Funding Opportunities

A collation of funding opportunities relating to primary and emergency care research are listed below.

The Health and Care Research Wales website also includes a comprehensive list of funding opportunities at: https://healthandcareresearchwales.org/researchers/funding-opportunities

Three new funding calls are live

Health and Care Research Wales is pleased to announce that new calls under the following schemes are now open:

The RfPPB and HRG calls will again have a two-stage application process. Stage 1 applications will only need to provide a summary of the project and the case for prioritisation, and will be assessed on the research need and importance of the research question. For both these calls the closing date for Stage 1 applications is 27 October 2020. Following assessment, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full/Stage 2 application which will be assessed on the quality and likely impact of the science and value for money.

While both calls are ‘researcher-led’ and accept applications on a wide range of topics, as usual Health and Care Research Wales has set priority areas reflecting issues of current importance. For the 2020-21 calls, we would particularly welcome applications addressing:

  • the impact of COVID-19 on non-COVID health and care service provision;
  • learning from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applied to other conditions or the organisation and delivery of non-COVID health and social care services.

The Social Care Research Fellowship call will continue to run as a one-stage application process. The scheme offers full-time (over 3 years) or part-time (over 4 or 5 years) post-doctoral fellowship awards to talented researchers with 60 months or less research experience since achieving their PhD. The closing date for applications is 8 December 2020.

All social care projects meeting the Health and Care Research Wales guidance document ‘What Is Social Care Research?' are within the general remit of the scheme. Applications addressing the areas set out in our social care research priority areas brief are particularly welcome. These are:

  • Children who are looked after, and reducing the need for children to be in care;
  • People with dementia;
  • Care and support at home.

For the 2020-21 call, this core brief has been further expanded to incorporate social care data research, and the COVID-19 topics set out above.

The remit and eligibility requirements of each these schemes can be found on the funding schemes page.

Coming soon: New call for NHS Research Time Award applications

Health and Care Research Wales is pleased to announce that the 2021 round of NHS Research Time Awards will open on 13 September 2021.

The scheme is open to staff in NHS Wales, or staff contracted to NHS Wales (such as doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and clinical scientists) in primary, secondary or community care or public health.

Top tips for winning research funding

PRIME Associate Director, Professor Helen Snooks has produced this helpful reference guide for researchers: 'Top tips for winning research funding' and is available to view in PDF.

Population and systems medicine research: Jan 2022

The Population and Systems Medicine Board funds research to unlock the complexity of human health and disease across the life course.

Our remit includes population health and the impact of environmental factors including the social environment on health outcomes.

The research we support includes the physiology and pathophysiology of all the major organs and systems, with the exception of the brain and the immune system which are normally supported through our other research boards.

Research we fund includes, but is not limited to, the following areas:

  • cardiovascular
  • respiratory
  • musculoskeletal
  • gastroenterology
  • renal medicine and liver function
  • endocrinology and reproductive health
  • maternal health and the early origins of health and disease
  • nutrition, metabolic regulation, diabetes and obesity
  • trauma, acute medicine and surgery
  • inflammation in relation to disease processes and the resolution of the inflammatory response
  • medical sociology
  • lifestyle, socio-economic and behavioural impacts on health
  • health inequalities
  • population and disease related cohorts.

Find out more about the science areas we support and our current board opportunity areas.

Closing date: 13 January 2022

Further information: https://www.ukri.org/opportunity/population-and-systems-medicine-research-jan-2022


UK Research and Innovation funding opportunities

Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice

The Commonwealth Fund's Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice for 2022-23 provide a unique leadership development opportunity for mid-career research professionals who are committed to advancing healthcare policy and practice.

Co-funded in the UK by the NIHR and The Health Foundation, the Harkness Fellowships funds successful applicants to spend a year in the United States (US) conducting internationally comparative research with mentorship from leading US experts.

The Harkness Fellowships was first offered in 1925 and provides dedicated research funding to allow Fellows to:

  • gain an in-depth understanding of the US healthcare system and policy landscape
  • engage in a series of leadership development activities
  • build a robust network for cross-national exchange and collaboration

Successful applicants will also become a member of the NIHR Academy - a community that provides access to events, networking, leadership development and online training.

Further information: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/harkness-fellowships-in-health-care-policy-and-practice/28020

Community-based COVID-19 platform study for novel antivirals

The NIHR is intending to open a funding call on behalf of the DHSC Antivirals Taskforce, for a team to set up and run a community-based clinical trial platform for novel therapeutic candidates in the UK.

The Taskforce was set up to find effective and safe treatments for COVID-19, and will identify and prioritise potential candidates for this study. The study team will be expected to quickly set up a clinical trial platform to evaluate these novel candidates, and start recruiting patients into the platform in Autumn 2021.

The likely advert date for this topic is 19 July 2021. However, please note this is an indicative date, which may change. The commissioning brief, published when the call opens, will provide further details of the specification of this call. If you would like notification of when NIHR calls go live, please sign up to receive our Funding and Support Bulletin.

Due to the urgency of this work and the requirement to start recruiting in the Autumn, the call is likely to be open for a short period of time. The applications will follow a one-stage review process, with applicants submitting a stage 2 application for consideration by the funding committee. A Word version of the standard stage 2 application form (.DOC - Word) is available for reference.

Further information: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/community-based-covid-19-platform-study-for-novel-antivirals/28142

New funding call: 

Health Determinants Research Collaborations

The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme is trailing this funding opportunity.

The likely advert date for expressions of interest, is 1 September 2021. However, please note this is an indicative date, which may change.

Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) are new elements of NIHR-funded research infrastructure based in local government. The purpose of an HDRC is to enable its host local authority (LA) to become more research-active, using evidence to inform its decision making and undertaking research and evaluation relating to its activities.

HDRCs are a UK-wide initiative; they are not limited to England only. In this context, the term local authority is used to include all equivalent structures across the UK. Potential advert date: 01 September 2021.

Further information: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/health-determinants-research-collaborations/27855

Expression of interest: emergency route for time-critical COVID-19 research

Apply for funding to support short term time-sensitive collection of data or samples or rapid turn-around research or analysis to either:

  • inform urgent policy or national decision making
  • secure data for future research use.

All activities funded through this route must not overlap with UKRI’s portfolio of funded research.

Maximum award: £80,000
Closing date: Open - no closing date

Find out more here.

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: https://sites.google.com/view/stfccancerdiagnosis/home/funding-opportunities?authuser=0

Welsh Government & Health and Care Research Wales


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: 5 March 2021

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: TBC

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: 27 October 2020 (stage 1)

Research for patient and public benefit scheme (RfPPB) - Opens September 2021

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: 21 October 2021

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.

https://www.healthandcareresearch.gov.wales/phd-health-studentship/

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

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.

How do I submit a big idea?

By completing the form below and submitting it to bigideas@mrc.ukri.org. Forms can be submitted at any time.

Submissions meeting the criteria for the Big Ideas pilot will be considered by the MRC’s internal Science Strategy Group (SSG) in the first instance. 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.

Submission template (DOCX, 27KB)

Who can submit a Big Idea?

We are inviting ideas from the research and innovation community and wider stakeholders including industry or charitable bodies.  We would recommend that you discuss your idea with a group of interested parties/stakeholders before submission.

How will the big ideas be used?

Ideas identified as having transformative potential will be considered as a part of MRC’s strategy development activities and may contribute to the development of cases to attract further investment.

Please note, that once an idea has been submitted you are giving MRC permission to develop the idea as it sees appropriate. If prioritised, this is likely to include further development with the submitter and may include inviting other people to be involved and/or lead the development of the idea.

Further information: https://mrc.ukri.org/research/strategy/#Big%20Ideas


MRC New Investigator Research Grant

The New Investigator Research Grant (NIRG) is aimed at researchers who are capable of becoming independent Principal Investigators and who are now ready to take the next step towards that goal. You can apply across all areas of the MRC’s remit.

Applicants are expected to combine time spent on the NIRG with a portfolio of other activities, such as time spent on other research grants or clinical duties, teaching, administration duties, or other time spent in faculty (this list is not exhaustive). As such, applicants are normally expected to request up to, but no more than, 50% of their contracted working time on the NIRG.

A NIRG is normally of three years duration and is not renewable. Exceptionally, applications for a longer period of time may be accepted if the case supporting the transition to independence and scientific rationale is sufficiently justified. NIRGs do not normally last for less than three years as it is unlikely a shorter period of time will fully enable the transition to independence to be achieved.

The scheme does not cover research involving trials of clinical treatments. If your proposed research will lead directly to a separately funded clinical trial, you must contact an MRC programme manager to discuss your eligibility.

Who can apply?

To be considered suitable for the scheme, applicants should be able to clearly demonstrate that their skills and experience at the time of their application match those of the transition to independence career stage, as set out in the Applicant skills and experience table. Eligible applicants also need to provide a clear rationale of why a NIRG will best support their long term career goals and chosen career route, see Supporting Key Career Stages.

Applicants who have already achieved independence, usually evidenced by substantial grant income as a Principal Investigator and / or having already established their own research group, are not eligible.

There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience. The minimum formal qualification required is a graduate degree. Most applicants are also expected to have a PhD or an MD. Applicants can hold a lecturer appointment, a junior fellowship, or be in another research staff position. Applicants who hold, or have held early career training fellowships, such as MRC skills development fellowships, are eligible to apply. If you are unsure whether your current funding or position makes you ineligible, please contact the subject-relevant MRC programme manager.

Application deadline dates

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: https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/how-we-fund-research/new-investigator-research-grant/

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. Spring grounds round is now open, and closes at 5pm on 29 May. 

Further information: https://rcnfoundation.rcn.org.uk/apply-for-funding/educational-grants

NIHR funding opportunities

You can find all the links to the funding opportunities below on the Health and Care Research Wales website.

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme (NIHR and MRC partnership)
21/543 Efficacy trials in regenerative medicine
21/544 Mechanisms of action of health interventions (pilot call of expanded remit)
21/545 Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme researcher-led
21/546 NIHR NICE rolling call (EME Programme)

Policy Research Programme (PRP)
A qualitative study to understand the engagement, access, referral, and experiences of people with depression who might benefit from weight management services
Evaluation of the Nursing 50k Programme
Evaluation of alcohol-free and low-alcohol availability
Understanding the economic case for domiciliary care
Evaluation of the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme
21/532 Intensive Interaction for children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
21/534 Surgical management of successfully reduced incarcerated inguinal hernia in children
21/535 Follow-up strategy after radical treatment for prostate cancer
21/536 Sodium bicarbonate in neonatal care
21/537 Neuroendoscopic lavage for preterm babies with post-haemorrhagic ventricular dilatation
21/538 Benefits and harms of reduced dose oral isotretinoin in the management of acne vulgaris
21/539 Benefits and harms of maintenance therapy for refractory acne vulgaris or previous relapses by reduced dose isotretinoin regimens
21/540 Pharmacological treatments for low back pain or sciatica
21/541 Medication support interventions and strategies for people with learning disabilities
21/542 Medication to manage sexual preoccupation in sex offenders
21/554 Health Technology Assessment Programme Researcher-led (primary research)
21/555 Health Technology Assessment Programme Researcher-led (evidence synthesis)
21/556 NIHR NICE Rolling Call - (HTA Programme)

Policy Research Programme
Liaison and diversion services for children and young people    
Access assessments for admission to adult medium and low secure services

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme
Competition 46

Research for Social Care
Research for Social Care dementia call

Public Health Research (PHR) Programme
NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRC)

Wellcome Trust

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
  • https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/schemes/innovator-awards

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.

Royal College of General Practitioners

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: www.rcgp.org.uk/research

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 informationhttps://esrc.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/new-investigator-grants/

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: colesb2@cf.ac.uk

Further information: