Institutional Strategic Support Fund


The Wellcome Trust’s Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) provides funding to a range of UK-based universities, investing in strategic areas of importance across the Trust’s portfolio. 

The University of Birmingham has been granted £1million over two years, to fund projects through to 2016. This means continued support for researcher development and translational opportunities for fundamental research. It also means continued support for public engagement activities, building upon excellent projects such as the University’s Think Corner ‘Pop-up’ shop.

Our internal funding schemes are listed below; details on those schemes that are currently running can be viewed via our Intranet. We also have a number of case studies available through our Research in Action webpage; be sure to check these out to see the exciting projects that ISSF funds have already supported.


Pump-Prime Funding is aimed at supporting early career and interdisciplinary research. Small grant awards of up to £15,000 are available in two rounds each year, and are expected to lead to high-impact publications, large-scale grant applications and more.


Mobility Funding supports strategic research development and knowledge transfer, by allowing researchers to visit collaborators at external institutions to access specialist equipment / expertise. Grants of up to £10,000 will be available; check the intranet link below for details on the next call.

Follow-on Funds

Follow-on Funds identify and accelerate early stage translational opportunities. Projects will be funded that can deliver early stage proof-of-concept data, with support also available for market research, business plan development and other external engagement.

Technician Academy

The University’s Technician Academy promotes the development and enhancement of the capabilities of technical staff at the University of Birmingham.

Postdoctoral / Early Researcher Career Development and Training 

Postdoctoral / Early Researcher Career Development and Training has been extremely popular during past rounds of funding, and this is due to expand through Wellcome funding. Funds will be used to support increased numbers of early career researchers, with more of a focus on cross-disciplinary science.

Public Engagement Flexible Response Fund

Public engagement continues to be supported through the ISSF grant, and is overseen by the University’s Public Engagement Working Group. Over the coming years, the grant will support a number of initiatives designed to increase the number of researchers delivering public engagement activities, develop the University’s capability to evaluate these activities, and share best practice among the community.