News of the WeekPHILANTHROPY

Wellcome Trust to Shift From Projects to People

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Science  13 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5955, pp. 921
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5955.921

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The Wellcome Trust, the giant biomedical research charity in the United Kingdom, wants to give no-strings-attached funding to nearly all the independent researchers it supports. This week, Wellcome Trust officials announced that they are phasing out their biomedical research grants for U.K. scientists, which consists of 3-year to 5-year awards focused on a specific problem. Instead, starting in 2011, the organization will put that money, about 20% of its total budget, or $183 million, into a new program called Investigator Awards. The awards will be bigger, more flexible, and longer—up to 7 years.