Skip to content

The Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health and disability, education, and the arts and humanities. They have awarded over £750 million in grants since their establishment in 1955, supporting more than 10,000 projects. Find additional information on the Wolfson Foundation on their website.

The Foundation is one of the Society’s longest and most generous donors, supporting our work since 1959. In 1959 the Wolfson Research Professorships were established and continue to support Professors in achieving outstanding scientific research.

Wolfson Research Professorships

The Royal Society Wolfson Research Professorship is for world-class scientists who would benefit from a period of long-term support to allow them to focus on research and collaboration based at an institution in the UK.

Recipients of the Wolfson Research Professorship have made major contributions to scientific advancement, including.

Dorothy Hodgkin OM FRS: won the Nobel Prize for her work on X-ray crystallography and determined the molecular structures of cholesterol, penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin.

Sir Alan Fersht FRS: developed methods for high resolution analysis of protein folding, shedding light on diseases like CJD, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Sir Alec Jeffreys FRS: developed DNA fingerprinting which has forever changed forensic science.  For this discovery, he was named Great Briton 2006 in the Morgan Stanley Great Briton Awards.

Currently funding: Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit awards

This scheme is for outstanding scientists who would benefit from a five year salary enhancement to help recruit them to or retain them in the UK. The awarded is administered by the Royal Society and is jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Government Office of Science. The scheme aims "to give universities additional support to attract key researchers, with great potential or outstanding achievement, to this country or to retain those who might seek to gain higher salaries elsewhere.”

Read more about the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Awards.

Currently funding: Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment scheme

This scheme is for scientists in the UK who want to refurbish or renovate their research laboratories. It aims to improve the existing physical infrastructure in UK universities to promote high quality scientific research.

Read more about the Royal Society Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment.

The generosity and support of the Wolfson Foundation has enabled us to enhance and promote a future of excellence in science and support scientists in the United Kingdom.