Grants and funding opportunities

Please note: while these pages are reviewed and updated regularly, it is important to contact the funding organisation for the latest information.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has regular grants and funding opportunities. These include individual awards – from pre-doctoral level through the research professorships – and themed calls based on specific health and social care needs that have been identified as priority issues. For more information, visit their website.

The Royal College of Nursing lists research grants and funding opportunities that might be suitable for nurses and midwives. Visit their website for more details.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Get A-Head Charitable Trust

The Get A-Head Charitable Trust supports projects and activities that will benefit those who suffer from head and neck disease and where support is not available through public funding. Their objective is to directly help improve the quality of life for those who suffer from head and neck diseases and their carers. The Get A-Head Charitable Trust funds specialist research fellowships into thyroid cancer and other head & neck conditions.

For more information, please click here

Closing date: 1 September 2021

Healthcare Infection Society – small research grants 


HIS aims to fund pioneering, innovative research within the scope of infection prevention and control and nosocomial infections. Applications for funding must show an understanding of the clinical practice of infection prevention and control directly relating to nosocomial infections. Small research grants are intended to support small-scale research projects, or possibly the costs associated with the visit of an overseas research fellow, up to £10,000 for a project of 12 months duration. The primary grant holder and their institution must the based in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Small grants are normally non-recurring.

Closing date: 1 September 2021

For more details please see here.

Pancreatic Cancer UK – clinical research fellowships 

MRC and Pancreatic Cancer UK Clinical Research Training Fellowships: Provide up to three years’ support for clinically qualified, active professionals to undertake specialised or further research training within the UK. Fellows are required to register for a research degree, normally a PhD, based on research undertaken during the fellowship. 

Closing date: 1 September 2021

For more details please see here.

Retina UK – research grant 

Retina UK supports people affected by inherited progressive sight loss, and invests in medical research to increase the understanding of these conditions and accelerate the search for treatments for the future.

Retina UK welcomes high quality research applications in any area of research related to retinal dystrophies but priority will be given to projects with promise for progressing the development of treatment strategies or slowing down the progress of sight loss. This includes basic laboratory research investigating disease mechanisms, preclinical studies in animal and cell models and genotyping and phenotypic investigation of patient populations as a prelude to clinical trials.

Closing date: 1 September 2021

For more details please see here.

Blood Cancer UK – project grants 


Project grants provide funding for clearly defined research projects addressing key questions in the field of blood cancer. The remit of the project grant scheme includes Trial-Associated Research Projects, which are laboratory-based projects associated with a fully-funded clinical trial that aim to address a clearly defined research question to maximise the value and outcome of the trial.

Blood Cancer UK particularly welcome applications which address the below research priority areas, but this can also include any area of basic biological research relating to cancer, biomarker research and development, and preclinical studies that generate biological data to underpin therapeutic and diagnostic development:

  • Improving understanding of fundamental disease processes
  • Improving treatment options for the individual
  • Developing novel approaches to the use of data

Closing date: 2 September 2021

For more details please see here.

Epilepsy Research UK – clinical research training fellowship

Epilepsy Research UK is exclusively dedicated to driving and enabling a national programme of life changing, life-saving research into the diagnosis, causes and clinical management of epilepsy and associated conditions.

The Association of British Neurologists is the membership body for neurologists in the UK, and aims to promote excellent standards of care and champion high-quality education and world-class research in neurology. This year, Epilepsy Research UK and the Association of British Neurologists are co-funding a Clinical Research Training Fellowship. The objective of this fellowship is to encourage the brightest UK neurology trainees in undertaking world-leading clinical neuroscience research for improving the care of people with epilepsy. The ABN Clinical Research Training Fellowships support 3-year clinical research training fellowships in neurological disciplines resulting in a PhD. 

Closing date: 13 September 2021

For more details please see here.

The Nuffield Foundation – research, development and analysis fund 

The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance educational opportunity and social well-being. They fund research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. They also provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and confidence in science and research.

The Research, Development and Analysis Fund looks for interesting questions/issues that fit the Nuffield Foundation’s mission and is relevant to the questions in their three domains. There should be a clear articulation of what you intend to do, why it matters, and what difference it will make. Applications for research, development and analysis grants are usually between £10,000 and £500,000. Most of the grants awarded are between £50,000 and £300,000 and are between six months and three years in duration, but they will occasionally consider proposals with a larger budget or longer timescale.

Closing date: 15 September 2021

For more details please see here.

MRC – mapping complexity of pain with the advanced pain discovery platform 

MRC, in partnership with Versus Arthritis, the Medical Research Foundation and Eli Lilly, is inviting proposals for innovative research grants seeking to increase our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of pain. Project with a focus on musculoskeletal conditions, both in adults and young people, are encouraged.

Proposals may seek to explore mechanisms of pain in various disciplines, including these aspects: (1) psychological, (2) biological, (3) cognitive, (4) sociological. Where possible within the scope of the research question, researchers are encouraged to work together across disciplines to facilitate novel research into the underlying mechanisms of pain.

Proposals may involve a wide range of methodology across disciplines. MRC are particularly encourage applications involving:

  • the use of artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • other innovative data technologies.

Closing date: 15 September 2021

For more details please see here.

Alzheimer’s Society – project grants / fellowships

Alzheimer’s Society funds research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s and support people living with dementia. Project grants are for more established researchers and provide funding for world-class dementia research. Applications can be made for research projects which fit within the Alzheimer’s UK funding remit, which is organised into two streams:

  • Biomedical research
  • Care, implementation and public health research

The following fellowships are also open for application:

  • Clinician and healthcare professional fellowships: For practicing professionals working in dementia health and care services to undertake study towards a higher research degree (usually a PhD) and who wish to develop a dual career that combines research and practice.
  • Junior fellowships: For post-doctoral researchers who have shown exceptional promise at the start of their research career. Applicants should demonstrate potential to be an independent researcher. Fellowships are open to researchers from all disciplines, health and care professions, in line with Alzheimer’s Society’s vision to increase capacity with depth and breadth across all disciplines involved in dementia research.
  • Research fellowships: For post-doctoral or other successful researchers who wish to build on a number of successful years of dementia research, and who demonstrate the ambition and potential to be a leader in their research field at the end of the award.
  • PhD studentships: Funding of up to £85,000 is provided for up to three years (up to five years part time) and includes a stipend (£15,000-£16,000 per year), university PhD fees at EU rates, consumables & equipment, and conference dissemination support.

Closing date: 16 September 2021 

For more details please see here

Sarcoma UK – open grants and genomic research grants

Sarcoma UK is a national charity focussing on all types of sarcoma. It offers funds and grants to seek answers and find effective treatment for sarcoma.

The following calls are open for application:

Open Grant Round: For applications across all areas of sarcoma research, including laboratory and clinical research:

  • Small Grants, up to £50,000 in value. These can be used to pump prime ideas and provide proof of concept or fund additional research to a larger project already underway.
  • Large Grants, up to £150,000 in value. These are to undertake a substantive piece of work; this type of application must support a member of staff as a directly incurred cost (can be a researcher or PhD student).

Genomic Research Grant Round: For applications which further knowledge into sarcoma genomics. £200,000-250,000 in funding will be available to support one research project. Sarcoma UK encourage applications which build on, or link in with, the work previously funded by Sarcoma UK as part of this funding stream: 2018: GeCIPing Sarcoma: A UK-led initiative to personalise sarcoma treatment; 2019: A genomic approach to unlocking the secrets of sarcoma; 2020: Exploring genomic data to find gene networks and new treatments for liposarcoma patients.

Closing date: 30 September 2021

For more details please see here.

BHF Clinical Research Collaborative Research Development Fund

The BHF CRC is offering the opportunity to bid for funds to support the development of clinical research in cardiovascular disease and improve the impact and value of the work of researchers. The fund will provide grants from £5k up to £20k and all topic ideas will be considered.

The next funding round will open in October 2021.

For more details, please click here.