Grant information

Medical Research Council
MRC research grants are suitable for focused research projects that may be short or long-term in nature. In addition, they can be used to support method development or development and continuation of research facilities and may involve more than one research group or institution. A research grant can be awarded for any period of up to 5 years, but those of two years or less are for proof of principle work only. Proof of principle proposals are expected to support high-risk or high-reward research by critically testing a key hypothesis or demonstrating feasibility of an approach that could lead to fundamentally new avenues of research. All work proposed would need to be fully justified. Applications seeking support of greater than 3 years should provide a clear justification as to why a longer timescale is needed, for example due to specific research deliverables, or the need for prolonged data collection or follow-up. The budget for research grant awards will not typically exceed £1 million. Research grants do not cover programmatic approaches or research involving randomised trials of clinical treatments. If your proposed research will lead directly to a separately funded clinical trial, please contact an MRC research board manager to discuss its eligibility.

Further details: Research grant – MRC – UKRI

Application timelines – MRC – UKRI

National Institute for Health and Care Research (main overview)

NIHR offer funding through different funding programmes. Any applicant who considers that they can carry out high quality research is likely to be eligible, either directly or with a partner.

programmes are open to applications of any rigorous study design including:

  • evidence syntheses
  • pilot and feasibility studies
  • randomised controlled trials
  • quantitative research
  • qualitative research

The most suitable programme for your research idea depends on your broad research area, the scale of the study, whether it will generate new evidence or blend existing evidence.

Eligibility criteria

NIHR accept applications from:

  • individual researchers
  • academic institutions
  • local authorities
  • industry
  • charities
  • social care organisations

It’s a good idea to review individual funding opportunities for specific eligibility requirements. You can contact the individual funding programme for further questions about eligibility.

NIHR won’t:

  • fund research involving animals or animal tissue
  • accept the same or similar applications to more than one NIHR programme

Most programmes do not have a limit on funding. If any funding opportunity does have a limit it will say so in the call information.

Applications from the UK: Some programmes can only accept applications where the lead applicant is from England. If this is the case, the programme’s specification will outline this. Co-applicants for all programmes can be from anywhere in the UK.

Applications from outside the UK: International applicants may apply as a co-applicant with a UK or England-based lead applicant, depending on the programme’s specification.

Further details: Eligibility | NIHR

Funding opportunities | NIHR

NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme
This programme funds studies into the efficacy of new approaches to disease prevention and treatment. It supports clinical trials and other studies which test how interventions may work in practice.
Broad research areas: Public health, clinical evaluation and translation, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence generation
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in the UK.

Further details: Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led and 3 commissioned

NIHR Evidence Synthesis Programme
This programme funds work to identify, review and summarise existing information about the effects of tests, treatments and interventions. It aims to equip health and care decision makers with the best possible information.
Broad research areas: Public health, clinical evaluation and translation, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in the UK.

Further details: Evidence Synthesis | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 1 researcher-led

NIHR Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme
Funding evaluative research to improve the quality of health and social care services. Typical projects focus on the organisation and accessibility of care.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation and social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in the UK. However lead must be from England for the commissioned workstream

Further details: Health and Social Care Delivery Research | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led and 3 commissioned

NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme
Funding research into the clinical and cost-effectiveness of treatments and tests. Funded studies often compare a new technology’s existing evidence with the current methods.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation, clinical evaluation and translations, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in UK

Further details: Health Technology Assessment | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led and 3 commissioned

NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme
Funding the development of medical devices, diagnostics and health technologies at both pre-clinical and clinical stages. Innovations focus on areas of existing or emerging patient need.
Broad research areas: Public health, clinical evaluation and translations, technology development
Types of evidence: Evidence generation
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant must be from England

Further details: Invention for Innovation | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led and 1 commissioned

NIHR Programme Development Grants (PDG)
Funding to help researchers carry out work which will support an application to the Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) programme. Funds can also be used to support development work for existing PGfAR programmes.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation, clinical evaluation and translations, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in UK

Further details: Programme Development Grants | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led

NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
A researcher-led grant programme to fund applied health and social care research. Studies seek to address health and care needs in areas other research funders may not focus. Further support for applicants is provided through Programme Development Grants.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation, clinical evaluation and translations, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant must be from England

Further details: Programme Grants for Applied Research | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led

NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) Programme
Funding research to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities. Research aims to generate evidence to inform delivery of non-NHS interventions and test practical interventions.
Broad research areas: Public health, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant can be from anywhere in UK

Further details: Public Health Research | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led and 3 commissioned

NIHR policy research
Funding policy research to inform policy makers across health and social care. Policy research helps enable evidence-based policies.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation, clinical evaluation and translations, technology development, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant must be from England

Further details: Policy Research | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 commissioned

NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme
Funding research around the day-to-day practice of health service and social care staff. The programme funds studies that aim to increase the effectiveness of services, provide value for money and benefit patients and the public. The programme runs the bi-annual Research for Social Care call. This call funds studies to improve, expand and strengthen the delivery of adult social care. This is one of our programme with set funding limits.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and organisation, clinical evaluation and translations, social care
Types of evidence: Evidence synthesis, evidence generation
Applicant eligibility: Lead applicant must be from England

Further details: Research for Patient Benefit | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 3 researcher-led

NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT)
Funding cutting-edge interdisciplinary applied health research for the primary and direct benefit of people in low and middle income countries (LMICs), where a strategic and targeted investment can result in a transformative impact.
Broad research areas: Public health, health service and delivery, clinical evaluation and translations, social care, capacity strengthening
Types of evidence: evidence generation, programmes of research
Applicant eligibility: Application must include an LMIC (Joint) Lead Applicant. Application may be (jointly) lead by a UK (Joint) Lead Applicant.

Further details: Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation | NIHR

Call and competition per year: 1-2 commissioned

NIHR Global
NIHR Global forms partnerships with other leaders in global health research to co-fund both research projects and researcher career development. The frequency and type of funding available, as well as the funding amount and duration, vary by partner and funding call. Past calls have included Global Health Research Units, Global Health Research Groups and Global Health Policy and Systems Research.

Further details: Global health partnership funding | NIHR

Alopecia UK

Alopecia UK has funded a variety of projects in the research domains of psychology, dermatology and immunology.

Further details: Alopecia UK

NIHR Crohn's & Colitis UK (CCUK)
Crohn’s & Colitis UK is a NIHR non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that it funds may be eligible to access the NIHR Study Support Service which is provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The NIHR Clinical Research Network can  support health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or hospices, or public health research taking place in schools and other community settings.

Further details: Looking for Funding? (crohnsandcolitis.org.uk)

One targeted grant call per year, accepting applications for project grants in areas of unmet need that are important to people living with IBD.

Kidney Research UK (KRUK)
NIHR Fellowship Programme

The NIHR Fellowship Programme supports individuals on their trajectory to becoming future leaders in health and social care NIHR research.

Its four fellowships have been designed to support individuals at various points of their development in becoming leading researchers, from initial pre-doctoral training to senior post-doctoral research.

  • Pre-Doctoral Fellowship launch date: Late January / February annually
  • Development and Skills Enhancement Award launch dates: January, May, September annually
  • Doctoral Fellowship launch dates: April, October annually
  • Advanced Fellowship launch dates: April, October annually

It also partners with a number of charitable organisations to offer jointly-funded Partnership Fellowships at both Doctoral and Advanced levels.

Further details: NIHR Fellowship Programme | NIHR

Cancer Research UK
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