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The Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund is now closed to applications. The last round of applications funded from the current block grant from Wellcome was in Michaelmas Term 2020 (deadline 14 October 2020). Future rounds will be dependent on the receipt of further funding from Wellcome. 

The Oxford-Wellcome ISSF Interdepartmental Strategic Initiative stream supports strategic initiatives by supporting:

  • Equipment, research assets or staff within shared facilities where there is evidence of strategic need
  • Establishment of cross cutting themes through activities such as research facilitation, symposia or conferences in order to encourage collaboration in new areas

Only initiatives that are able to demonstrate a clear strategic need will be supported. The Interdepartmental Strategic Initiative stream will not support individual research projects or projects limited to only one department/faculty.  

We are inviting applications for small awards (up to £10,000) and main awards (not usually exceeding £150,000). Due to the limited funding available, applications requesting the maximum funding amount will need to make a strong strategic case for the level of support requested.

The funding for the Wellcome ISSF block grant will end on 31 March 2023; all projects must end and be fully spent by this date. No extensions beyond 31 March 2023 will be permitted.

For proposals requesting shared equipment, a clear business case should be presented which articulates the strategic need for the equipment, the proposed users, the plans for sustainability and for upgrades to existing facilities a description of relevant history. Applicants should also address how bids fit with the findings of the ISSF sponsored equipment audits, where relevant.

A letter of support from the Head of the Host Department for projects should be included describing the department's support for the proposal and a statement that any match funding details provided in this application are accurate.


The ISSF is only able to support projects in Wellcome research areas. Any direct cost associated with the project is eligible. This includes but is not limited to staff costs (excluding PI salary), consumables, equipment, access fees, animal costs, payments to research participants and teaching buy out. Please note that any buy out plans must be approved in advance by both the department and/or the college. No indirect or directly allocated costs will be supported. Any queries about eligible costs should be addressed to your ISSF Divisional Point of Contact

Applicants should work with their departments to cost their proposal accurately.


It is expected that funding requests to the ISSF for awards over £10k will have a minimum 20% match component at the point of application. Match funding can come from external sources (excluding Wellcome), or departmental funds. Queries about match funding should be directed to your ISSF Divisional Point of Contact in the first instance.

Please note that funding from existing or new Wellcome grants cannot be used as match funding for the ISSF.