Academic Toolkit - ACT!

F-12 F-11 F-10 F-9
Pre-PhD preparation
Initial planning
Find a supervisor
Develop your research question
Plan for OOP and inform TPD
Find your collaborators

Investigate funders

Start 1 year before funding application deadline and complete by 9 months before funding application deadline

Identify possible sources of funding. Pay attention to their criteria and funding application deadlines.


Funding can be allocated to you, your supervisor, or your project.

Scour funders' websites line by line to find out what interests them. Read their Annual Reports. Do your ideas line up with their strategy? Have they funded similar things before? When you identify possible sources of funding discuss your ideas with a staff member or advisor early.

Funders' schemes vary considerably, and there are a range of options available. You need to check that what you are applying for meets your needs (in conjunction with your supervisor). Pump-priming money to generate pilot data (typically £5-10,000) could be available from both local and national funders, but project grants and Fellowship funding to sustain you across three years will probably need a national funder such as NIHR, a Research Council (all now part of UK Research and Innovation) or a major charity. Universities particulary like Wellcome and Research Councils as they get extra money from them to cover your costs.

Some direct links to major funders are provided below, but also look at RDinfo for specialty-specific grants and Fellowship opportunities

Clinical Research Training Fellowship External link

An introduction by the MRC

NIHR fellowships External link

The NIHR have revamped their Fellowship scheme; as of October 2018 the various schemes are combined into NIHR Academic Career Development Fellowships.

RCPCH Research Funding Opportunities External link

Wellcome Trust PhD funding link External link

The Wellcome provide funding support for 3 years for clinicians wanting to undertake a PhD

Think about feasibility
Find a mentor
Approvals for clinical projects
Check whether your study is research
F-12 F-11 F-10 F-9

Supported by