The Oxford-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) represents £1 million per year to the University of Oxford for a five-year period (2016-2021). It will support strategically important activity across the University in biomedical and clinical sciences, public health, social sciences and the medical humanities. The ISSF is open to all researchers across the University of Oxford working in these areas. The current funding call has a deadline of Midday, Monday 30th January. Applications forms and further details including submission, can be found on the Medical Sciences Division website.

Current and previous projects in the Social Sciences funded through this scheme include:

  • An evaluation of a serious mobile game to improve trainee nurses knowledge and skills in emergency neonatal care in Kenyan teaching hospitals: Niall Winters. Funding to support the development of a serious game for low-cost smartphones to provide training in neonatal resuscitation for emergency care nurses in Kenya.
  • The foundation of multidisciplinary human reproductive research at Oxford: Melinda Mills. Funding to investigate the biological and genetic components of reproduction alongside socio-environmental traits and the interaction between the two.
  • 'Reinvigorating ancient DNA research in Oxford' A. Mark Pollard, Andrew Wilson, Chris Gosden. Funds to refurbish and reopen the Henry Wellcome Ancient Biomolecules Centre, in advance of a new principal investigator in ancient DNA starting in autumn 2014. (SSD)
  •  ‘Flexible Small Grants Fund: identifying and responding to emerging opportunities and threats’ Sue Dopson, Mark Harrison, Kevin Marsh. Funds to create a programme of Flexible Small Grants, which will both enable us to respond to emerging opportunities, and develop new interdisciplinary research collaborations and themes of relevance to medicine and global health. (SSD/HUM/MSD)

Funding in this current call will be allocated across the following funding streams:

Individual Career Support: will support early career researchers, mid-career researchers and discipline hopping to pump prime activity and facilitate successful applications to external funding schemes.

The fund will support researchers who currently hold little or no Wellcome funding and aim to pump prime projects so that a competitive application can then be made to the Wellcome and other external funders e.g. by providing funding to generate initial proof of concept data.

Both small and large funding requests are welcomed, the total cost of individual projects is not normally expected to exceed £100,000. Small awards are not expected to exceed £10,000.

Interdepartmental Strategic Projects: will support strategic initiatives by supporting:

  • Equipment, research assets or staff within shared facilities where there is evidence of strategic need.

  • Establishment of cross cutting themes through activities such as e.g. research facilitation, symposia or conferences in order to encourage collaboration in new areas.

Only initiatives that are able to demonstrate a clear strategic need will be supported, the Interdepartmental Strategic Initiative stream will not support individual research projects or projects limited to only one department/faculty.  

The total cost of individual projects is not normally expected to exceed £200,000. Applications requesting the maximum funding amount will need to make a strong strategic case for the level of support requested.