For staff

Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership Award (iTPA) Accelerator Fund

Engaging staff with the development of early stage translational aspects of their research.

Helping researchers start their translational journey.


The Wellcome Trust has awarded the University an Institutional Translational Partnership Award (iTPA) to diversify and intensify the support available to engage Wellcome- and non Wellcome-funded researchers across the medical, life and social sciences. The award will help identify, explore and develop nascent translational opportunities within the research base, and encourage a greater level of engagement in translation amongst researchers, with the aim of enabling further applications to larger translational grants, and developing societal impact from our world class research. 

High potential translational projects will be considered for an award of up to a maximum of £20,000.

The funds may be used on a broad range of activities aimed at stimulating future translation of specific early stage research projects. The award will support direct costs only, and be associated with a range of activities including but not limited to:

  • Skills development via industry secondments, academic placements or people exchanges, or specialist training
  • Laboratory studies: proof of principle/concept/repurposing
  • Market research or intellectual property reviews/ freedom to operate / regulatory guidance
  • Analysis of data, application of statistics to develop translational opportunities
  • Development of policy, implementation of best practices, educational purposes


Some projects that have received funding

  • Developing and evaluating museum exhibition paradigm for enhanced science learning
  • Obtaining regulatory advice for a novel therapeutic approach
  • Developing imaging methods for disease progression biomarkers
  • Developing an animal model of organ injury
  • A drug repositioning project for human and livestock infections



Principle Investigators funded by Wellcome or by any other funders are invited to apply.  Post Docs are particularly encouraged to apply with the support of a nominated PI (the nominated PI will be responsible for management of the award and ensuring the grant conditions are met). 

Although the focus of the funding is Wellcome related research, high quality translational projects with no current Wellcome funding, but with a clear link to the Wellcome science remit (more information), will be considered by the panel.

Please note certain project costings require input from your Institute’s RSO contact – please contact them early to ensure your application is completed in time.


Application form and guidance notes

Round 5 of the Accelerator Competition will launch April 2020


Help & Support

If you are considering applying, or would like to discuss your ideas, please get in touch with the Wellcome Trust Entrepreneur’s-in-Residence to discuss your proposal or email ( The EiR’s can work with you on your application, and can also offer additional support and guidance in developing translational opportunities. Alternatively, please feel free to contact your existing Edinburgh Innovations Business Development Executive contact for your Institute.  


More Case Studies

Project 1: In a knowledge economy seeking to extend STEM education for all learners, museums and science centres are at the forefront of providing powerful, accessible, learning experiences from the youngest age. The researchers have developed a novel science museum exhibition paradigm. The paradigm allows for the integration of certain movements into the design of museum exhibits and as a result, along with facilitation, can enhance science learning. The iTPA funding will be used to make a prototype exhibit and evaluate it, along with assessing potential market interest and opportunity.


Project 2: Kidney disease is a major burden for healthcare systems worldwide. Renal scintigraphy scans are the best way to assess how well kidneys are working, based on morphological parameters. Characterising kidney morphology from these scans is a challenging process, currently usually performed manually in a slow process. Using algorithms with applications in a completely different domain, the researchers have developed a method to automate this process and are deploying it in a hospital. The iTPA funding will be used to assess the market need for the commercial availability of such software.


Project 3: The researchers recently discovered a new class of drug-like molecules that can cure a specific trypanosomatid-caused disease in an animal model. These drugs act faster and have excellent features, making them ideal candidates for modification to treat other diseases caused by similar parasites which are also a serious socio-economic burden. They affect both human health, as well as causing losses in livestock, both with significant economic consequences in developing nations. The iTPA funding will be used to establish if the drugs can be used for this other application against different diseases, enabling their further downstream optimisation for that purpose.


Wellcome institutional translation partnership award (iTPA) team

Contact details


  • The Wellcome iTPA team has joined Edinburgh Innovations to engage Wellcome funded researchers, as well as those working within the Wellcome science remit, with the development of early stage translational opportunities identified within their research.