UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund

The Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support (ISSF) Fund facilitates investments of mutual strategic importance to the Wellcome and UCL. Discover research funding opportunities supported by the fund.

UCL is the recipient of an Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) award from Wellcome. It has enabled UCL to invest in and support research in the life and biomedical sciences since it was first awarded in October 2016. The UCL WISSF supports areas of high strategic need across UCL, which are also within the Wellcome research remit.

The Research Coordination Office for Life and Medical Sciences manages the WISSF programme on behalf of the Life and Medical Sciences Research Board at UCL. The WISSF is open to researchers from across UCL at various stages of their careers. Please check individual schemes for further details and eligibility.

Current funding opportunities

There are no funding opportunities at present. Please check back later.

Closed calls

UCL Wellcome ISSF Restarting Research Call 2021

Applications are currently being sought from Early Career Researchers (ECRs) across all UCL faculties, who hold personal research fellowships or academic positions, whose research and/or career progression has been significantly hampered by the ongoing pandemic.

To be eligible:

Applicants must be early career researchers whose research and/or career progression has been significantly hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants must be either:

  • Postdoctoral researchers who have been awarded personal research fellowships (e.g. Sir Henry Wellcome, ESRC fellowships, EPSRC fellowships, other UKRI fellowships and other similar clinical or non-clinical post-doctoral fellowships) or who are lead or co-investigators (not named researchers) on major project or programme grants, OR
  • Junior group leaders including those on academic positions (lecturers) and those who hold independent career establishment fellowships (such as Henry Dale, MRC career development, ERC Starting Grants and other comparable non-clinical or clinical fellowships). 
The proposed area of research must be within the remit of Wellcome. Applications must include a letter of support from the applicant’s UCL sponsor (See ‘How to apply’ below).

How to apply
To apply, applicants must complete the online application form no later than 5pm on Thursday 29 July 2021. A PDF copy of the online form is also provided for information only. The online form also contains uploads for a Case for Support (template available below) and a Standalone Worktribe budget.

The Case for Support must be uploaded via the online application form as 1 single PDF document with the following filename (Restarting Research Award 2021_Your Name_ Date). PDFSam is available to download here. It should include the following:

  • Case for support (background to project, description of request and justification) (750 words max.)
  • Letter of Support (please attach a signed letter (1 page max.) from your Director or Head of Department confirming: 1) Support of the proposal 2) Approval of the associated costs 3) Confirmation that the necessary facilities and resources are available)
  • 1 page CV + 1 page of publications

Incomplete applications which do not follow the guidance provided will not be considered.

You will need your UCL username and password to access the online form: username@ucl.ac.uk

Supporting Documents

*Please Note*

When creating a Worktribe budget, please choose the following from the dropdown box when selecting 'Standalone Budget' in the Projects Tab:

  • Funder: Wellcome
  • Scheme: Wellcome Default Scheme

This will ensure that only direct costs of the project appear in the 'Price to Funder' column when generating a new Worktribe.

For further information and to apply contact Dr Ruth Wainman (r.wainman@ucl.ac.uk)

UCL Covid-19 Rapid Response Call

Please note this funding opportunity is currently closed.

Supported by the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund, with co-funding from the UCL Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund and the UCLH, GOSH and Moorfields NIHR Biomedical Research Centres for translational projects that align to their research themes, we are now launching this internal funding opportunity.

This internal funding opportunity has a broad scope and is expected to seed novel research projects, bridge funding gaps, pump-prime further external research grant applications or boost ongoing strategic projects and initiatives where value can be added.

Projects should seek to contribute to the management, mitigation, and eventual halt of the virus and should focus on rapid responses and novel solutions to understand and tackle the challenges faced during this continually evolving pandemic. Proposals from all disciplines across UCL are welcome.

A monthly rolling deadline until available funding is allocated.

Applicants will be required to submit a completed application form and Worktribe standalone budget as one single PDF document to Dr Anwen Howells. We will not accept applications in any other format.

Supporting documents

For further information and to apply contact Dr Anwen Howells (a.howells@ucl.ac.uk)
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Please note this funding opportunity is currently closed.

In partnership with the three UCLPartners NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), ISSF funding is now being deployed for a new call - Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.

The call provides funding for pump-priming collaborative projects. We invite UCL researchers and clinicians affiliated with the GOSH, Moorfields, or UCLH BRCs to submit joint proposals that address operational and clinical challenges using artificial intelligence.

Applicants will be required to submit a completed application form and Worktribe standalone budget as one single PDF document to Dr Ruth Wainman. We will not accept applications in any other format. Pre-submission discussion of your proposal is encouraged.

Supporting documents

Please contact your respective BRC office and/or the Life and Medical Sciences Research Coordination Office (RCO):

Flexible Support Awards Scheme

Please note this funding opportunity is currently closed.

This annual call for Flexible Funding is focussed on providing strategic support for the following two schemes, aimed at supporting early- and mid-career researchers:

  • The establishment of new research groups, programmes, and/or laboratories.
  • Fellowship extension for early- and mid-career researchers who require additional research support beyond the end of their fellowship funding.

Find out more about the Flexible Support Awards Scheme

To apply applicants are required to submit:

  • A completed application form signed by the Divisional/Institute Director in SLMS and Heads of Departments in BEAMS/IoE/SLASH confirming that they are willing to contribute 50% of the funds.
  • CV(s) [two pages (max.) and one page of publications].
  • Standalone Worktribe costing.
For further guidance, please see here
Submission documents

Please contact Dr Ruth Wainman (r.wainman@ucl.ac.uk)

Translational Research

Please note this funding opportunity is currently closed.

The ISSF contributes towards UCL’s Therapeutic Acceleration Support (TAS) Fund. This fund aims to accelerate the transition from discovery science to the early stages of therapeutic development, by providing responsive and flexible funding to help address a specific ‘hurdle(s)’ in translational progression’. TAS-funded projects are also positioned to attract major translational follow-on funding or industry engagement.

The scheme expects to typically fund individual projects in the range of £60-75k, directly incurred costs only, for up to 12 months. Projects seeking lower amounts will be considered. The scheme typically supports projects which lie within the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 2-4.

For further information about this fund, please contact Simon Eaglestone (simon.eaglestone@ucl.ac.uk) in the UCL Translational Research Office.

Grant holder guidelines

Matched funding

  • Matched funding is required for all WISSF themes and its source and value must be clearly articulated in the application. This must be from non-Wellcome sources and be a minimum of 50% of the total budget.
  • Match funding can come from external sources or grants (excluding Wellcome grants) or divisional/department recurrent funds.
  • Please note the Wellcome ISSF will only cover direct costs

    Grant conditions

    WISSF awards are made with the following conditions:

    • The grant is subject to Wellcome’s standard grant conditions;
    • The funds must be charged in arrears for actual expenditure incurred;
    • The funds are spent in accordance with UCL’s established procurement policies;
    • The control of expenditure awarded on the grant is governed by the normal standards and procedures of UCL and will be covered by any formal audit arrangements that exist in the University;
    • PIs provide research and financial reports, during and at the end of the project, for Wellcome and UCL;
    • Any extension beyond the end date provided in your award letter must be approved by the review panel.

    Please ensure that all research publications acknowledge WISSF funding:

    • For ISSF3 projects: please use the following citation: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [Reference: 204841/Z/16/Z]
    • For ISSF2 projects: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [Reference: 105604/Z/14/Z]