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The Health Research Bridging Salary Scheme will provide funding to extend by up to 6 months the contracts of researchers working in health-related areas on fixed term or open-ended externally-funded contracts while they seek external funding. Eligible researchers must either be working within any department of the Medical Sciences Division or must be conducting research within Wellcome’s remit of ‘discovery research that has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing’.

The Bridging Salary Scheme will fund up to 80% of the Total Employer Cost for 6 months’ of staff salary up to Grade 9.6 (or equivalent academic/clinical academic grade). Host Departments are asked to fund the remaining 20% of the staff member’s salary for the period to be bridged.

The priority for support are researchers who have applied/are preparing to apply for an external fellowship or grant, which includes at least two years’ of their own salary, and whose ability to complete projects, produce research outputs and submit applications has been hampered by the pandemic.

If sufficient budget is available, bridging awards may be made to post-doctoral researchers who are not yet independent but who are on a near-term career trajectory towards independence.

Applicants and departments must have a firm plan for ‘the other end of the bridge’, i.e. the external funding scheme from which the applicant’s salary will be paid at the end of the bridging period.