Wellcome Trust Development Awards (Broadcast, Gaming and Film)


The Wellcome Trust Development Awards support the development of broadcast, gaming or film proposals that engage the audience with issues around biomedical science in an innovative, entertaining and accessible way.

We are interested in funding individuals and organisations with brilliant early-stage ideas for television, radio, gaming platforms or cinema. In broadcast we are keen to receive proposals in all genres, though we are particularly interested in series, format ideas and drama; multi-platform proposals are welcomed.

The funding will enable these ideas to be developed into high-impact, well-researched proposals that can be used to secure a UK distribution platform and production funding. Development funds might be used to undertake thorough research, create a taster tape, build a game prototype or develop a script. Your project should primarily be aimed at a mainstream UK and/or Republic of Ireland audience in the first instance, although the subject matter can be international.

Please note that current affairs programmes are not eligible for Development Awards.

Development Awards are worth up to £10 000, for a maximum of one year.

How Do I Apply

Please refer to our application guidelines [Word 270KB] and Grant Conditions before completing an application.

Complete a full application form via the Trust’s eGrants online application system (select the ‘Development Award: Broadcast, Gaming and Film’ form in the ‘Full application’ drop-down menu), and submit it at any time before the published deadline.

Applicants are usually affiliated to organisations, but can apply as individuals. Please note that organisations need to be registered on eGrants before an affiliated application can be submitted. We highly recommend registering your organisation in advance of any upcoming deadline, as registration may take several days to process. You can register by contacting us; for full information, see eGrants.

All eligible projects will be assessed individually on merit and need by a Funding Committee.


The scheme is open to broadcast, gaming and film professionals and other organisations or individuals working on broadcast, gaming and film projects. Partnerships between those working in these industries and other professionals, such as scientists, ethicists and educators, are especially welcomed.

To be eligible, applicants must be based in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, although other members of the project team can be based overseas. The proposal must primarily be aimed at a mainstream UK and/or Republic of Ireland audience in the first instance but the subject matter can be international.

Projects must be scientifically sound – we look for scientific input either through a scientist taking on an advisory role or through direct collaboration.

Projects that are not eligible for Development Awards include health promotion or campaigning projects, arts projects for therapeutic purposes, or projects that do not deal with biomedical sciences or the history of medicine.

Application advice

Proposals that do not explore some element of biomedical science and/or its social implications will not be considered.

We expect any scientific content to be rigorously researched, balanced and expert-led.

If you are looking for production funding for fully developed projects, please see our People Awards for funding up to £30 000 or contact the Broadcast team for further information.

If your proposed project has a strong innovative artistic dimension, please see our Arts Awards.

If you would like advice on the eligibility of your project or how to apply, please contact the Broadcast team well in advance of the deadline.

Deadlines and Contacts

The forthcoming deadlines for the Broadcast Development Awards are:

  • 26 April 2013 (17.00)
  • 19 July 2013 (17.00)
  • 18 October 2013 (17.00)

Decisions will be made approximately two months after the relevant deadline.

All non-gaming applicants for the 26 April 2013 deadline must be available to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest on 14 June 2013 to pitch their idea in front of a live audience.

All gaming applicants for the 26 April 2013 deadline must be available to attend the Develop in Brighton Conference on 10 July 2013. Successful gaming applicants will have to pitch their idea with the aid of the prototype developed with this Award in front of a live audience and panel of publishers and funders.

You can contact us at

Broadcast Awards
Wellcome Trust
Gibbs Building
215 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE, UK

T +44 (0)20 7611 8806
[email protected]


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