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Collaborative research opportunities

Photograph of a library viewing room containing table and chairs. The tables are covered in books. Sat at the table in the foreground an individual is reading a book, their head resting on their hand. To their right two individuals are stood at the table looking at an open book. In the background 3 people are in discussion around another table, one of them is wearing white cotton gloves as they handle a book.
Dissertation research workshop, Photo: Michael Bowles. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Whether you’re just starting out or an established academic, there are a variety of ways for you to collaborate on research with us.

We partner with a broad range of academic groups, university departments, disciplinary bodies and other organisations on externally funded research initiatives. Such partnerships should benefit both us and our partners by engaging deeply with our unique collections to create new knowledge and by reaching wider groups of researchers.

We encourage proposals that address the legacies of racism and ableism in our collections—particularly by researchers from Deaf, disabled, neurodivergent and racially minoritised communities. Please email us to discuss your ideas at the earliest possible stage, ideally no less than three to six months before the relevant funding application deadline.

Collaborative doctoral awards

These PhD studentships are for research of substantial relevance to our collections. You need to apply directly to the university or consortium offering the award. But you’ll be supervised jointly by academics in the university department and colleagues from Wellcome Collection.

If you are a lecturer interested in developing a doctoral award project with us, please send an outline of your idea.

We work with three Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) consortia:

  • WRoCAH, a group of universities in Yorkshire
  • CHASE, a group of universities in London and the South-East
  • technē, a group of universities in London and the South-East.

Awards currently on offer

There are no open applications at the moment.

Some recent collaborative doctoral award projects

  • Kierri Price, ‘The Body and the Book, England 1350–1600: Manuscripts and Printed Books’, Birkbeck, University of London/CHASE
  • Lilith Cooper, ‘The Culture, Politics and Lived Experience of Health: Zines at Wellcome Collection’, University of Kent/CHASE

PhD and early-career researcher placements

Each year we offer up to six professional experience placements to PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. You will typically join us for between one and six months, full time or part time, and complete a specific project under the supervision of a collections specialist.

You’ll also contribute to the delivery of Wellcome Collection’s wider research development programme. This might involve collaborating on pop-up exhibitions, writing website content, and helping to develop and deliver workshops.

We will support agreed applications for funding to the following AHRC consortia: WRoCAH, CHASE and technē.

We are also happy to consider enquiries from international PhD students and researchers with alternative sources of funding. To be eligible, you must have the right to work in the UK. Contact us to find out more about how to apply for a placement.

Research partnerships

If you’re an established researcher interested in working with us on a collections-led project, you should contact us early in the development of your project proposal, generally three to six months before submission.

Examples of recent research partnerships: 

We also host a range of events and activities for researchers interested in working with our collections.

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