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Your chance to push the frontiers with the Wellcome Trust

7 Jul, 2015

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As the Wellcome Trust grows and evolves, it is important that we take a step back to look at the bigger picture and ensure we’re heading in the right direction. This is not a journey that we are taking alone and so we are inviting you to help us decide which are the frontiers we should be pushing. Clare Matterson, Wellcome Trust Director of Strategy, explains how you can get involved in shaping our strategic direction…

The scope of our Frontiers meetings is broad and their topics can relate to any area of the Trust’s work. This can include research possibilities – such as those relating to major disease areas, health challenges or developments in basic sciences, innovative ways of supporting training and development, or how science is given context in culture and society.

The primary idea behind the meetings is to address issues where we are at the limit of our current understanding or capacity in an area, and where we need new thinking and innovative solutions to progress. They are provocative, and bring together experts from different sectors and nations to disrupt thinking and encourage fresh perspectives. At their best they are a melting pot of ideas that help catalyse new thinking and drive change in important areas.

We want your ideas!

We want your ideas!

As an organisation, we are currently looking at our strategy for the future, but we know that this is not something that we can do alone. We need the input from the community, from those on the cutting edge, people we currently fund – or perhaps should be funding in future.

This is your chance to help shape our thinking. We are inviting you to share your ideas for future topics for our Frontiers meetings. What should we be discussing, and what role you see for the Trust in contributing to these subjects?

If you have an idea for a topic, please let us know by submitting your idea on the Frontiers webpage, outlining the key questions that need to be addressed, the different sectors that could feed the discussion, and how you think that the Wellcome Trust could help to shake up thinking on the issue.

We are interested in all suggestions, and we’re keen to hear from a range of different communities, including researchers, businesses and anyone with an interest in health and science. If your idea is selected we will give you the opportunity to work with us and see it evolve. Frontiers meetings will take place two or three times a year so there will be additional opportunities to share your ideas going forward.

Grants_Holder_Thumbnail_02In terms of the bigger picture, Frontiers meetings are one way to help us identify possible new directions for us to focus on to drive change. This fits in with the work we are doing to develop our strategic thinking, and builds on last year’s refreshed funding framework. The funding refresh introduced our new Seed Awards to support researchers who want to develop original and innovative ideas, and Collaborative Awards for team research, alongside our existing schemes such as the (now simplified) Investigator Awards. These new schemes are proving to be popular and successful, with some very high quality applications, and we look forward to announcing the first awards soon.

The Wellcome Trust is always going to be strongly committed to supporting the best research in biomedical science, humanities and social sciences, and public engagement, in a flexible way that is responsive to the best ideas that emerge from our community. We look forward to hearing your input on which areas deserve further exploration in future Frontiers meetings.

Further information about our Frontiers meetings and the current topics we are thinking about can be found on the Wellcome Trust website. Contact Holly Baines via the website if you have any questions, and submit your ideas here.

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