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Discovery Awards


This scheme provides funding for established researchers and teams from any discipline who want to pursue bold and creative research ideas to deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health and wellbeing.

You can apply for a Wellcome Discovery Award if you are a researcher who wants to pursue bold and creative research ideas. You must aim to make a major contribution to your research field by:

  • generating significant shifts in understanding and/or
  • developing methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research.

You will be expected to actively promote a diverse, inclusive and supportive research environment within your team and across your organisation.

Your research can be in any discipline – including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), experimental medicine, humanities and social science, clinical/allied health sciences, and public health – as long as it has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing, and aligns with Wellcome's funding remit.

The research can be in a single discipline or multidisciplinary.

An award can be held by an established researcher or a team of researchers led by an established researcher.

To be competitive, your research proposal will be:

  • Bold. It aims to deliver a significant shift in understanding and/or it provides a significant advance over existing methodologies, conceptual frameworks, tools or techniques. It has the potential to stimulate new and innovative research.
  • Creative. Your proposed approach is novel – it develops and tests new concepts, methods or technologies, or combines existing ideas and approaches in a new way.
  • High quality. It is well-designed, clear, supported by evidence and the proposed outcomes/outputs are feasible.