Sir Henry Dale Fellowship for Outstanding Post-doctoral Scientists

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Application Deadline- 7 August 2018 

This scheme is for outstanding post-doctoral scientists wishing to build their own UK-based, independent research career addressing an important biomedical question.

The scheme supports research ranging from the molecules and cells vital to life and their role in the global spread of disease, to clinical and public health research seeking to improve the quality of healthcare. It can be based in the laboratory, clinic or field, and may involve experimental or theoretical approaches.

It brings together the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust, two of the world’s most prestigious and influential scientific organisations, in their shared commitment to supporting the future leaders of biomedical research.

The scheme seeks to support individuals who would have previously applied for a ‘biomedical’ Royal Society University Research Fellowship or a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship hosted by a UK academic organisation.

Sir Henry Dale OM GBE FRS was President of the Royal Society from 1940 to 1945 and was a founding Trustee and Chairman of the Wellcome Trust.

Am I eligible to apply?

You are eligible to apply for a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship if you have a PhD and significant postdoctoral research experience.

If, for your Sir Henry Dale Fellowship, you’re proposing to stay in your current department, you should describe in your application how this proposal will further your independent scientific career. Please note that if you hold an established post you are not eligible to apply for a fellowship to be held at your current employing organisation. In exceptional cases, we are willing to consider a preliminary application if you wish to move organisation and are able to make a strong scientific justification for the move.

This scheme is not open to individuals who wish to combine research with a continuing clinical career in medicine, psychology, dentistry or veterinary practice.

Time spent outside the research environment will be taken into consideration (e.g time away due to personal reasons such as maternity, paternity, adoption leave or other caring responsibilities; ill health or working in a non-research environment/role such as industry).

Individuals who have held or are currently completing a nationally competitive fellowship at the same level as this fellowship are not normally eligible to apply for this scheme. In addition if you’re currently applying for another Wellcome fellowship or a Royal Society University Research Fellowship you would also be unable to apply.

You must have made intellectual contributions to research that have been published in leading journals, and be able to demonstrate your potential to carry out independent research.

Resubmissions are not normally encouraged. If a previous application has been unsuccessful, please contact the Wellcome Trust for advice.

Your host organisation

You must have an eligible sponsoring host organisation in the UK with the support of the relevant Head of Department, or equivalent e.g. Centre Director, Head of School, etc., who can guarantee that you will be supported in developing your own independent career and that adequate space and resources will be provided for the duration of the award.

The Head of Department (or equivalent):

  • must have a contract of employment with the host organisation or, in the case of an NHS employee, an honorary academic appointment
  • should give an undertaking that if an award is made, you will be granted the status and prerogatives of other academic staff of similar seniority
  • should not expect you to spend more than six hours per week on activities unrelated to the Fellowship (e.g. teaching duties).

If you propose to undertake fieldwork or research in a low- or middle-income country, you may be required to identify an appropriate Head of Department, or equivalent (e.g. Director of Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme), in your overseas organisation.

Head of Departments are encouraged to view their support and mentorship of you as part of a longer-term commitment to help you realise your career aspirations in research.

Sponsors are advised to read all the scheme information provided here.

Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

What is the scheme’s value and tenure?

Fellowships are tenable for five years in the first instance, with the potential to apply for competitive renewal for an additional three years.

Fellowships may be taken up on a part-time employment basis, where appropriate.

Unless stated otherwise, the following costs may be requested:

  • a basic salary for the Fellow, as determined by the host organisation; an additional Wellcome Trust enhancement of £7,500 per annum will also be provided
  • research expenses, including research assistance if required (normally a graduate research assistant or technician; requests for additional research staff may be considered where fieldwork or clinical studies in a low- or middle-income country are proposed)
  • travel and subsistence for collaborative travel or scientifically justified overseas visits of normally up to one year
  • overseas allowances, where appropriate, for applicants working in low- or middle-income countries for 12 months or more

In addition the funders will provide:

  • an inflation allowance
  • a Flexible Funding Allowance
  • a contribution towards indirect and estate costs funded by the Royal Society (currently set at £11,000 per annum per Fellowship).

Please note that only the funds provided by the Royal Society may be used towards indirect and estate costs.

The Wellcome Trust’s position on full economic costs is to pay the directly incurred costs of the research it funds, and other costs where these will further the Trust’s charitable mission. The Trust does not fund on a proportion of full economic costs (fEC) basis.

These fellowships are highly flexible and part-time working, sabbaticals and secondments can be accommodated. There is also provision for maternity, paternity, adoptive or extended sick leave.

What is the application process?

Applications should be submitted through the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker (WTGT). https://wtgrants.wellcome.ac.uk/

Stages of application

1. Submit your preliminary application
We’ll assess your eligibility and give advice about your competitiveness and the resources you’ve requested. We’ll give you a decision within four weeks of the preliminary application deadline. If suitable, we’ll invite you to submit a full application.

2. Submit your full application

3. External peer review

4. Scientific review and shortlisting
One of the following Wellcome Trust expert review groups will review your application depending on your area of research:

Cell and Developmental Biology

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cognitive Neuroscience and Mental Health

Genetics, Genomics and Population Research

Immune System in Health and Disease

Molecular Basis in Cell Function

Pathogen Biology and Disease Transmission

Physiology in Health and Disease

Population and Public Health

5. Interview
If you’re invited to an interview, you’ll be asked to make a short presentation. This will be followed by questions from the Sir Henry Dale Fellowship Interview Committee. Interviews take place in London at the Wellcome Trust offices or the Royal Society.

Full application form guidance is given through the online system while applicants are completing their application.

Sir Henry Dale Fellows are expected to conduct research in line with the agreed policies and position statements (PDF) of the funders.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted at least two weeks before the interview date.

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