Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF)

Birkbeck has been awarded a second Wellcome Trust ISSF award (ISSF2) of £1.5m over five years from 1 October 2016, which is being matched by College funds, to enable us to develop our public engagement activities. 

Staff and PhD researchers can apply for ISSF funding for a range of public engagement activities within the scientific or medical humanities remit of the Wellcome Trust. See below for details on the funding available. 

deadlines for 2017/18 applications 

  • The allocation of ISSF funds is overseen by a steering group, chaired by the Master and including the five Executive Deans of our schools, the Pro-Vice Master for Research, and the Head of the Research Grants and Contract Office.
  • The ISSF panel meets termly to consider applications for funding:
    • Submission deadline of 31 October 2017, for consideration at the ISSF panel on 13 November.
    • Submission deadline of 20 February 2018, for consideration at the ISSF panel on 7 March. 
    • Submission deadline of 29 May 2018, for consideration at the ISSF panel on 11 June.

funding available

Initially, all activities funded by the ISSF2 award must be completed by 30 September 2019, as the funding for Years 4 and 5 is subject to a review of progress at that time. 

Public engagement activities led by Birkbeck

  • Awards of up to £2500 are available for staging public engagement activities in the biomedical sciences or medical humanities.
  • How to apply:
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities. 

Public Engagement Internship

  • Further details will be posted here in due course.

Opportunities for PhD students at Birkbeck

  • PhD researchers completing their thesis: you can apply for funding to enable you to complete publications or develop public engagement or dissemination activities. The funding covers salary costs up to six months beyond the end of your formal period of study (on the starting point of the Researcher 1 pay scale). 
  • Current PhD researchers: you can apply for funding of up to £5000 to carry out public engagement or interdisciplinary activities for a period of up to three months. (Note: this period will represent a formal break in your studies, if your PhD funder allows it.) 
  • How to apply:
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities. 

Fellowships for early-career researchers 

  • We have filled the three ISSF Early Career three-year Fellowships for this award.
  • There are also opportunities for people with fellowship applications well advanced for support for up to a year. Contact your Head of Department, who should then contact Professor Nicholas Keep. These applications will be considered at any meeting of the panel, but must come through the sponsoring Head of Department.

Career Development Awards

  • Academic staff can apply for funding to support career development activities or training. Examples could include attendance on practical or public engagement courses, or training related to your academic field (either a course or a visit to another institution to learn a new technique or develop a new collaboration). 
  • Funding: applications are invited termly for awards for up to £2000 and once a year in the Spring term for applications up to £20,000.  
  • How to apply:
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities. 

funding for early-career researchers and academics returning from a career break 

  • Early-career researchers and academics returning from a career break can apply for start-up funding of up to £40,000 for research projects in biomedicine or medical humanities. 
  • Early-career researcher: you must be within five years of your first academic appointment (at the date of your application), which includes academic employment at another institution(s). 
  • Academics returning from a career break: this include leave for maternity, extended paternity, adoption or other caring responsibilities. 
  • How to apply:
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities. 

Conference and symposia funding 

  • You can apply for up to £5000 to stage interdisciplinary or inter-institutional activities in the biomedical sciences or medical humanities. 
    • Projects where partial funding has been obtained elsewhere will be favoured.
  • How to apply:
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities. 

funding to 'Translate' your research 

  • Awards of up to £5000 are available for translational activities in the medical humanities and biomedical sciences - that is, translating research findings into meaningful outcomes. Examples of this type of activity include hiring a consultant to advise on commercialising a piece of research, or directed work with clinicians or patients.
  • Projects where partial funding has been obtained elsewhere will be favoured. 
  • How to apply
  • You will have to complete a report on how the funding was spent at the end of the activities.