To support their new strategy, Wellcome is changing the way they support scientific research. A new range of discovery research funding schemes has been launched and these will open for applications in late summer 2021.

All current Wellcome funding schemes will close during 2021. Please check relevant scheme pages for final application deadlines. With the closure of these current calls, the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership in its current form will also be changing. The partnership will continue to support all funded awards to completion, including any awards made following these final closing deadlines. 

Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board welcome the confirmation that researchers based in the Republic of Ireland will continue to remain eligible to apply for Discovery schemes under Wellcome’s new strategy, although co-funding from SFI and the HRB will no longer be required.  Irish researchers are strongly encouraged to review these new opportunities and to consider applying. If you have a question about eligibility, what Wellcome offers or its funding remit, contact their grants information officers

Building on the success of the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Partnership, both SFI and HRB look forward to new opportunities for collaboration with Wellcome, including approaches to address challenge areas of mutual interest.  SFI and HRB will keep provide updates on developments as they emerge.


The vision of Wellcome, the UK-based global charity, is to achieve extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. This is accomplished through a broad range of funding schemes in support of outstanding researchers and innovative research programmes in biomedical and clinical research and the medical humanities in the UK and overseas, including the Republic of Ireland. Since 2005, Wellcome has awarded 249 grants to Republic of Ireland institutions, with a total value of £44m.

From 1 October 2010 Wellcome, in partnership with SFI and the HRB, will fund biomedical and clinical research in the Republic of Ireland under the auspices of the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership.

In line with their strategic research agendas, SFI and the HRB will co-fund with Wellcome successful biomedical and clinical science applications under the following Trust funding schemes:

  • Investigator Awards
  • Fellowships
  • Collaborative Awards


Wellcome is responsible for the administration of grant applications and awards made under this Partnership.

Detailed information for each scheme is provided on Wellcome's website.

Applications should be made directly to Wellcome. All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Wellcome for advice in advance of submission. Wellcome is responsible for the application assessment process and the final funding decision, liaising with SFI and the HRB at each stage.

Principal Research Fellowships Because of their size and strategic importance to SFI and the HRB, prospective applicants for Principal Research Fellows (PRFs) must liaise with SFI and the HRB and provide an expression of interest to SFI and the HRB (as per instructions from SFI and the HRB). Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact SFI and/or the HRB to discuss potential applications in advance of submitting an expression of interest to the PRFs In addition, applicants are advised to consult with Wellcome at an early stage of the process for informal advice. 

Grant applications made to Wellcome for this scheme must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from SFI and the HRB. The decision to provide a letter of endorsement rests with SFI and the HRB and will be final.

Collaborative Awards provide flexible support to excellent groups of independent researchers with outstanding track records. Proposals must address important scientific problems that can only be achieved through a collaborative team effort. Although, Wellcome encourage applications which propose to carry out interdisciplinary research across their Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Innovations funding, the SFI-HRB partnership only supports applications for Collaborative Awards under the Science division. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Wellcome at an early stage of the process for informal advice. In addition, for financial forecasting purposes, collaborative award applicants must contact the HRB and/or SFI after Wellcome preliminary application deadline date for a given round by submitting their preliminary application form (latest version from Wellcome). The preliminary application should be submitted via email to and the host institution copied on the email.

Wellcome will manage successful applications for the duration of the award. Successful applicants must adhere to the terms and conditions associated with awards from Wellcome.

Research funded under the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership must not comprise any component of the following:

  • research intended to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research or for the purpose of stem cell procurement, including by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer
  • research using human embryonic stem cells or tissues

Wellcome may be willing to fund such research outside the partnership agreement. If you wish to apply for funding for this purpose, please contact Wellcome for advice. Wellcome Trust may also be willing to consider applications from the Republic of Ireland for other grant schemes. The partnership agreement will not apply in these circumstances and funding would be provided in full by Wellcome. If you wish to apply for a funding scheme not covered by the partnership agreement, please contact Wellcome for advice.

Funding in the areas of technology transfer and medical humanities will not be considered under the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Biomedical Research Partnership. Wellcome may be willing to consider such applications outside the partnership agreement. A number of funding opportunities in the areas of public engagement and society and ethics are available to applicants from the Republic of Ireland. Please refer to eligibility information for the relevant grant scheme on Wellcome's website, or contact Wellcome for advice.

Further information

Queries about Ireland's participation in this scheme & requests for endorsement (necessary for Principal Research Fellowships only) should be directed to

Contact Wellcome