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Research Restart Seed Corn Funding

Research Restart Seed corn funding application form


The overall aim of this new funding scheme is to support researchers across all disciplines who want to get their research back up and running following any unforeseen disruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fund will allocate up to £20k per project as standard but we are willing to consider granting an increased amount above £20k in exceptional circumstances with a full justification. The fund can be spent to:

(a) Extend salaries for existing Early Career Researchers (e.g. postdoctoral support, PhD students are not eligible for this funding)

Please note that this is not a gap funding, we will require a clear resarch output upon the completion of the project if part of the funding is used to extend your contract. If you are the PI for the research restart project and are currently on a fixed term contract, you may be eligible to use the fund to extend your contract. The panel will evaluate what the extension to the contract will achieve with regard to restarting your research.

(b) Provide additional consumables;

(c) Support costs of access to central services, access to labs, etc


Funder criteria

Your research must sit within the Wellcome Trust funding strategies and remit:

Biomedical science

Population health

Product development and applied research

Humanities and social science 

Public engagement and creative industries


Seed corn format

The projects can run from 6 months up to 12 months in some instances. If your project runs for 12 months no extensions can be made and further clarification of why it needs to run for 12 months will be required. Note that all projects must finish no later than 31 December 2022. 

At the end of the seed corn project, all grant holders are required to complete an end of project report. All groups must notify the centre of long term outputs (e.g. funding applications, publications, datasets).

Opening date for application 2nd August 2021
Closing date for applications 12th September 2021
Shortlisting Week beginning 13th September 2021
Notification of awards Week beginning 27th September 2021


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.

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 acheived

-           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


Frequently asked questions

1. Is this funding intended to be for supplementing specific projects/grants that have been disrupted? Or more of a general fund to get people going again? 

This funding is suitable for both existing funded projects and new projects without current funding. Regarding the suitability of several proposed projects, we will only accept one proposed project from the same PI, please decide which one of your projects you wish to submit.

2. Are you expecting (or at least is it possible) to have a decent data collection element to the application?

No, this is unlike the standard seed corn funding which requires the applicant to have data ready before applying. Research Restart funding is intended to kick start your research again, therefore we will be funding the generation of data if required, and supporting ongoing projects that need support.  

3. Will they be carried out like the regular seed corn projects? I.e. with input from a fellow/secondee?

No, our fellows are at full capacity and will not be providing support, we expect the funds to be used for ongoing support or for continuation of current researchers if required.

4. Will there be a fixed start and end date of the project?

No, but we expect all projects to be finished by the end of December 2022.

5.  I’m a senior research fellow. Am I eligible to apply for this funding as the PI? Can I use the fund to extend my own contract?

It depends, please be aware that this is not a gap funding, which means you are not permitted to use funds to cover the gap period between the end date of current contract and the start of the next contract. You can apply but an extension to your contract needs to clearly link to the project outcomes and Wellcome remit.

6. Can I include external researchers as Co-Is in my project proposal?

Yes, you can.

7. What are the eligible costs for this funding?

Please refer to the guidance on the Wellcome website. The full list of eligible costs can be found here:

8. I am supervising a PhD student who is employed by the University who also works as a researcher on a project. Therefore, is there a scope to use this support for my PhD student, although I note that in the guidance PhD students are ineligible for the funding.

We will not support PhD Students with this funding.


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBTQI+ and BME communities, to join us.


Please return the completed application form to

Thank you for your interest in applying for this funding scheme, please note that we have limited funding.