Wellcome Infectious Disease Award: Understanding Dengue and Zika Spread, Immunity, and Clinical Outcomes

Opportunity Detail

  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Level Research
  • Eligible Region/Countries

    All except mainland China

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  • Medium of Instruction English
  • Field of study Health
  • Opportunity ID 79960
  • Funding Type Fully Funded
  • Duration 3 to 5 Years

Opportunity Description

The Wellcome Trust accepts applications for its Infectious Disease Award from Mid-career and established researchers.

This award aims to fund multidisciplinary teams to research the co-circulation of dengue and Zika viruses and their implications on host immune responses and clinical outcomes. This initiative seeks to generate valuable data in regions where it is limited, supporting global efforts to predict and control the spread of these viruses and design effective interventions.

Key Details and Dates

  • Application Deadline: 25 June 2024
  • Full applications invited: July to early August 2024
  • Full application deadline: 8 October 2024
  • Funding decisions communicated: December 2024
  • Funding Type: Grant
  • Organizer: Wellcome Trust
  • Eligible Countries: Anywhere except mainland China; focus on African and Asian countries with current or past outbreaks
  • Eligible Gender: Male/female
  • Target Group: Mid-career and established researchers
  • Focus Area: Epidemiology, immunology, public health, and whole genome sequencing related to dengue and Zika
  • Study Level: Research
  • Duration: 3 to 5 years
  • Program Language: English
  • Host Country: Administering organizations can be based anywhere except mainland China

Benefits and Financial Aids

Selected candidates will benefit from the program as follows:

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  • Funding Amount: Up to £5 million per award
  • Eligible Costs: Staff, materials, consumables, access charges, equipment, animals, contract research organizations, clinical research costs, fieldwork expenses, travel and subsistence, overseas allowances, public engagement and patient involvement costs, overheads, continuing professional development and training, open access charges, inflation allowance, and other relevant costs

Eligibility Criteria

Who Can Apply:

  • Mid-career and established researchers
  • Teams with expertise in whole genome sequencing, epidemiology, immunology, or public health
  • Lead applicant or co-applicant from an African or Asian country with dengue and Zika outbreaks
  • Teams, including public health stakeholders and policymakers
  • Organizations such as higher education institutions, research institutes, non-academic healthcare organizations, not-for-profits, and NGOs (not commercial organizations)

Who Can’t Apply:

  • Projects intending to transfer grant funds into mainland China
  • Lead applicants based at commercial organizations
  • Projects without a lead applicant or co-applicant in each country where research will take place

Host Organization Requirements

  • The lead applicant’s organization can be based anywhere globally except mainland China.
  • Eligible organizations include:
    • Higher education institutions
    • Research institutes
    • Non-academic healthcare organizations
    • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Co-applicants may be at commercial organize
  • All participating organizations must comply with the grant conditions and funding policies. Core-funded research organizations should not use this award to replace or reduce existing/planned core support.

Responsibilities of Administering Organisations:

  • UK-based organizations must adhere to the responsibilities outlined in the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers for institutions, managers, and researchers.
  • Non-UK organizations receiving Wellcome funding must at least follow the principles of the Concordat.

Administering organizations must also:

  • Provide you and any grant-employed staff with at least ten days per year (pro rata if part-time) for training and professional development, including responsible research conduct, leadership, people management, diversity, and research culture promotion.
  • Offer an onboarding and planning system to support the award commitments.
  • Ensure you receive the same status and benefits as other staff of similar seniority.

Research Proposal Requirements

Is your research right for this call?

Research Priorities Dengue and Zika viruses, both flaviviruses, share mosquito vectors and often co-circulate in human populations. Limited data, especially from Africa and Asia, hampers effective interventions. Simultaneous or sequential infections can lead to cross-reactive immunity, impacting future susceptibility and disease severity.

This call seeks projects exploring how the co-circulation of dengue and Zika affects immune responses and clinical outcomes, emphasizing regions lacking sufficient epidemiological and immunological data. Proposals may also investigate socio-demographic, climatic, and land-use factors driving virus spread.

Prioritized Proposals:

  1. Immunological Cross-reactivity Studies:
  • Impact of co-infection or sequential infection on susceptibility and immune response.
  • Molecular and clinical epidemiology to understand co-circulation, viral diversity, and outcomes, especially in data-limited areas
  1. Specific Research Requirements:
  • Justification for the chosen country.
  • Use of molecular epidemiology tools.
  • Data types to be generated (genome sequences, serological data, and more).
  • Lab investigations on cross-reactivity.
  • Details of populations included in the study.
  • Plan for community engagement and stakeholder collaboration.
  • Ethical, social, and cultural considerations.
  • Data management and sharing plan, especially for outbreak scenarios.
  • Communication plan to ensure research visibility and impact on public health policy.
  • Data management for multi-country projects.
  1. Optional Inclusions:
  • Clinical characteristics of dengue and Zika.
  • Molecular epidemiology of other mosquito-borne viruses.
  • Socio-demographic, behavioral, and environmental factors influencing virus spread.
  • Climatic and land-use drivers using satellite and weather data.


  • Research focusing only on one virus or on serosurveys and immunology.
  • Predominantly entomological or animal reservoir studies
  • Solely detection, genomic surveillance, or social/public health measures
  • Evaluation of medical countermeasures unrelated to core topics
  • Development of diagnostic tests for commercial purposes
  • Proposals from institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean without broader involvement
  • Projects transferring funds to mainland China

Selection Process

Following are the selection process highlights:

Preliminary Application:

  • Submit preliminary application by the deadline
  • Wellcome staff will review applications
  • Shortlisted applicants get result notification within one month

Full Application:

  • Shortlisted applicants must submit a full application
  • Review by a panel of experts
  • The panel evaluates based on research aims, team expertise, project impact, and collaboration.
  • Final decisions made and applicants notified

How to Apply?

  • Step 1: Read all relevant information on the Wellcome Trust website
  • Step 2: Submit a preliminary application by 25 June 2024
  • Step 3: If shortlisted, prepare and submit a full application
  • Step 4: Full application reviewed by administering an organization
  • Step 5: Administering organization applies to Wellcome Trust
  • Step 6: Panel review and funding decision notification


Apply Now



For more details and application forms, visit the Wellcome Funding platform.


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