As some of you long term grant watchers will know, Wellcome introduced 'Investigator Awards' in biomedicine some time ago. These were intended to release excellent researchers from the treadmill of having to reapply for project funding. Instead, Wellcome would identify the 'brightest researchers with the best ideas' and give them enough money to keep them going for some time.
Well, now they're rolling out the Awards to the Medical History and Humanities. They plan a May 2011 launch of the Senior/New Investigator schemes in this area, with a Sept 2nd 2011 first round deadline. They're suggesting that there may not need to be a CV check in these disciplines because they anticipate fewer applications. The Awards must be historically-grounded, and driven by historical methodologies.
Elsewhere, they're hoping to (ahem) 'homogenise' the plethora of smaller grant schemes they have in this area, such as research expenses, travel grants, conferences, symposia etc.
So keep an eye on Wellcome's website, and let me (or, more likely, my colleague Lynne Bennett who deals with the Humanities Faculty) know if you're interested in these awards, and we'll update you when more information is available.