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2021-22 Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentships

The Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship scheme enables researchers to undertake humanities or social science degrees in any area of health. (We would advise applicants to read through the Wellcome Trust humanities and social science team web page. This will help to clarify the remit and highlight what they will and won’t fund before starting the application process.)

Funding covers tuition fees, a stipend, and research expenses, and is usually available for 3 years (FTE).

Applicants should carefully read through all the information available on the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentships web page for full details of this funding. We encourage applicants to read carefully through the Wellcome Trust guidance before starting an application on the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker, paying particular attention to the remit of the scheme, and the information to be included in the research proposal and the budget.

To apply applicants must use the Wellcome Trust online grants system (Grant Tracker).

The Wellcome Trust’s deadline is 17:00 (GMT) 2 March 2021. However, applicants should note that the Scholarships Team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) must approve any applications for the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentships where LSHTM is noted as the ‘administering organisation’, and therefore there are a number of LSHTM requirements (set out below) which will need to be met in advance of the official Wellcome Trust deadline.

Important information for LSHTM applicants

Applicants should read through all of the information below at the beginning of the process, for effective planning and preparation, and to ensure that LSHTM deadlines and requirements are met. This section covers

  • Application step requirements
  • Timeline
  • Useful additional information for completing the Wellcome Trust grant tracker application (FAQs for Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship applications).

Requirements

In order for LSHTM to approve an application on the Wellcome Trust Grant Tracker the following requirements must be met:

1. Offer of Admission for a research degree at LSHTM
The applicant must hold an offer of admission for the same study as the research project outlined in the funding application at least 1 week before the Wellcome Trust deadline at the latest. Applicants should note that it can take up to 3 months for an application for research degree study to be processed (from receipt of a complete application, including references, through to a decision being conveyed to the applicant), and therefore applications should be made as early as possible to avoid potential stress and disappointment. Further information about the LSHTM Admissions process and policies for Research Degrees are available on our website.

Applicants should – as a first step in this process – ensure that they have been in contact with a suitable potential supervisor, as this person will need to be named on their application for study, and will need to support the Wellcome Trust funding application too. (For the purpose of the Wellcome Trust application, we would encourage applicants to liaise with their proposed supervisors as soon as possible as there are a number of sections in the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentships application which the supervisor/s will need to facilitate and/or support, and some sections they will need to complete directly themselves.)

2. Research Proposal Review
The 2,500 word research proposal on the Wellcome Trust application must have been reviewed by at least one senior LSHTM academic. The Faculty proposal review cannot be done by the proposed supervisor(s). Proposal reviews should follow standard Faculty process:

  • EPH & ITD = individual review by relevant academics
  • PHP = Faculty Proposal Review Workshop (if the timing of this fits within the Wellcome Trust application one) or individual review by relevant academics

For further information about the process the proposed supervisor/s should contact the LSHTM Strategic Research Office by email: strategic_research@lshtm.ac.uk, who can provide ongoing support from early stages onwards. The review should be completed at least 4 weeks before the Wellcome Trust deadline.
- The research proposal on the Wellcome Trust application must be for the same research as the application for study to LSHTM.
- The applicant’s proposed supervisors must be the same supervisors listed on an offer of admission for study.

3. Budget review   
- Applicants should discuss budget costs for training, fieldwork, conference attendance etc with their proposed supervisor/s to ensure that all relevant costs are included, and costed appropriately. Please see the useful information section below for further details on how to draft the budget.
-  Applicants should contact the Scholarships team by email: scholarships@lshtm.ac.uk to request that this budget review be done (once the draft is ready).

4. Final amendment and review
(a) Any amendments required following the proposal review and/or budget review should be made, and all sections of the application form completed (following the Wellcome Trust guidance) and reviewed by the applicant and proposed supervisor(s) so that the application is ready for submission, at least 1 week before the Wellcome Trust deadline.
(b) The applicant must submit their application – through the Wellcome Trust grant tracker – and advise the Scholarships team that this has been done by email: scholarships@lshtm.ac.uk at least 5 working days before the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Scholarship deadline.

Please note: The LSHTM Scholarships team is unable to approve any applications (through the Wellcome Trust grant tracker) where the above steps have not been followed within the timelines set.

Timeline Overview

When

Task

Who

4-6 months before WT deadline

Find a suitable potential supervisor. Initiate conversation, and – if agreed – submit application for research degree study/admission to LSHTM (ensuring that all supporting documents are submitted at that time).

Applicant

Before starting a WT application on the WT Grant Tracker

Read through WT Doctoral Studentship guidance, and consider whether project is within remit (social science; humanities; MPhil/PhD). Only continue if it meets all of these.

Applicant and Proposed Supervisor

4-8 weeks before the WT deadline, or earlier

Start application on WT Grant Tracker; add LSHTM as Organisation; share access with proposed supervisor(s).

Applicant

4-8 weeks before the WT deadline, or earlier

Contact LSHTM Strategic Research Office to discuss proposal review.

Applicant and Proposed Supervisor

4-8 weeks before the WT deadline, or earlier

Initial proposal review (this is not a mandatory step, but the SRO can undertake an initial proposal review before the LSHTM Faculty proposal review).

LSHTM Strategic Research Office (SRO)

4-8 weeks before the WT deadline, or earlier

Faculty research proposal review (internal peer review) organised and completed.

Applicant and Proposed Supervisor

4-8 weeks before the WT deadline

Contact Sponsor (this will give them time to prepare the information and letter).

Applicant and Proposed Supervisor

4 weeks before the WT deadline

Revised proposal review (this is not a mandatory step, but the SRO can provide support and advice to applicants throughout the process).

LSHTM Strategic Research Office (SRO)

4 weeks before the WT deadline

Finalise draft budget and submit it to the LSHTM Scholarships team for review.

Applicant

3-4 weeks before the WT deadline

Application and budget review.

LSHTM Scholarships team

1-3 weeks before WT deadline

Completion of Supervisors sections on the application (each must be fully completed, not ‘See Supervisor 1’).

Proposed Supervisor(s)

1-3 weeks before WT deadline

Revise application based on proposal review and budget review.

Applicant

1 week before WT deadline (5 working days before)

Submit completed application on the Wellcome Trust grant tracker with all attachments – ready for final submission by LSHTM.

Applicant

1 week before WT deadline (5 working days before)

Advise Scholarships that it’s been submitted via WT Grant Tracker by email.

Applicant

By WT Deadline

Submit application (approval by LSHTM).

LSHTM Scholarships team

Useful additional information from LSHTM Scholarships for completing the Wellcome Trust grant tracker application  

Proposed Start Date
The ‘Proposed start date’ should be the start of the academic year. This date is noted on the applicant’s offer of admission letter and on the LSHTM website.

Sponsor
The ’Sponsor’ section of the application form must be completed by one of the following LSHTM staff members:

  1. Faculty Research Degree Director (FRDD)
  2. Head of Department (HoD for the department at LSHTM where the proposed primary supervisor is based)
  3. Head of Faculty (HoF for the Faculty at LSHTM where the proposed primary supervisor is based) 

The proposed supervisor(s) will be best placed to advise on who the applicant should contact to request sponsor support. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact the sponsor and to advise them of the requirements/information needed by Wellcome Trust.

Budget
Applicants should start to draft their budget, in conjunction with their proposed supervisors, as soon as possible (in parallel to completing the application form). Primarily, this should be completed by the applicant, with advice from the proposed supervisors with regards to exact costs required to undertake and complete the research project. (We ask that the budget be drafted by the applicant and their proposed supervisors because it is bespoke and linked to the specific research project only (so the applicant and supervisor(s) should both be best placed to decide on what will be needed to undertake the project in terms of training; fieldwork costs; conference attendance etc).

Applicants should use the specific doctoral studentship advert on the Wellcome Trust website for initial information and guidance regarding allowable expenditure, and to provide a starting point on the types of costs they might need to consider. Please note (and this should be made clear to the proposed supervisors at the time the applicant is liaising with them): this budget must not follow an ROO processes/systems (an LoI and pFACT/ are not required); the draft budget must be precise and follow the years of study/funding being applied for (please do not pull a random, approximate total figure on a specific cost and then divide it by 3 years, for example); and it should be planned from the perspective that the applicant will be a research degree student on a generous, tax-free, London-weighted Wellcome Trust stipend. Applicants must provide full justification for every item on their budget through standardised costs and individual checks they have done (for example, by using sky scanner to plan and budget on flight costs etc). As soon as an initial budget has been drafted applicants should please submit it to the Scholarships team at LSHTM, so that we can go through it and discuss any potential issues/concerns/queries.