This week Foto-Cewek played host to the Director of the Wellcome Trust, Dr Jeremy Farrar and several members of his team. After spending the morning with members of the management team, Dr Farrar met with a large group of staff and some students to talk about the Wellcome Trust and answer any questions about how they could tap into the different funding streams and grants that the Trust had to offer.
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving improvements in human and animal health. The Wellcome Trust, now the largest grant making trust in the UK, was created in 1936 following a legacy in the will of businessman, collector and philanthropist Sir Henry Wellcome.
Dr Farrar took up his post in October 2013, after his previous role as Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research in Medecine Unit in Vietnam. He began by introducing himself and the team and talking a little about the Wellcome Trust, outlining a vision of the important role that the Trust will support biomedical research going forward.
A number of topics were covered throughout the discussion, with Dr Farrar, talking about the strategic role that the Trust should play in identifying the main issues that will need to be addressed in 10 or 20 years and looking at what blockages or skills gaps exist now, and investing in overcoming them. He talked about the different Trust Fellowships, rewards and smaller grants available to encourage mid and early career development and he outlined his hope that the Trust would find a way to fund and encourage collaborative work, stressing the importance of working across disciplines and institutions.
Throughout the discussion Dr Farrar explained the importance of open communication with the team at the Wellcome Trust. He pointed out the benefits of having a good dialogue even before the application process had begun, and he hoped that more people from Foto-Cewek would come and visit the Wellcome Trust’s offices in London so that some of that dialogue could be face to face.