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Multi-million pound Asthma Health Technology Fund



NIHR, EPSRC and Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation have come together to launch a multi-million pound fund to support the development and adoption of asthma health technologies. This fund has been designed to support innovation from concept stage through to scaling in the NHS.

Vision of the fund: 

We see health technology as a scalable and effective solution to some of the greatest areas of unmet need in asthma which affects 5.4m people in the UK alone. The intention of this Fund is to support the development and adoption of scalable, user-centred and evidence-based tools for the diagnosis, monitoring or management of asthma.

Two funding streams:

The Fund will support innovation from the concept stage through to scaling in the NHS in the UK. It is split into two concurrent streams:

Multi-disciplinary collaborations:

We know that great innovation comes from the coming together of different disciplines. In addition to people already working in respiratory, we would also like to encourage applications from:

  • Non-respiratory academics with an interest in health technology (e.g. software and hardware engineering, data science, behavioural science or perhaps other condition areas where health technology is more advanced/widely adopted)
  • SMEs with existing technology that can be applied to asthma

Asthma UK is delighted to offer a matchmaking service to help you build your ideal team. If you need any support in finding new partners for your application, please email us at

If you missed our pre-launch event or would like to watch it again, you can catch up now.

For more information and details on how to apply, please visit our partner sites:

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at


British Lung Foundation - Available research grants


Travel awards

Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation offer travel awards to the European Respiratory Society Conference and the International Mesothelioma Interest Group Meeting. These travel awards are available to early-career clinical and/or non-clinical researchers and contribute towards the costs of registration, accommodation and travel to assist in the attendance of these important meetings.

Early career researchers are defined as within 10 years of receiving their PhD. Allowances can be made for career breaks. If working in a field where a PhD is not a pre-requisite for research activity, non-PhD holders with research experience equivalent to a PhD holder are eligible."


European Respiratory Society conference

These awards of up to £200 each are designed to enable early-career clinical and non-clinical researchers working in the respiratory field in the UK to participate in the Congress being held 5–8 September 2021. Awards will reimburse the costs of conference registration only. Candidates must be actively involved in research and be the presenting author of an abstract accepted for presentation at the ERS International Congress 2021.


Application Deadline: 12noon, Monday 2 August 2021


We operate a paperless grants application system through the Flexi-Grant platform. To make an application and read the full guidelines for our research grants, please visit our Flexi-Grant portal and the BLF website.


Funding decisions will be finalised in late August 2021


We will also soon announce their latest round of grants to support research into mesothelioma and pulmonary fibrosis. Full details are available at the BLF website.


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:


Core Members

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)


Mesothelioma members

Professor Marion Macfarlane (MRC Toxicology Unit)

Professor Daniel Murphy (University of Glasgow)

Dr Katie Finegan (University of Manchester)

Professor Stefan Marciniak (University of Cambridge)

Professor Karen Brown (University of Leicester)


Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis members

Professor Gisli Jenkins (University of Nottingham/Imperial College London)

Professor Louise Wain (University of Leicester)

Professor Donna Davies (University of Southampton)

Dr Nik Hirani (University of Edinburgh)

Dr Manuela Plate (University College London)


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:

  1. Submission of preliminary applications, which are shortlisted by our RRP and successful applicants are invited to the full application stage.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:



Lay review:

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.

Read more about more grants and funding

Guidance on writing your grant application

Find out what you need to know as a research grant holder with us

Find out more about the types of opportunities we fund