Frontiers meetings

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:

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.

Frontiers topics

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:

Research topics

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.

Examples include our two recent meetings, digital phenotypes and supporting interdisciplinary working.

Health challenges

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

Protecting Mental Health - acting early against anxiety and depression

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.

For this meeting, we brought together psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, clinicians, international funders, education and policy experts to:

We were interested in understanding what the priorities for research, funding, leadership, policy and advocacy should be to drive progress in the prevention and early detection of anxiety and depression.

Read the report on Protecting Mental Health: acting early against anxiety and depression [PDF 141KB]

Digital Phenotypes: Health research in the digital age

This meeting explored how new digital technologies can be used in health research. These technologies include:

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:

Read the report on Digital Phenotypes – Health research in the digital age [PDF 178KB].

One Science: Life at the Interface

Interdisciplinary research is a necessary part of modern-day biomedical research. This meeting explored how the Wellcome Trust could:

We brought together people from academia and industry to:

Read the report on One Science – Life at the interface [PDF 399KB].

More information

If you have any questions about our previous meetings, please email