Seed Corn Funding

Seed corn funding

Up to £10,000 can be awarded to support novel multidisciplinary research collaborations at the interface between quantitative disciplines and biology, biomedicine and clinical research.

The aim of this fund is to support outstanding research within the remit of the Wellcome Trust that will enable the University to strategically advance research in these areas. This funding is open to all University research staff, across all disciplines. To ensure that these projects are interdisciplinary, we would expect the PI and at least one Co-I to be from different research disciplines. We appreciate that sometimes individual researchers can span multiple disciplines, so please get in touch with us if you are not sure whether your project team meets this requirement. PhD students are not eligible for seed corn funding, but can apply for secondments.

A critical component of applications to this scheme will be the involvement of one or more of the Centre Research Fellows.

Projects may be paired with a Secondee - a University researcher who will work with a Centre Research Fellow on the project.  For relevant projects, we encourage the involvement of clinicans in both the project development, and application process.

Seed corn format

  • Seed corn projects will run for 6 months. (Multiple projects run alongside each other).
  • We encourage all groups to involve the public in the development and evaluation of their work.
  • We will hold an overnight event at the beginning of the project - an incubator event. Clear objectives will be agreed by the project group with input from key UoE teams, and budgets signed off.
  • At the end of the seed corn project, we will hold an event to share outcomes.
  • All groups must notify the centre of long-term outputs (for example: funding applications, publications, datasets).

Please see the slideshow from the seed corn project launch event Wellcome seed corn video.

Current funding call 

The timetable for our current (Round 7) of our seed corn funding is below. Applications are now closed but you can download the application form here for reference if you are thinking of applying for future seed corn funding: Seed Corn Application 2019

Information event 24 September 2019
Closing date for applications 21 October 2019
Notification of awards November 2019
Incubator event 20 and 21 January 2020
Projects start 22 January 2020
Projects close July 2020

For general queries, please contact Ivana Gudelj (

Seed corn requirements

  • Acknowledging Wellcome Trust: To assist the Trust in tracking the outputs of research to which it has contributed, either wholly or in part, the Trust’s contributions must be acknowledged in all publications by using the following phrase: 'This work was generously supported by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award (WT105618MA). 
  • Funding must be used in line with the conditions of funding of the Wellcome Trust. This includes adhering to the Trust’s policy on open access. The University has Wellcome Trust funding to support open access publishing costs.
  • When submitting your findings for publication an affiliation to the Translational Research Exchange @ Exeter, University of Exeter should be included.
  • The ISSF project manager will contact award holders on a monthly basis to monitor progress.
  • Award holders agree to attend a final presentation, and provide ongoing updates after project close reporting: 
    • how funds have been used
    • details of any publications
    • the outcomes of the activity and the extent to which the proposed aims have been achieved
    • the future plans the investigators have for developing the research further
    • how the funding has led, or will lead, to an application to an external funder

Public engagement

For more information on public engagement activities for your seed corn applications, please look through our guidance document: Seed Corn Public Engagement Guidance or contact Silvia Bortoli, Communities Engagement Manager,, 01392 727472