UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Major research funders

Below is a list of some of the major funders that are relevant to SLMS researchers, broken down into funder type. Click on each green box to find a list of the relevant funders and a brief description of their broad areas of focus (key schemes are provided for selected funders). 

Funders vary by their remit and their portfolio of fellowship vs project grant schemes. For further information, including scheme details and deadlines, please refer to individual funder websites (links provided in the list below).

UK Government funded bodies
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
    Supports a broad spectrum of research relevant to animal and plant health and productivity, microbiology, biotechnology, human health and new platform technologies applicable for bioscience research. Note: it funds research into normal physiology but does not fund research where the primary aim is to understand human disease-specific processes, and/or develop associated interventions.
    Key schemes: Project grants, David Philips Fellowship (I), Future Leader Fellowships (E).
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
    Supports research relevant to human health and disease from fundamental discovery science in non-clinical, clinical, and population settings, through to development and initial testing of new treatments or preventive measures.
    Key schemes: Project grants, strategic initiatives, [Senior] Clinician Scientist Fellowships (I/S), Career Development Awards (I), Senior Non-Clinical Fellowships (S).
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
    Research for patient benefit including but not only, primary research generating evidence bases, pilot and feasibility studies, randomised controlled trials and both quantitative and qualitative research. Note: NIHR does not fund animal research.
    Key schemes: Funding for research studies, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Career Development Fellowship, Senior Research Fellowship, Research Professorship, Integrated Academic Training for Doctors and Dentists (Clinical Lectureship, Clinician Scientist Award).
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    Physics, chemistry, mathematics, materials, computing, engineering, healthcare technology and built environment.
    Key schemes: Research grants, fellowships (E/I/S).
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
    Multi-disciplinary science and biosocial research bringing together expertise from the biological, medical and social sciences to further our understanding of the complex pathways and mechanisms that shape physical and mental health, social behaviours and outcomes, and genomic, neurological and physiological systems.
    Key schemes: Research grants, New Investigator Grants.
  • British Academy
    Humanities and social sciences.
    Key schemes: Research projects, Small research grants, postdoctoral fellowships, mid-career fellowships, senior research fellowships.
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
    Research for sustaining and benefiting from our natural resources, predicting and responding to natural hazards and understanding environmental change.
  • Department for International Development
    International development (technologies and products). 
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
    Arts and humanities.
  • Innovate UK
    Projects led by business, supporting them to realise the potential of new technologies, develop ideas and make them a commercial success. Is linked to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which aims to bring together the UK's world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.
  • NC3Rs
    Replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing.
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    Research in particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy.
European Commission / Horizon2020
  • European Research Council (ERC) 
    All disciplines with a focus on excellence, innovation, ground-breaking nature, international focus, 'high risk high reward'.
    Key schemes: Advanced Grants, Consolidator Grants, Starting Grants, Synergy Grants.
Charities / charitable trusts / learned societies

General biomedical and applied sciences

  • Wellcome TrustBiomedical research, basic (human and animal health), clinical, translational, proof-of-concept research and development for new healthcare products. It also funds humanities and social science research with a biomedical focus alongside public engagement.
    Key schemes: Investigator Awards, Collaborators Awards, Principlal Research Fellowships (S), Senior Research Fellowships in Basic Biomedical Science (S), Sir Henry Dale Fellowships (I), Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowships (E), Senior Research Fellowship in Clinical Science (S), Clinical Research Career Development Fellowships (E/I).
  • Rosetrees Trust Biomedical science (Note: selective of cancer projects), small grants or part funded fellowships / studentships.
  • Royal Society Natural and applied sciences including engineering. Note: does not fund biomedical research. Key schemes: Research Grants, University Research Fellowship (E)


  • Alzheimer's Research UK Improving our understanding of the cause of different dementias or improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment. Note: social or carer-focussed research is not in remit.
  • Alzheimer's Society Research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of all types of dementia.
  • Arthritis Research UK Research into conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system: joints bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles. This can be in aid of prevention, cure and transforming the lives of those with arthritis.
  • AXA Research Fund Research into understanding and preventing risk.
  • British Heart Foundation Research into the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular disease in regard of causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, it also promotes cardiovascular health.
  • Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Research to provide a greater understanding of cancer biology, prevent and reduce the risk of developing cancer, aid diagnosis, and to make cancer treatments more effective. Basic, clinical, translational and population health research.
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Typically global health issues.
  • Diabetes UK Medical research to improve the lives of people with all types of diabetes.
  • Fight for Sight Research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease.
  • Health Foundation Research into healthcare improvement through practice and policy.
  • Kidney Research UK  Understanding kidney disease, its causes, treatment and management.
  • Leverhulme Trust Arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. NOTE: It does not fund studies of disease, illness and disabilities in humans and animals, or research that is intended to inform clinical practice or the development of medical applications, or policy-driven research where the principal objective is to assemble an evidence base for immediate policy initiatives.
  • MQ: Transforming Mental Health Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness.
  • Nuffield Foundation - Social policy and education.