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More Information on Principal Research Fellows

Principal Research Fellowships (PRFs), the most prestigious of the Wellcome Trust’s personal awards, are intended to provide long-term support to preeminent researchers of international standing and with exceptional track records.

Under the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership, PRF applications can only be considered from researchers pursuing programmes of research excellence consistent with the current Strategic Plans of SFI and/or the HRB, and whose expertise addresses a critical knowledge gap in the proposed host institution. Consequently, the Wellcome Trust will not accept applications for PRFs without prior endorsement by the partnership agencies.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first contact the SFI and/or the HRB to discuss potential applications in advance of submitting an expression of interest.  In addition, applicants are advised to consult with the Trust at an early stage of the process for informal advice.

SFI and the HRB can only give consideration to credible and appropriate initiatives which can fulfil the strategic intent of the scheme as it relates to Ireland. Applicants should prepare an Expression of Interest (5 Page Max accompanied by a Letter of Support from the proposed Host Institution) that:

  • describes how their CV and track record of achievements to date substantiate their suitability for a PRF;
  • outlines their research programme and how they propose to develop it within the proposed host institution;
  • justifies the strategic alignment of their research focus with that of the proposed host institution, including the critical expertise gap that the prospective PRF candidate will fill;
  • demonstrates the relevance of their research programme to the strategic ambitions of SFI and/or the HRB as laid out in their respective Strategic Plans;
  • identifies how their research programme addresses the challenges outlined in the Wellcome Trust's Strategic Plan 2010-20.  

The Expression of Interest should be submitted via email to contact(at)wellcome-ireland.com

The EoI will be considered by the SFI/HRB Joint Executive Committee at its next available meeting.  Should additional information be warranted, the applicant will be informed of what will be required, and expert opinion on strategic issues may also be sought by the JEC.

A decision on whether SFI and/or the HRB are in a position to support the further development of a proposed PRF application will be taken following consideration of all inputs. The decision by SFI and the HRB to provide or decline a letter of endorsement will be communicated to the applicant in a timely manner, and will be final.

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