Research Career Re-entry Fellowships for Postdoctoral Researchers in the UK 2021

Wellcome Trust in the UK is offering the Research Career Re-entry Fellowships to postdoctoral research scientists, giving them the opportunity to re-establish their scientific careers after a continuous break from research of at least two years.

Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. They are a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. They support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations, and spark debate.

Their funding supports over 14,000 people in more than 70 countries. In the next five years, they aim to spend up to £5 billion helping thousands of curious, passionate people all over the world explore ideas in science, population health, medical innovation, the humanities and social sciences and public engagement.

Worth of Award

They will fund the total cost of your salary for the entire period of the grant.

They will provide:

  • a fellowship supplement of £7,500 a year if you are:
    – a non-clinical researcher
    – a veterinary graduate who will be paid on a non-clinical salary scale.
  • the extra employer’s contributions needed to cover the supplement.
  • If you have to move to take up the post at your host organisation, you can ask for £1,000. You’ll need to justify this.
  • Research expenses
  • funds for relevant research retraining, eg for a skills or MSc course


  • You can apply for a Research Career Re-entry Fellowship if you’ve had a continuous career break of at least two years and you want to re-establish your research career.
  • They accept career breaks taken because of family commitments, ill health and work outside of research.
  • You must have a PhD and postdoctoral research experience.
  • You should have started to make important contributions to your area of research before your career break, eg publications, patents, software development or an impact on policy.
  • You must have an eligible sponsoring organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer the fellowship for the full duration of the award.
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You must have:

  • a sponsor/research sponsor who’ll offer you scientific guidance, space and access to resources
  • a mentor who’ll provide you with independent support and advice.
  • Sponsors/research sponsors and mentors should have strong track records in research and mentorship. They should view their support and mentorship of you as part of a longer-term commitment to help you return to a career in research.
  • You should give careful thought to your choice of research environment, sponsor and mentor.

How to Apply

  • Submit your preliminary application: You must submit your preliminary application through Grant Tracker (opens in a new tab).
  • Review of preliminary applications: They’ll assess your eligibility, and give advice about your competitiveness and the resources you’ve requested. They ‘ll give you a decision within three weeks of the preliminary application deadline. If suitable, they will invite you to submit a full application.
  • Submit your full application to your host organisation for approval: Complete the full application form on Grant Tracker. Submit it to the ‘authorised organisational approver’ at your host organisation for approval. Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to review and submit your application before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application.
  • Host organisation reviews your application and submits it to them: Your application must be submitted by 17:00 (GMT/BST) on the deadline day.
  • External peer review: They will seek written comments on your application from external expert reviewers.
  • Shortlisting: The Basic Science Interview Committee will consider your full application. If successful, they will invite you for an interview. They’ll give you at least two weeks’ notice and send you unattributed comments from the external peer review.
  • Interview: The Basic Science Interview Committee will conduct interviews at the Wellcome offices in London.
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Deadline: They consider applications twice a year. They don’t accept late applications.

April 2021 round

  • Preliminary application deadline: April 8,2021, 17:00 BST


Click here for more details and to apply