Wellcome Trust Award┋Advancing climate mitigation policy solutions with health co-benefits in G7 countries
This award will fund collaborations between researchers and policy actors who have a clear opportunity to influence climate mitigation policies with substantial health effects. Successful applicants will generate evidence that will support policymakers in G7 countries to advance transformative health-centred changes in the food systems, transport, energy or housing sectors.
This call is focused on G7 countries as a group of states with high levels of historical emissions and large economies.
Scheme at a glance
- Career stage: Leading a research programme
- Where your host organisation is based: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, USA
- Level of funding: up to £2 million per award
- Duration of funding: up to 3 years
Eligibility and suitability
Who can apply, research proposal, what's expected of your host organisation
You can apply to this scheme if you are a transdisciplinary research team that:
is from climate, health and relevant disciplines (for example: social sciences, economics, food, transport, energy or housing sectors) with the necessary skills to evaluate the effects that mitigation policy interventions to reduce emissions have on health and associated wider socioeconomic outcomes
is led or co-led by an applicant that is hosted at an institution based in the G7 country where there is an identified policy opportunity. Note that if the proposal has a co-lead, this should be stated in the narrative part of the proposal but only one institution will receive the funds for onward distribution
involve relevant co-applicants or collaborating partners that are central to the policy’s adoption or implementation in a process of co-production across all stages of the research project. By policy or implementation partner, we mean those who can influence policy. This includes but is not limited to policymakers from national or local government, NGOs, advocates, affected communities or the wider public, and industry
promote a diverse, inclusive and supportive research environment.
Career stage and experience
At the point you submit your application, you must:
be a leader in your field who can demonstrate you can drive and lead a collaborative research programme; and that you have a permanent, open-ended, or long-term rolling contract for the duration of the award
have experience of leading large-scale projects
be able to contribute at least 20% of your research time to this project
be based at an eligible host organisation that can sign up to our grant conditions.
It would be desirable for teams to include in-country policy or implementation partners. These partners can either be involved as co-applicants who as core members of the team and can contribute at least 10% of their time or collaborators who are essential to the delivery of the project (there is no minimum time-commitment for collaborators).
At the point of submitting the application, coapplicants:
Must be able to contribute at least 10% of their time to this project
Must be actively involved in delivering the proposed project and provide added value to the team, for example designing the research, writing the application, providing training, knowledge brokering or managing the programme
Must be based at an eligible organisation that can sign up to our grant conditions
- Do not need to have a permanent, open-ended, or long-term rolling contract. They may be employed on another grant or ask for their salary on this application. However, their employing host organisation must guarantee space and salary support (if they can’t get it from other sources) for the period of time that the coapplicant is working on the grant
Can be at any career stage.
Researchers can only be listed as Lead Applicant on one open application for this call. Lead applicants can be included as a coapplicant on one other application, but they must be able to demonstrate that they have sufficient capacity for both projects if funded. Coapplicants can be listed on a maximum of two applications.
Time spent away from research and part-time working
You can apply if you've been away from research (for example a career break, maternity leave, or long-term sick leave). We'll allow for this when we consider your application.
Lead and co-applicants can be part-time. There is no formal minimum, but part-time working needs to be compatible with delivering the proposal successfully.
The skills and experiences of your team
Your team or consortia should be able to demonstrate:
A strong track record of research in climate change mitigation and health, including experience of using research to influence policy
A strong track record of working in collaboration with and co-designing research projects with policy or implementation partners
Inclusion of relevant in-country policy or implementation partners who work on the food systems, transport, energy and/or housing policies that are the focus of the proposal.
Your host organisation can be a:
Higher education institution
Non-academic healthcare organisation
About your proposal
This funding call will support research proposals that:
Support policies with the potential to lead to transformational advances towards health-centred, net zero-aligned mitigation solutions in the food systems, transport, energy or housing sectors at the national or subnational level in G7 countries.
Generate actionable evidence on the measured or modelled health effects and wider socioeconomic outcomes of climate mitigation solutions.
Ensure the evidence generated is linked to an existing or anticipated policy opportunity with the potential for transformational change. The nature of the transformation will depend on the policy opportunity. As a minimum, transformational changes will reduce emissions and promote positive health effects at scale. Other examples of the changes they could support include divergence from the status quo, reorientation of incentives, redistribution of power and/or a just transition.
Provide evidence of sufficient demand for the proposed research from policy or implementation.
Undertake integrated analyses of one or more of the following sectors: food systems, transport, energy or housing.
Adopt best practice approaches in their design.
What is in and out of scope
In scope research:
Studies that include researchers from a broad range of disciplines to measure or model the health and related socio-economic outcomes of national or sub-national public sector climate mitigation policy lever(s). For example: a strategy, action plan or large-scale intervention(s) that can lead to transformational change.
Studies for which there is evidence of a clear demand from policy actors (government, NGOs, advocates, affected communities, industry) and that are linked to an opportunity to influence a national or sub-national policy that is being planned or implemented within the duration of the study.
Studies that are co-created with research users from policy and/or practice to prioritise generating evidence that is relevant, accessible, and useful to policymakers.
Studies of mitigation solutions that focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Health effects and trade offs of mitigation solutions in the sectors that account for the majority of global emissions: food systems transport, energy and housing.
Institutions that focus on the health effects of mitigation solutions to address emissions in the priority sectors above are in-scope. For example, hospital or school energy policies.
Studies that respond to the urgency for mitigation action, for example, through their potential to advance transformative (rather than incremental) change, be scalable, support reductions in short-lived pollutants, and achieve tangible outcomes on the pathway to transformative change in the next 3 years.
The primary focus of policy influence for studies must be a G7 country. However, studies where the evidence has an extra opportunity to influence a related policy, such as in the EU, will also be in scope.
The transdisciplinary research programmes funded by this call may include studies that assess or model health impacts of anticipated mitigation policies or take the form of action-oriented or living-lab studies to assess and advance the implementation of existing mitigation policies to enhance effects on health. We are particularly interested in studies that develop and advance innovative methodologies such as co-design of interventions or participatory approaches.
We expect proposals to answer a number of research questions and include activities to support policy engagement and research uptake. Examples of research questions and activities could include, but are not limited to:
Studies that generate new data on the positive and/or negative effects on health of climate change mitigation actions.
Research to assess which policy interventions or levers are effective in advancing health and economic outcomes and other social dimensions such as affordability, accessibility, equitability, and inclusion.
Studies to explore the nature of transformational, systems-wide change - particularly those that explore the relationship between transformational change and policy uptake.
Qualitative research approaches, for example, behaviour change, framing or narrative-focused research to increase support for health-centred mitigation policy interventions.
Political economy or policy studies to understand how barriers and obstacles to advancing health-centred mitigation policies, including those from opposing interests, can be overcome.
The development of decision-support tools to help policymakers decide on which policy solutions to adopt may be included as part of proposals but may not be the sole focus of a proposal.
Out of scope research:
Systematic reviews, evidence syntheses and studies focused solely on the development of methods, models, tools or guidance.
Studies that are not linked to a particular ‘live’ policy opportunity or demand from policy or implementation partners.
Studies that do not integrate research users from policy or implementation.
Studies of mitigation solutions that address greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sinks (for example, nature-based solutions).
Mitigation solutions that do not reduce emissions in one of the priority sectors of food systems, transport, energy, or housing.
Studies of interventions that do not address urgency and scale and are unlikely to lead to transformative change.
Studies outside of G7 countries. We expect to issue a research call on mitigation solutions in low- and middle-income economies during 2023.
Outcomes we expect you to evaluate
Changes in intermediate health-related risk factors. For example: diet, physical activity, air quality
Changes in health conditions. For example: birthweight, cognitive and lung development in children, non-communicable diseases, for example: obesity, heart disease, diabetes
Changes in greenhouse gas emissions
Wider socio-economic outcomes
Associated wider outcomes including socio-economic outcomes. For example: equity and social distribution, productivity, economic costs, healthcare costs, and unintended consequences
We are particularly interested in analyses that explore new ways of looking at the issue, for example: by focusing on outcomes in children or other under-explored groups.
Note the above examples are illustrative only and you may wish to include others that are not listed here.
Approach to co-production
Wellcome expects research supported by this funding opportunity to be designed and planned with policy actors in order to be responsive to needs and increase the likelihood of policy influence and research uptake. The policy actors can either be involved as co-applicants who are core members of the research team and commit a minimum of 10% of their time (see criteria for co-applicants above), or collaborators that are essential to the delivery of the project (there is no minimum time-commitment for collaborators). The transdisciplinary partnerships should be underpinned by equitable partnership principles. Learn more about equitable partnership principles from the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR).
Criteria by which applications will be reviewed:
For this call, we are trialling a set of criteria that are an adaptation of those developed by the Canadian Government’s New Frontiers in Research Fund.
Methods, transdisciplinary approach and co-production (30%)
The proposal must adopt appropriate methods to answer the research questions.
The proposed research must present a transdisciplinary approach, incorporating different disciplinary approaches to bring a new perspective to the policy challenge in question.
The approach should involve effective co-production with policy or implementation partners.
Proposals must explain how the disciplinary and policy perspectives, methodologies and techniques will be integrated, and must demonstrate that the team has the required expertise to execute the approach.
The proposal must outline plans to take into consideration the policy context and implementation considerations. For example:
barriers and opportunities to the adoption or implementation of the policy,
which actors will stand to lose or gain from the intervention,
how barriers might be overcome,
the intervention’s acceptability, adoption, scalability, affordability and feasibility.
Equity, diversity and inclusion and the research environment (10%)
Applicants must clearly demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and professional development in their research teams, including among students, postdoctoral fellows, co-PIs, co-applicants and/or policy collaborators, as applicable. Teams should also consider diversity as it applies to career stages, sectors, institutions, regions and countries. They must explain what actions they will take, the outcomes expected, and the assessment planned for each of the following three key areas:
team composition and recruitment processes;
training and development opportunities for both researchers and policy collaborators;
Actions taken are expected to remove barriers and provide opportunities for the meaningful integration of individuals from all groups (including women, members of minorities and disabled people).
An application must not include any personal information about members of the research team in the EDI section; the focus is on the team’s commitment to EDI, not its EDI profile.
Novelty of approach (20%)
Proposals must explain:
how the proposal responds to a clear opportunity to influence climate mitigation and health policy in a G7 country,
how the project is novel, as it relates to the latest methods, concepts, information and techniques; and
why the approach is expected to lead to transformational change in health-centred mitigation policy in the food systems, transport, energy or housing sectors (a theoretical or conceptual research framework should be included).
Anticipated impact (20%)
Funded proposals must have the potential to create a significant and real change or impact in the food systems, transport, energy or housing sectors. Applications must explain the anticipated change or impact that is likely to result and its significance for climate mitigation and health (See additional information form). Proposals must also outline the major short-, medium- and long-term changes that are expected, the likelihood of their achievement, and who (or what) will be affected by the changes. Transformational change can be defined by elements such as, but not limited to:
having a health and climate impact, plus an economic, social, cultural, and/or technological impact at scale;
impacting and/or affecting large communities, or unique communities or subpopulations with the potential to provide lessons for other contexts;
significantly advancing food systems, transport, energy or housing system mitigation policies in ways that advance health objectives.
Feasibility – capacity to execute the project (20%)
Feasibility considers the plan and the ability to execute the activities while promoting a positive and inclusive research culture. It includes elements such as:
the research challenge and policy opportunity being addressed;
knowledge, expertise and capacity of the team;
workplan and timeline;
your plan for how you will ensure the research has policy and/or practice impact through engagement with policy actors end users, including why it is an appropriate approach;
the proposed approach, including Equity Diversity and Inclusion considerations in research design where appropriate;
the project’s partnership management and governance plan illustrating the structures and processes to facilitate equitable participation, co-production and open and active communication;
environmental suitability of the research environment; and
management plans which include how project priorities and decisions will be determined.
The maximum word count for full applications is 3,000 words.
Who can’t apply?
You cannot apply if you intend to carry out activities that involve the transfer of grant funds into mainland China.
Restrictions if you are applying for/hold other Wellcome awards
You can only be an applicant on a maximum of two applications to this funding call:
- You can only be lead applicant on one application (but can be a coapplicant on another).
- You must be able to demonstrate that you can dedicate enough time and resources to both projects, if funded.
Other Wellcome awards:
- An early-career researcher can be a lead applicant on one Wellcome award and a coapplicant on one other Wellcome award.
- A mid-career researcher can be a lead applicant on one Wellcome award and a coapplicant on two other Wellcome awards.
- An established researcher can be a lead applicant on two Wellcome awards, one as the sole applicant and one as lead applicant for a team, or both as the lead applicant for a team. They can also be a coapplicant on two other Wellcome awards.
What’s expected of the host organisation?
We expect organisations based in the UK to meet the responsibilities required by the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers for institutions, managers and researchers.
Any organisation with Wellcome funding that is based outside the UK is expected, at a minimum, to follow the principles of the Concordat.
We also expect your host organisation to:
Give you, and any staff employed on the grant, at least 10 days a year (pro rata if part-time) to undertake training and continuing professional development in line with the Concordat. This should include the responsible conduct of research, research leadership, people management, diversity and inclusion, and the promotion of a healthy research culture.
Provide a system of onboarding, embedding and planning for you when you start the award.
Provide you with the status and benefits of other staff of similar seniority.
If your host organisation is a core-funded research organisation, this Award should not replace or lead to a reduction in existing or planned core support.
Funding level, duration of award, costs and research expenses
The Mitigation Solutions funding call provides up to a maximum of £2m per award to cover research expenses, costs of small-scale pilot interventions, costs associated with capacity strengthening, co-production and research uptake activities.
The award lasts for up to 3 years but may be shorter at the applicant’s discretion.
You should ask for a level and duration of funding that is justifiable for your proposed research. You must justify all costs within the costs section of your application.
The award includes:
Funding Level, Duration of Award, Costs and Research Expenses
You should be able to request salary recovery if this is a condition of your employment contract (your host organisation must guarantee space and resources)
Activities in your capacity strengthening plan
Funding to enable co-production in-terms of active participation and contributions of collaborators including policymakers and implementing partners e.g. payment of salaries or time, translation activities
- A basic salary (determined by your host organisation)
- Relocation allowance
- Continuing professional development and training
- Materials and consumables
- Access charges
- Travel and subsistence
- Overseas allowances
- Fieldwork expenses
- Inflation allowance
- Open access charges
- Clinical research costs
- Public engagement and patient involvement costs
- Contract research organisations
- Other costs
What we don’t offer
See ‘Other costs’ for costs we will and will not provide
How to apply
Stages of application
1. Before you apply
- Make sure you read everything on this page and watch this webinar
- Get some tips to help you write your grant application
- You do not need to contact us before you write and submit your application
2. Submit your full application to the host organisation
- Complete your application form on grant tracker
- View the sample
- Submit it to the 'authorised organisational approver' at your host organisation for approval. Make sure you leave enough time for the approver to review and submit your application before the deadline. The approver may ask you to make changes to your application
- Get some guidance on using Grant Tracker
3. Host organisation reviews your full application and submits to Wellcome
- Your application must be submitted by 5pm GMT on 31 October 2022
A panel will be chosen based on their expertise within the relevant research field and will assess the proposals
The panel will review proposals and make funding recommendations to Wellcome
Unattributed comments will be sent to you after the final funding decisions are made
Committee membership will be comprised of a diverse range of international members and will take into account Wellcome’s diversity and inclusion priorities
5. Funding Decision
- You will receive an email notification of the funding decision soon after the decision has been made
- We will provide written feedback to all applicants who are shortlisted but are unsuccessful at the final decision stage
Log in to our online grants system (Grant Tracker). You can save your application and return to it any time.
You must submit your application by 17:00 GMT on the deadline day. We don’t accept late applications.
If you have a question about eligibility, what we offer or our funding remit, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We do not answer questions about the scope or competitiveness of proposals.
If you have a question about how to complete the application form within the Grant Tracker System please contact our Grant Information Officers: