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Wellcome Trust – funding opportunities for researchers based outside of the UK

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The Wellcome Trust is a prominent, London-based funder of biomedical sciences and (what is less known) medical humanities. Although a major part of its funding programs are dedicated to researchers based in, or traveling to the United Kingdom (and in some cases to the Republic of Ireland) the organization offers numerous grants for people based in “middle and low income countries”. This term covers a major part of the world, excluding only USA, Canada, Central and Western Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the wealthiest Arab Countries. Let me quickly run though the open grant opportunities that are available for individuals from this broad territory.

Scientists based in Sub-saharan Africa or in Central-Eastern Asia (excluding India) can apply for funds for research in the broad field of both medical humanities and biomedical sciences, within the program Investigator Awards (or Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities). The competition operates on two stages – one for senior researchers (with more than 5 years of experience in an academic post) and one for less mature researchers. All applicants have to be employed on a permanent, open-ended or long-term rolling contract at a higher education or research institution. The award covers research expenses and travel costs, but does not include a salary. The next deadline for the Investigator Awards is 25 July 2014, and 18 July 2014 is the deadline for the Investigator Awards in Medical Humanities.

Researchers in North Africa, Americas, and a major part of Asia and Eastern Europe may apply to the same competitions, but only with projects considering public health and tropical medicine.

Scholars from all countries listed as “low or middle income” may also apply for fellowships in public health and tropical medicine, which are available for every level of career and include a stipend, support of tuition fees and travel costs. Deadlines vary for applicants at different career stages.

There is also a separate program of fellowships in India, available for worldwide who would like to conduct research in the second-most populous country in the world.

Policy of openness

All researchers who receive funding from the Wellcome Trust have to publish their work in Open Access. Researchers can choose a journal that do not offer immediate Open Access, but archiving a copy in PubMed Central (PMC) and Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) is obligatory, as soon as possible and in any event within six months from publication. If the journal of choice offers immediate Open Access, the researcher has to use this option. The Wellcome Trust covers Article Processing Charges in Open Access and hybrid journals, although in this case, the organization requires licensing of the work under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows translations, text and data mining and other usage without any additional permissions.

The Wellcome Trust also support open data. Data managing and sharing plans are an obligatory part of any application that “is likely to generate data outputs that will hold significant value as a resource for the wider research community” (and I hope, this includes almost every application). This does not mean that a researcher funded by WT has to make all data open. Instead it means that managing data is examined by the funder to ensure that research is as open as possible, in the given circumstances.

For more details visit the Wellcome Trust website and hurry! A few deadlines are within one month. Hopefully, I will continue on the subject of data managing plans in one of my next entries.

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