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7. Research Funding Opportunities

Working in a healthcare setting can provide the experience and knowledge needed to explore and develop research ideas that will improve patient care and treatment. Asking and exploring simple questions on how to do things differently can be the beginning of a research idea.

Once you have a topic in mind, seed-corn funding is a good way to gather a small amount of money to get your research off the ground. These schemes will provide funds to cover the cost of equipment, consumables or travel costs and subsistence for essential field research. Local Research and Development departments usually have small amounts of money to fund small feasibility studies, or you can apply for the SVT grant that is provided every year. Smaller scale research studies can often be the pre-cursor to larger scale fellowships and larger national studies that are usually more personal awards. More information can be found on these awards in episode 4 and 5 of the research webinar series: Research Webinar Series - Recordings | The Society for Vascular Technology (

A brief description of some of the awards available within the UK are provided below.


The CSVS offers a writing grant and a research grant. The writing grant will be a maximum of £500 which will allow departments to backfill staff for a temporary period, or otherwise free members from clinical duties, enabling them to have the 'space' to formulate and write a research grant application. The SVT research grant will enable Vascular Scientists to conduct small-scale studies such as pilot or feasibility studies, with the hope that larger grants will be applied for at a later date. There is a total of £10,000 available per year, with a maximum of £4,000 per award. The grant window is currently open and is due to close end of May 2024: Ben Warner-Michel is a previous grant award holder and has summarised below the key bits of information that is needed to complete an application,

"The application process is relatively straightforward and involves collating all the necessary study information into the Grant application form and sending to the SVTGBI during the Grant application window. There is also a £250 grant for travel and/or education which can be applied for. The application form is self-explanatory and simple to complete, and requires the following information: · Applicant and co-applicant details (title, name, project role, institution, current position, relevant qualifications) · Grant applied for (Research / Innovation Award and/or Travel / Education Grant) · Study details (project title, scientific and lay abstracts, key words, previous funding applications) · Methods and materials (intended study participants, sample types, ethics approval, total patent number, trial type, total NHS costs, MHRA approval, use of animals) · Summary of costs (to be submitted as a separate spreadsheet) · Full description of project (to be submitted as a separate document – project aims, study background and preliminary data, experimental design and study protocol, collaborators, project timeline, relevant references, justification of funding request) · External reviewers (if desired) There is an application checklist available with the application form, use this to ensure that everything is included with the submission!

Once the application has been received, it will be reviewed by the SVTGBI Research Committee following the application deadline, and grant winners will be announced within 3 months period."

Ben Warner-Michel Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


The NIHR offers £1 billion each year to research projects Proposals must be within the remit of one of the participating NIHR research programmes and topic areas, and the primary outcomes must be health related, this includes:

· Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation

· Evidence Synthesis

· Research for Patient Benefit

· Health Technology Assessment

· Public Health Research

The Research for patient benefit (RfPB) funding opportunities fund research on a wide range of areas within health services and social care. Support both qualitative and quantitative research with a clear trajectory to patient/service user benefit. 1250 awards have been given to date totalling £270 million, with three funding opportunities per year.

There are regular Funding Opportunities within these topic areas that open and close on specific dates. For instance, the 24/4 NIHR James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership Rolling Call (HTA Programme) is a funding opportunity which addresses the research priorities identified by the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership. It closes on 1st of May 2024, but there will be similar awards and opportunities to apply for in the future.

The NIHR Academy programmes

The NIHR also offers health and care researchers personal awards in academic training, career development and research capacity development. Different schemes are designed to help researchers at different stages of their careers. Applicants must have the support of the English health provider and an English university. A Doctoral clinical and practitioner academic fellowship (DCAF) is open to all clinical professionals (excluding doctors and dentists).

Need help funding your research or tips on making your application? Follow this link for some useful information!

Stroke Association

The Stroke Association offer postgraduate fellowships and clinical academic postgraduate fellowships which are aimed at the stroke research leaders of the future. The postgraduate fellowship is for candidates who do not have a clinical background and will give them the opportunity to obtain a MPhil or PhD. Postgraduate fellowships are intended to provide the necessary skills and training for the development of an independent career in stroke research. The clinical academic postgraduate fellowship is for candidates working within a clinical setting and aim to bridge the gap between research and practise. This fellowship aims to provide the skills and training required to support an

independent career in stroke research whilst maintaining clinical practise. Further details on the remit of the awards and the eligibility requirements can be found at Postgraduate Fellowship and Clinical-Academic Postgraduate Fellowships 2023-24 | Stroke Association


The BMUS Research and Innovation Grant offers funding up to a maximum of £10,000 per annum to embrace any initiative that furthers the aims of BMUS. Grants are to fund ultrasound based education, studies or research projects which align with the following:

· To guide ultrasound practitioners in maintaining high standards of professional clinical ultrasound practice

· For the advancement of scientific and clinical medical ultrasound research and technology

· For leadership in medical ultrasound education and training, including provision of advice and information to the public. Must be a BMUS member for at least 1 year. BMUS Research & Innovation Grant | BMUS

UK Research and Innovation / MRC

The UKRI is the national funding agency that supports science and research in the UK. The council for health research is the Medical Research Council (MRC) that focuses on improving health of people in the UK and the word. The MRC funds research at the forefront of science to prevent illness, develop therapies and improve human health. There are a range of grants, calls, studentships, and fellowships. More information can be found at: Medical Research Council (MRC) – UKRI.

There are many more national (e.g. The Health and Care Research Wales, Homepage | Health Care Research Wales ( and local funding opportunities. Get in touch with your local R&D department who will be able to advise you on the most appropriate funding body for your study. Good luck.


Written by: Emily Morgan (University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff)

Edited by: Osian Llwyd (Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford)