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Available research grants
ALL OF OUR 2021 FUNDING STREAMS ARE NOW CLOSED TO APPLICATIONS. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FOR HISTORIC INTEREST ONLY.
Due to the disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we are extending the deadline for the majority of our currently open grant rounds. Please see below for further details.
Please note that the principal applicant and host institution must be based in the UK for the following funding streams.
Collaboration is encouraged, both within and outside the UK, but the grant-holding institution must be based in the UK. Applications involving early-career investigators are also encouraged. Due to timescale restrictions, we will accept letters of intention for collaborations (e.g. with industry partners).
'Women and Asthma’ funding call 2021 – Application deadline extended
Asthma has a disproportionate effect on women. Globally, the incidence of asthma, the frequency of asthma attacks and asthma mortality rates are higher in women than men. Fluctuations in sex hormones are known to contribute to the onset, progression and exacerbation of asthma.
The ambition of the ‘Women and asthma’ funding call is:
- To increase our understanding of how sex hormones regulate asthma, which in turn may lead to the identification of pathways to be targeted by new therapeutic drugs and help to achieve better outcomes for the millions of women affected by asthma.
- To encourage researchers from respiratory and other relevant disciplines (e.g. endocrinology, immunology, epidemiology or data science) to experiment with novel concepts and high-risk projects that have the potential to further our knowledge in the links between sex hormones and asthma.
- To fund the re-analysis of existing datasets by sex to establish new correlations between sex and asthma.
- To invest in an academic leader to drive forward the major research gaps in sex hormones and asthma.
Applications in this round are invited for the following award types:
- Project grants - Up to £300K, for up to 3 years
- Pump-priming grants - Up to £80K, for up to 18 months
- Awards for re-analysis of existing datasets by sex - Up to £100K, for up to 2 years
- Professorial Chair awards - Up to £400K, for up to 5 years
Applications addressing any of the following priority areas in asthma will be favoured:
- Sex hormones and airway inflammation
- Sex hormones and airway structure/function
- Sex hormones and obesity-linked asthma
- Androgens as a potential therapeutic target for asthma
Full details of priority research areas are available under embargo in our report "The (Un)fair Sex". This report is available for interested applicants ONLY to read at this link. Please note, this document must NOT be shared beyond principal and co-applicants.
Key dates for all award types:
We recommend that all potential applicants read the following guidance notes before starting their application: Guidance notes for applicants 'Women and Asthma'
Note: All ‘Women and asthma’ grant types are required to submit a full application only, without a preliminary stage.
'Respiratory’ funding call 2021 – Application deadline extended
Applications in this round are invited for the following award types:
- Professorial Chair awards - Up to £425K, for up to 5 years
- Project grants - Up to 300K, for up to 3 years
- Pump-priming grants - Up to 80K, for up to 18 months
We recommend that all potential applicants read the following guidance notes before starting their application: Guidance notes for applicants 'Respiratory'
All applications should be made via the AUK-BLF Flexi-Grant portal, where applicants will require an AUK-BLF Flexi-Grant account. Please register here if you do not have an existing account with us.
'Mesothelioma research grants, supported by catalina’ funding call 2021 – Application deadline extended
Applications are invited for support of research into mesothelioma, supported by Catalina Services UK Limited. Grants are available either to medically qualified applicants, post-doctoral scientists or allied health professionals for clinical, laboratory and/or epidemiological research where appropriate.
The following grants are available:
- Clinical Trial Award. Funding is available to support trials of new/existing molecules (either molecules that are not yet licenced for any indication or those that are already licenced for use in other indications). Grants are for a specified period of up to four years to a maximum of £500,000 per award. Full application deadline: 10th March 2022.
- Project Grant for research into improved early diagnosis. Grants are for a specified period of up to three years to a maximum of £400,000 per award. Full application deadline: 10th March 2022.
- Pump Priming Grant for research into improved early diagnosis. Grants are for a specified period of up to 18 months to a maximum of £40,000 per award. Full application deadline: 10th March 2022.
Please note: Applicants are no longer required to complete a preliminary stage proposal for the Mesothelioma clinical trial and project grants and should submit a full application by the new deadline. We will be updating the Flexi-Grant system soon and will be corresponding with all applicants who have already started a preliminary proposal.
We recommend that all potential applicants read the following guidance notes before starting their application: Guidance notes for applicants: 'Mesothelioma'
Grant review process
We want the money we give to research to have the biggest possible impact and therefore, we have a rigorous system to decide who receives our funding. As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, we follow their guidelines for best practice in peer-review, where grants are awarded based on principles of accountability, balance, independent-decision making, rotation of scientific advisers and impartiality.
Asthma UK offers numerous types of awards at any one time, the majority of which operate under a response mode grant funding system. This means we ask applicants to come up with their own research ideas and put them forward as funding applications. Ideas must fall within our remit and meet the specific terms of an individual funding stream. We may also offer funding to tackle specific research questions or topics of interest to us.
Research Review Panel:
All funding recommendations are made by our Research Review Panel (RRP), which consist of core members, in addition to those with specific expertise recruited for certain funding streams. Current RRP membership is:
Professor Edwin Chilvers (Chair – Imperial College London)
Professor Chris Griffiths (Vice-chair - University of London)
Professor Clare Lloyd (Imperial College London)
Dr Najib Rahman (University of Oxford)
Dr Shona Fielding (Frontier Science/University of Aberdeen)
Dr David Leather (GlaxoSmithKline)
Phil Taverner (Patient Representative)
Lizzi Stephens (Patient Representative)
Professor Gisli Jenkins (Imperial College London)
Professor Louise Wain (University of Leicester)
Professor Tom Wilkinson (University of Southampton)
Professor Elizabeth Sapey (University of Birmingham)
Professor Wisla Wedzicha (Imperial College London)
Professor Clare Murray (University of Manchester)
Dr Louise Fleming (Imperial College London)
Pepe Gonzales Nieto (Patient Representative)
Professor Marion Macfarlane (MRC Toxicology Unit)
Professor Daniel Murphy (University of Glasgow)
Professor Stefan Marciniak (University of Cambridge)
Dr Sarah Martin (Queen Mary University of London)
Dr Alastair Greystroke (University of Newcastle)
Women and Asthma members
Professor Dawn Newcomb (Vanderbilt University)
Dr Apostolos Bossios (Karolinska Instituet)
Dr Jean-Charles Guery (University Toulouse)
Dr Furkan Burak (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Roberta Hobbs (Patient Representative)
Review of applications:
The review process undertaken for our grants is dictated by the type of award and its value. The majority of our grants are reviewed in a two-stage process:
- Submission of preliminary applications, which are shortlisted by our RRP and successful applicants are invited to the full application stage.
- External peer-review of full applications. This involves requesting leading respiratory experts from all over the world to submit a written review of the application.
- Discussion and scoring of full applications in the review meeting, where RRP members are allocated specific proposals based on their area of expertise. The scoring is used to rank the applications, with those with the highest scores and falling within the available budget recommended for funding.
- Annual budgets are approved in advance by our Board of Trustees and funding recommendations are subsequently ratified by our delegated representatives (CEO and the Director of Research and Innovation).
The review process for each of our award types is summarised in the table below:
In addition to scientific reviewers, non-scientific patient representatives (lay reviewers) are always included within our RRP.
Lay reviewers assess applications in order to determine whether the research is relevant to patients, and includes appropriate patient and public involvement, rather than the scientific integrity, which is the remit of scientific reviewers. It is therefore important that the lay summary is written in plain English and provides enough information for lay reviewers to make informed decisions.
Conflicts of interest:
Members of our RRP and all external peer-reviewers are required to declare any conflicts of interest before being granted access to application documents. Conflicted individuals are not permitted to contribute to the assessment or discussion of relevant applications. Further detail can be found in our Conflicts of Interest Policy.