Funding Opportunities

Prioritising funding and support for COVID-19 research across the UK

Working with partners across UK, Health and Care Research Wales is leading, enabling and delivering world-class COVID-19 research, a key element of the Government’s overall response to the pandemic. 

COVID-19: guidance on health and social care research projects for educational purposes

Please see new guidance which relates to health and social care research projects conducted by undergraduate and master’s students.

Funding available for the development and testing of therapeutics to treat COVID-19

Application deadline: 6 April 2020

LifeArc has made available an initial £10 million for the identification of therapeutics that can be rapidly deployed to treat COVID-19. The aim is to run trials in patients during the current epidemic. It is anticipated that applications will be for funding to repurpose one or more drugs that are generic, already licensed, or are in late stage development for another indication.

Tenovus Cancer Care and North West Cancer Research are inviting applications for a joint PhD Studentship

They seek to fund a health services PhD research award which will aim to impact cancer policy or practice through the targeted area of psycho-social oncology.

Projects must aim to provide evidence to impact the cancers that are significant to the combined population of the two Charities – the North West of England and Wales. PhD studentship grants are awarded for up to three years with a maximum funding budget of up to £75,000
To find out more and apply please visit -

Deadline 5pm, Monday 22nd June 2020.

Innovate UK - Smart Grants

  • Innovate UK invites applications for its smart grants.  Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme. These support disruptive research and development innovations in any area of technology with a potential to make a significant impact on the UK economy. All projects must be business focused. Preference is given to applications that demonstrate realistic and significant potential for global markets.
  • Funding: Projects up to 18 months £500K max. Projects up to 36 months £2M max.
  • Deadline: 22 Apr 2020

Science and Technology Facilities Council Cancer Diagnosis Network

The Science and Technology Facilities Council Cancer Diagnosis Network+ has a range of cancer research funding opportunities open to applications, including PhD studentships, Proof of Concept Projects and Scoping Studies. 

Further information:

Medical Research Council Big Ideas

The Medical Research Council has launched a pilot programme to encourage the submission of ambitious and exciting ideas that have the potential to transform the health research landscape.

They're looking for ideas that will attract the enthusiasm of researchers, the public, industry and government, either by the nature of the science itself or the potential health and socio-economic changes these could offer in the future.

Ideas are expected to be considered in batches on a regular basis (approximately every 3-4 months). Informal feedback will be provided on any ideas considered by the SSG.

Further information:

The Medical Research Council's (MRC) New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG)

The Medical Research Council’s (MRC) New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) is a unique opportunity for talented early career researchers to get significant funding for their work. The MRC is launching a new short film that explains how the NIRG benefits early career researchers, how to apply and what makes a good application.

Research board application deadlines are usually around January, May and September; Methodology Research Programme deadlines are usually around June and November. These may vary and it is the applicants’ responsibility to identify the correct deadline for their submission. All proposals are assessed by external experts before they are considered by the relevant MRC research board/panel at their meeting.

Your proposal must be submitted through the MRC Je-S system by 4pm on the relevant research board/panel deadline date.

Further information:

The Dunhill Medical Trust 

These support research projects that are important to understanding the mechanisms of ageing, treating disease and frailty and identifying and developing new and effective ways to improve the lives of older people. The grants also support research into treating diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect older people but are less well-funded.

KESS2 Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships Programme  - **FULLY FUNDED PGR SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE**

  • Applications are invited for fully-funded scholarships for MPhil and MRes projects starting in April, July and Oct 2020.  Cardiff University has at 20+ studentships available under the KESS2 Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships Programme.  Studentships offer an RCUK-level stipend plus £3K per year support costs. Fees will be accounted for centrally by the University and will not be charged to Schools.
  • Studentship projects must demonstrate benefits to the relevant region of West Wales and the Valleys region OR East Wales. Projects should be co-developed with a partner with a base in Wales, and students must have a home address in the region where the project is funded (East OR West) when they apply for the studentship.  Please note application is only open to Micro companies, SMEs and Large Sector Partners.
  • Please contact us before you develop a full proposal.  MRes and MPhil applications can be submitted at any time and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applications should be reviewed/approved by the School DirPGR (or DirRes) and submitted via School Research /PGR Offices (whichever is appropriate to the School) to
  • More information in the attached documents.

Welsh Government & Health and Care Research Wales

Pathway to Portfolio Development Funding Scheme

Health and Care Research Wales has launched the Pathway to Portfolio Development Funding Scheme to support individuals in the NHS to undertake a research project and/or activity that will allow them to refine and develop their grant application writing skills, develop their research ideas or provide opportunities to support pilot, feasibility or proof of concept work.

The scheme is open to all staff across the NHS with the aim of supporting activities that will provide the essential step towards research applications to funders of high quality research.

Closing date: Ongoing

PhD social care student­ship award - Closed

The Wales School for Social Care Research (WSSCR) is offering PhD Studentship Awards for social care research. The Wales School for Social Care Research is funded by Welsh Government to build strength in excellent social care research with real-world application and positive impact on the well-being of people in Wales. The School is a part of the wider Health and Care Research Wales infrastructure, with the School Hub in the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University and staff located at Bangor University and Cardiff University.

Closing date: 16 August 2019

Social care research fel­lowship award - Closed

Applications are invited from individuals working across any sector or scientific discipline to under-take research which will benefit patients, public, service users and/or carers in Wales.

Closing date: 28 November 2018

Health research grants - Closed

These grants support capacity-building in health research by funding high-quality research projects that demonstrate a clear benefit to patients, service users and carers or the organisation and delivery of effective healthcare service in Wales. Grants are worth up to £250,000 over a period of 24 months.

Health and Care Research Wales are inviting applications addressing the following themes:

  • Improving value based health care
  • Improving healthcare systems safety

Closing date: 05 December 2018

Research for patient and public benefit scheme - Closed

This scheme supports research directed at achieving benefit for users of the NHS or the public health of the people in Wales. Grants are worth up to £230,000 over a period of 24 months. 

Closing date: 29 October 2019

Clinical research time awards - Closed

These awards provide NHS staff with the opportunity to apply for protected time to engage in research activity and to develop their research skills. Applicants are expected to apply for research time of one or two sessions a week for a maximum period of three years. 

Closing date: 17th October 2019

Social care grants - Closed

This scheme aims to support capacity and capability building in social care research by funding high-quality research projects with clear relevance to social care service users, carers, practitioners and policy makers. Research funded under this scheme should provide robust evidence to support the efficient and effective organisation and delivery of social care services in Wales, and/or improved service user or carer wellbeing.

Closing date: 29 October 2019

Social care research capacity building grant award - Closed

The Wales School for Social Care Research is delighted to announce that the Social Care Research Capacity building grants are now open for applications. The maximum sum available for each award is £10,000. The School anticipates being able to fund up to ten projects in total. Read more and apply

Closing date: 8 January 2017

Health research fellowship award - Closed

Health and Care Research Wales is pleased to announce a new call for applications to the Health Research Fellowship scheme. The Fellowships aim to support individuals to become independent researchers and to undertake high quality studies. Applications are invited from across all sectors and scientific disciplines. 

Closing date: 27th November 2019

PhD Health studentship award - Closed

The scheme supports capacity building in health and care research by funding high-quality research projects providing robust evidence which addresses the health and care needs of service users, carers and the wider population, and/or the organisation and delivery of efficient and effective services in Wales.  

Studentship calls may incorporate topical themes which align with Welsh Government policy priorities, which will be indicated in the call documentation. Where this applies, applicants can apply to the general scheme or specifically to the themed call.

Closing date: 4 March 2020

Excess treatment costs

This scheme provides funding to cover the excess treatment costs of exter­nally funded non-commercial research in secondary care carried out within NHS Wales.

Closing date: None

RCN Foundation Education Grants 

Educations available for Nurses, Midwives and Health Care Assistants. 

Our education grants fund a wide variety of learning, development and research opportunities, providing the support individuals need to make a difference to quality patient care. 

The RCN Foundation believes that patients deserve the best possible experience and care, delivered by well trained and high performing professionals. 

For nurses to be able to keep up to date with new developments and use their knowledge and skills to transform the care their patients receive, it is important they engage in development opportunities and shared learning.

There are ten grants available, with various opening and closing dates.

Further information:

NIHR Public Health Research Programme – two new funding calls

The Public Health Research Programme is accepting expressions of interest from local government for research ideas for the Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams (PHIRST) and the Local Authority Research Systems call.

    NIHR funding opportunities

    Full current list of opportunities:

    NIHR Public Health Research Programme Rapid Funding Scheme

    The Rapid Funding Scheme (RFS) offers researchers the opportunity to apply for funds to conduct rapid baseline data collection, as well as other feasibility work, prior to the intervention implementation, for unique, time-limited opportunities such as a natural experiment or similar evaluations of a new public health intervention.

    This scheme in not intended to fund studies which provide definitive answers to quesitons to inform service provisions - it is to prepare for such studies.

    If you would like your proposal to be considered for the RFS, please contact with a summary of your intended project of no more than two sides of A4 in length describing both the proposed work and the reasons for the urgency.

    Closes: 31 December 2020

    Find out more:

    NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

    The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care in the NHS.

    The commissioned workstream invites applications in response to calls for research on specific questions which have been identified and prioritised for their importance to the NHS and patients. Proposals may include primary research, evidence synthesis, or feasibility and pilot studies. See our current funding opportunities or download a list of potential future research topics currently being developed

    NIHR - Relapsing polymyalgia rheumatica

    • The aim of the HTA Programme is to ensure that high quality research information on the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of health technology is produced in the most efficient way for those who use, manage, provide care in or develop policy for the NHS.  Research Question:  What are the optimal management options for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica who have relapsed during corticosteroid therapy?
    • Deadline: 01 April 2020

    Mechanisms of Action of Health Interventions

    • The EME Programme invites proposals for hypothesis driven research into the underlying mechanisms of action of clinical and public health interventions. Studies must utilise patients or samples from identifiable cohorts from current or completed NIHR-funded projects.  Within these studies EME supports research to improve the understanding of the mechanisms of both diseases and treatments. 
    • Deadline: 5 March 2020

    Health Services and Delivery Research Programme - Commissioned

    The commissioned workstream invites applications in response to calls for research on specific questions which have been identified and prioritised for their importance to the NHS and patients. Proposals may include primary research, evidence synthesis, or feasibility and pilot studies. See our current funding opportunities or download a list of potential future research topics currently being developed

    NIHR Public Health Research Programme 

    The PHR programme invites applications from researchers whose studies will generate new knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider impacts of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. 

    The researcher-led workstream offers researchers the opportunity to submit proposals on topics or research questions within the programme’s remit.

    Invention for Innovation Programme

    Invention for Innovation (i4i) Connect is aimed at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development of their medical device. The funding stream offeris between £50,000 - £150,000 over a 6-12 month period.

    The primary aim of i4i Connct is to help SMEs get to a point where they can apply for further funding, in particular for a full i4i Product Development Award (PDA) or to support projects at any stage of the translational research and development pathway to further de-risk them for follow on investment.

    • Call 3

      The deadline for this call is 1pm, 11 September 2019
      The i4i team is hosting a live FAQ webinar from 10am to 11pm on Friday 16 August. Find out more.

    Policy Research Programme

    • NIHR: Health Inequalities Research InitiativeDear colleague,

      The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme (PRP) invites applications to undertake health inequalities research to support policy makers in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the following areas:

      • Assessing how to improve existing population wide policies aimed at improving health outcomes so that they so they also reduce health inequalities and/or do not exacerbate
      • Identifying which existing health system interventions that are specifically designed to reduce socio-economic health inequalities are effective and cost-effective
      • Assessing the effectiveness in reducing health inequalities of whole system approaches to improving the health of deprived communities
      • Identifying opportunities and risks presented by advancements in digital technology, and practical measures to ensure such technology does not exacerbate socio-economic health inequalities.

       There is an overarching interest in understanding how to maximise the effectiveness of existing policies so that they can improve the health of the poorest fastest, as well as understanding the reasons why some local areas do well, and some less well, on health inequality measures.

      Projects may draw on a range of methodologies, which may include, but not limited to: documentary analysis, evidence reviews, secondary analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, and primary data collection e.g. qualitative research with stakeholders and users.

      The set budget per project is between £250,000-£750,000

      Proposals undergo a two-stage assessment process. Stage 1 requires completion of an outline proposal submitted by the deadline of 1pm on Tuesday 14th January 2020.

      For further information and to apply, please click here


    Tackling multimorbidity at scale: Understanding disease clusters, determinants & biological pathways

    • Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) research call, jointly funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will bring together multi-disciplinary collaborations with a range of scientific, methodological, and clinical knowledge and skills to build manageable, focussed “Multimorbidity Research Collaboratives”.
    • Multimorbidity is associated with a reduction in quality of life, increased use of health services and reduced life expectancy. As the number of conditions an individual has increases, so does the likelihood of increased healthcare costs. Multimorbidity has suffered scientifically from being seen as a random assortment of diseases, making it difficult to address. However, with new understanding of the impact of various factors (including biological, social, behavioural, environmental and others), multimorbidity can be seen as series of non-random clusters of disease.
    • Two-stream competition to support:  Consolidator grants and Research Collaborative proposals
    • Funding: Up to £1.5 million is available for Consolidator grants. These will be funded for the fixed duration of 6 months; the award amount will be up to £100,000 (RC contribution). Research Collaboratives for 2-4 years (£35M each).
    • Deadline: Closing date stage 1 - 11 February 2020
    • Please inform RIS and SOMRES ( if you are interested in this call.

    Wellcome Trust

    Wellcome Trust – Collaborative Awards in Science

    • Collaborative Awards promote the development of new ideas and speed the pace of discovery. We fund teams of researchers, consisting of independent research groups, to work together on the most important scientific problems that can only be solved through collaborative efforts.
    • Funding: £4M for 5 yrs         
    • Deadline: Preliminary application deadline 21 April 2020 (16 July Full)

    Wellcome Trust - Innovator Awards

    • These awards support researchers who are transforming great ideas into healthcare innovations that could have a significant impact on human health.
    • Funding: Up to £500,000, or up to £750,000 for multidisciplinary collaborations.  24 months, or up to 36 months for multidisciplinary collaborations.
    • Deadline: You can apply online at any time.  Shortlisting meetings happen every three months

    Principal Research Fellowships

    Principal Research Fellowships are the most prestigious of WT’s personal awards and provide long-term funding for researchers of international standing.

    Wellcome Trust - Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowships

    ESRC New Investigator Grants

    New Investigator Grants scheme is specifically aimed at supporting early career researchers looking to make the transition to an independent researcher through managing their first major research project.

    The Economic and Social Research Council invites proposals for its new investigator grants. These support early-career researchers in making the transition to become independent researchers through gaining experience of managing and leading research projects and teams. Proposals may be for standard research projects, surveys and other infrastructure projects and methodological developments.

    Proposals are welcomed across the full disciplinary range of the social science at at the interface with the wider sciences, however social sciences must represent at least 50 per cent of the research focus and effort. Interdisciplinary proposals are welcomed. Proposals must include a programme of research and broader skills development to ensure the applicant’s continued progression towards being an independent researcher.

    Grants are worth £100,000 to £300,000 at full economic cost. ESRC’s contribution for UK applicants is 80 per cent of FEC. Around 30 to 35 grants are anticipated to be available per year.

    Closing Date: No deadline. Proposals can be submitted at any time.

    Further information

    UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

    UK Research and Innovation also invites applications for Future Leaders Fellowships. The Fellowships will grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure a vibrant environment for research and innovation in the UK. The scheme is open to researchers and innovators from across business, universities, and other organisations.

    Further information:
    Application deadline: 30 April 2020

    RCGP Annual Research Grants

    The RCGP Scientific Foundation Board have opened their call for Annual Research Grants. The deadline is 31st July 2019. These are relatively small grants of up to £30,000 but we have had some success with these in the past, particularly from our Academic Fellows.

    The SFB is our charitable funding body and awards grants for research projects whose findings will be of direct relevance to the care of patients in the general practice setting. Any GP, primary healthcare professional or university-based researcher may apply for a grant for scientific research to be undertaken in the UK.

    Applications for PAGs will be reviewed quarterly according to the following calendar:

    • Quarter 2: deadline for submissions 31 May 2020, applications reviewed by 30 June 2020
    • Quarter 3: deadline for submissions 31 August 2020, applications reviewed by 30 September 2020
    • Quarter 4: deadline for submissions 30 November 2020, applications reviewed by 31 December 2020

    A maximum of three applications per quarter will be funded.
    Further information:

    RCGP support for researchers

    The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is supporting researchers to implement academic primary care findings into practice for GPs.

    The Research programme includes:

    • Scientific Foundation Board grants
    • RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship
    • RCGP Research Ready®
    • RCGP Impact from Research
    • Influencing research
    • Research awards

    The new Impact from Research programme offers to partner on research projects and support impact and dissemination through a range of activities.
    Further information:

    Fulbright Awards for UK Citizens

    The US-UK Fulbright Commission provides generous grants to UK citizens for study, research and teaching in the USA, in any subject and at any accredited US higher education institution.

    A wide range of exchange opportunities for UK citizens are offered in the following main categories:

    • Postgraduate Student Awards to pursue a postgraduate degree in the US or to attend a US university as a 'visiting student researcher' in any subject;*
    • Summer Institutes for UK undergraduates to experience the US in a unique summer programme.

    *Please note that the "visiting student researcher" option should be used for applicants who will pursue research projects at a degree granting accredited education institution while currently enrolled in an UK/European Master’s / Doctorate programme. Applicants will be required to engage in an independent full time research project under the supervision of a research advisor at their U.S. host institution.

    In order to apply for a Fulbright award you must be a UK citizen, resident anywhere except the United States. Non-UK citizens are required to apply in their country of citizenship, even if they are resident in the UK.

    Each award has additional specific eligibility criteria. Please review the Selection Criteria tab on each award's page for more information.

    Clinical Innovation Hub - Accelerate projects

    The Clinical Innovation Hub is a partnership between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  The Clinical Innovation Hub is a partner of the Accelerate project, Clinical Innovation Accelerator (CIA). Accelerate is a consortium £24M programme led by the Life Sciences Hub Wales in collaboration with Cardiff University, Swansea University and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.  

    It is funded by the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) and will utilise EU Structural Funds to identify innovation projects that meet an unmet clinical need.

    The awards are open to academia, industry, students and healthcare professionals. Innovations could take the form of new technologies, products, processes or services to deliver economically viable solutions for adoption into routine health and social care delivery, for patient benefit, health economic benefit and to stimulate economic growth with attendant socio-economic benefits in Wales.

    Support that Accelerate can offer:

    • Funding for “Pilot” (6-12 months and <£20K) and “Platform” (12-18 months and < £150K) projects
    • Access to future funding opportunities/initiatives
    • Clinical input - Buy out and attract in kind NHS staff R&D time
    • Human resource - Clinical Innovation fellows, project management, business management, cost benefit analytics and  research technologist assistance
    • Collaborations  - Industry/Academic/Clinical partner
    • Advice & Guidance - A Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) of Clinical Innovation experts, including devices and intellectual property experts
    • Access to leading Welsh University, University Health Boards and Trusts - patients, facilities and personnel
    • Funding /deadlines: Support and awards operate on an always open basis with funding anticipated until 2021 so you can apply at any time.  If you would like further information on submitting a proposal or have an innovative idea that you think would benefit from the advice or support for Cardiff University applicants, please contact Barbara Coles:

    Further information: