Wellcome Trust: Masters Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine

This scheme strengthens scientific research capacity in low- and middle-income countries, by providing support for junior researchers to gain research experience and high-quality research training at Master's degree level.

Research should be aimed at understanding and improving public health and tropical medicine of local, national and global relevance. Public health and tropical medicine cover a wide range of health problems, including communicable and non-communicable diseases. Topics include:

  • demographic, social science and health economic studies

  • epidemiological, field and community-based studies

  • healthcare systems and policy research

  • measurement of infectious and chronic disease burden

  • population studies

  • clinical trials and case-control studies

  • studies of disease mechanisms in the natural host

  • determinants of disease susceptibility and resistance

  • immunity or resistance in natural hosts or vectors.

This can include laboratory-based molecular analysis of field or clinical samples, but projects focused solely on studies in vitro or using animal models will not normally be considered under this scheme.

We are particularly interested in requests for research training support in the social sciences, demography, health economics, medical statistics and vector biology.

This Fellowship is part of a series of career awards aimed at building sustainable capacity in areas of research that have the potential for increasing health benefits for people and their livestock in low- and middle-income countries.

In partnership with the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland, we have established a joint Wellcome Trust-Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland Master's Fellowship. Two joint awards per annum will be made, in addition to the Wellcome Trust Master's Fellowships. Joint awards will be considered during the selection process for the Wellcome Trust Master's Fellowships - no separate application is required.

Eligibility Criteria

We will consider applications that fall within the Public Health and Tropical Medicine Interview Committee remit.

You should be:

  • a national of a low- and middle-income country, and hold a first degree in subject relevant to tropical medicine or public health (clinical or non-clinical)

  • at an early stage in your career, with limited research experience, but have a demonstrated interest in or aptitude for research.

In general, Fellowships may be held in not-for-profit institutions that are able to sign up to our Grant Conditions. Institutions that have not previously received significant funding from us will be required to submit information to enable us to assess eligibility. Applications will not be considered by a decision-making committee until all eligibility checks have been completed.

Master’s Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine are not available to researchers in India. Instead, please see the funding schemes offered by the Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance.

Fellows must be based in a low- or middle-income country for their research project. The Trust does not provide Master's schemes for UK/RoI-based researchers.

Sponsorship and supervision

You must be based at an eligible host institution in a low- or middle-income country for the research project. Master's training may be undertaken at a recognised centre of excellence in any location. Master's degrees by distance learning can be supported.

You must identify an eligible sponsoring institution to administer the Fellowship for the full tenure of the award. Applications must be submitted from this host institution and be supported by an appropriate sponsor holding an established post for the duration of the Fellowship. Applications must also be supported by the head of the institution.

An additional sponsor(s) must be identified for periods to be spent outside the host institution (i.e. the institution(s) where periods of training will take place).

You should also be supported by appropriate supervisors who will provide independent support, mentorship and advice in all relevant research areas for the duration of the Fellowship.

Sponsors and supervisors should have ongoing research programmes and a track record in research, research training and mentorship.

A sponsor may also be nominated as a supervisor where appropriate.

Offered Benefits

A Fellowship normally provides up to 30 months' support. A period of 12 months should normally be dedicated to undertaking a taught Master's course at a recognised centre of excellence, combined with up to 18 months to undertake a research project.

While undertaking a Master's course, Fellows will receive:

  • a stipend.Stipends are costed based on the Trust’s Masters students scales, determined by the location of the course (Inside London* - £17 000 per year; UK Outside London - £15 000 per year; Outside the UK – applicants are advised to check with the prospective training institution regarding living costs; Other – for individual cases where additional funding may be required, e.g. dependants accompanying the awardee, please contact the Trust for advice).

    *Inside London covers institutions within Greater London, for example London Universities.

  • travel costs (e.g. outward and return airfares)

  • support for approved tuition fees. Master’s course fees will be paid according to the rate charged by the training institution.

Masters training by distance learning is acceptable.

The expectation is that the stipend levels awarded will be the net amount received by the student. If the stipend is liable for tax in the applicant’s country, please inform the Trust when the full application is submitted. The Trust will provide costs to cover the taxed portion of the stipend to make sure that each student receives a stipend equal to the advertised levels.

The following costs are provided for the Fellowship:

  • salary is provided for the duration of the Fellowship

  • project-dedicated research expenses (e.g. consumables, small items of equipment, collaborative travel and support to attend scientific meetings, fieldwork and data collection)

  • overseas allowances where appropriate

  • collaborative travel costs where appropriate

  • research management and support costs

  • Flexible Funding Allowance

  • an inflation allowance.

If the Fellow is already in receipt of a salary from the host institution, the host institution may use this salary to pay for a replacement member of staff while the Trust provides the Fellow's salary/stipend for the duration of the Fellowship. It is not expected that the Fellow would receive a salary in addition to the one provided by the Trust.

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