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Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund

Biomedical research is a strategic priority for the University. We conduct biomedical research of the highest quality which results in impacts that have economic, social and cultural benefits.

The University has been successful in securing just over £5 million since 2011 from the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF).

This funding is helping the University to realise its biomedical strategy in the following ways.

Facilitating integration

The ISSF has part-funded a network of strategic research co-ordinators who ensure closer integration of biomedical research and merging of core facilities.

Facilitating research

The ISSF has supported 31 research consortia that integrate the expertise of principal investigators across the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. This scheme has now been expanded to facilitate integration with colleagues in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Faculty of Humanities.

In addition there have been a number of strategic collaborative awards in key areas of research. Sixteen awards were made in single cell research utilising the state-of-the-art Single Cell facility. ISSF has funded five precision medicine collaborative awards and one award in clinical and pre-clinical imaging.

Supporting early career fellows

The ISSF has funded seven fellowship awards to early career researchers. To date, two recipients have been appointed to lectureships, while two have secured Wellcome Trust-funded Sir Henry Dale Fellowships, one awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship and one recipient has received a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship.

The ISSF has also supported 42 bridging awards for researchers where follow-on grant applications were submitted. The success rate of these applications is around 50%.

Supporting collaborative academic visits

The ISSF has funded 51 awards for international academic visits to establish research collaborations and/or for researcher training.

Enhancing core facilities

Driven by ISSF support, core research facilities across the Faculty have been integrated and enhanced. Eight ISSF-funded Experimental Officers, embedded within core facilities, have disseminated state-of-the-art techniques to individual laboratories.

Support for public engagement activities

The ISSF continues to part-fund the public programmes team at the Nowgen Centre, and has supported 41 response-mode public engagement projects that pursue innovative cross-disciplinary projects.