24 and half begin by the age of 15.
There is a strong public health and economic case for the prevention and early detection of mental health disorders, but research in this area is still limited.
There is also a failure to validate and translate this evidence into policy and practice to improve mental health.
What we aim to achieve
At the meeting we want to:
- define the research gaps and opportunities for building an evidence base for the prevention and early detection of depression and anxiety
- identify what's needed to translate this research into policy and health initiatives.
We’re interested in understanding existing research across:
- discovery science
- medical innovation
- population health
- the humanities and social sciences
- public engagement.
And we want to learn about the uptake of this research into policy and health initiatives.
How to apply
Please submit your CV and a response to the following questions to F.Innovators@wellcome.ac.uk by Monday 1 August 2016.
- Why is the meeting relevant for you and what expertise would you bring?
- What are three major challenges that are hindering advances for the prevention and early detection of anxiety and depression?
- What could be done in the next three to five years to drive progress in this area? For example, you might describe what research questions need to be addressed and what resource is needed to support this.
Your response can be submitted as:
- a Word document or PDF, no longer than one side of A4
- a video summary, no longer than three minutes.
You can either upload your video to the web and send us the link, or submit it directly using a large data transfer site such as WeTransfer.
We look forward to hearing your ideas. We will be in touch by the end of August to let you know if your application has been successful.
If you have any questions about the application or the meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frontiers meeting topics all relate to fundamental issues in science or research and how they connect to society. They can address challenges or highlight new opportunities.
We accept suggestions for Frontiers meeting topics. We'd like ideas from everyone: researchers, businesses, and anyone interested in health and science.
Please submit your ideas through our online form.
We review the submissions for topics two or three times a year, and we organise one or two meetings each year. If we choose your suggestion, we'll invite you to help us develop it so you can see your idea evolve.
We'll consider any ideas, but we're particularly interested in the following two areas:
A research topic should be an issue that affects the four main areas we fund. These are science, innovations, the humanities and social sciences, and public engagement.
These need an interdisciplinary approach to stimulate change. For example, scientists need to work with policy-makers and the public to address the challenges of drug-resistant infections.
Examples could include mental health disorders and obesity.
The Frontiers Alumni network
We invite all Frontiers delegates to join our Frontiers Alumni network. This gives them the chance to network with a wider group and build on the connections they make.
We welcome the alumni network's ongoing feedback and advice on the meeting outcomes.
Previous Frontiers meetings
This meeting explored how new digital technologies can be used in health research. These technologies include:
- wearable fitness devices
- mobile phone apps
- social media
- citizen science.
The increasing popularity of these technologies has opened up new ways of doing research. It’s also created large untapped pools of health-related data.
For the meeting, we brought together technology experts and researchers to tell us about:
- the opportunities and challenges of using new digital technologies in biomedical research
- areas where our support could advance the use of digital technology in research.
We've pulled together the meeting's discussions to highlight the most important messages and advice. Read the report on Digital Phenotypes – Health research in the digital age [PDF 178KB].
Interdisciplinary research is a necessary part of modern-day biomedical research. This meeting explored how the Wellcome Trust could:
- do more to support interdisciplinary research
- help overcome interdisciplinary research challenges
- help to create a culture that encourages interdisciplinary research.
We brought together people from academia and industry to:
- share their experiences
- discuss mechanisms for interdisciplinary working
- tell us how to better support interdisciplinary research.
Read the report on One Science – Life at the interface [PDF 399KB].
The One Science meeting helped us identify several areas where we can make a difference. We’re working on our response, which we'll share it with you as soon as it's ready.
If you have any questions about our previous meetings, please email email@example.com.