The 2021 application window is now closed.
Dates and timeframes
When can I apply for funding?
Online applications for the 2021 grant round are now closed.
When will the grant winners be announced?
Both successful and unsuccessful applicants are usually informed by the end of July.
When will the money be available?
Grant money will be available from September of the year that the funds are awarded.
How long will the money be available for?
The total funding awarded is available over a period of three years.
Who can apply?
Are the grants available to non-BMA members?
Yes, some of our grants are open to research scientists and non-member doctors. The rest of the grants are open to BMA members only.
Please check the terms and conditions of the individual grants.
Can more than one person apply for a grant?
Yes. The maximum number of applicants for a joint application is two. Any other individuals involved in the research project can be listed on the 'further applicant details' tab of the online application form.
Can I submit a hard copy of my application form?
No. Applications must be submitted via the BMA Foundation online application system.
What will I need to apply online?
As part of the application process, applicants will be required to upload four attachments in PDF format.
- A signed letter from the organisation for where the research will be undertaken, stating permission to carry out the proposed research
- A detailed research project proposal (Max 2,500 words, excluding references). The proposal should be set out under the following headings:
- Summary of research project
- Introduction (including the scientific background to the research question)
- Aims and objectives
- Project design
- Subjects (including justification for sample size)
- Research methods
- Data analysis
- Potential of research for patient care
- Two signed references per applicant
- Ethical approval (see below)
Do I need ethical approval in place to apply?
In the application system you will be asked to select one of the following four options:
a) I am attaching a PDF copy of the letter of approval from my Ethics Committee
b) I am awaiting ethical approval
c) I am attaching a PDF of a signed statement from the project supervisor/head of department confirming that ethical approval is not necessary
d) I am attaching a PDF of a signed statement from the project supervisor/head of department confirming that the ethics committee (LREC or MREC) will not accept applications for review until funding is in place
Can an individual apply for more than one grant?
Yes. If an applicant is applying for more than one grant they will need to complete an application online for each grant that they are applying for.
Can a project supervisor or head of department act as a referee?
Do the grants offered by the BMA Foundation have National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) partnership status?
All the grants offered by the BMA Foundation have NIHR partnership status. Successful applicants will be eligible for NHS infrastructure support and NHS service support costs. For more information please see the NIHR website.
Where can I find information on the research topics of past winners?
Take a look at last year's winners for information about their projects.
Scope of funding
Can the grants cover tuition costs for medical education, postgraduate education or post doctoral education?
No. The grants are only available to support research, which is either in progress or proposed and are not available for funding of postgraduate education involving 'taught' programmes (eg Masters courses). Find out more about alternative sources of funding.
Would the grants provide funding for overseas education or training?
No. The grants are not available for this purpose. You should contact your Royal College for information on other organisations that may be able to assist you. There is also the Directory of Grant Making Trusts and Grants Register, which should be available in any good reference library including the BMA's own library. Find out more about alternative sources of funding.
Would the grants cover the cost of attending a conference overseas?
No. The BMA research grants are only available to support research, which is either in progress or proposed, and do not provide funding solely for travel or accommodation expenses.
Would the grants provide funding for a research project to be carried out outside the UK?
Yes. Some of the grants are available for research outside the UK. Please check the terms and conditions of the individual grants for eligibility criteria.
Would the grants cover the cost of computer hardware?
No. The purchase of computer hardware cannot be funded by the grant. Software will be covered as part of expenses or equipment. Please check the terms and conditions of the individual grants for further details.
Will the grants cover salary costs?
Yes. The grants can cover salary costs.
The BMA Foundation grants are assessed by independent expert assessors. In judging the applications, assessors are asked to consider the following points and therefore you may wish to specifically address these in your application.
- Will the project provide new insight into the problem?
- Would the project be valuable in confirming the results of existing studies?
Importance (clinical or otherwise) of the work
- Is the project area already receiving much attention; i.e. is further support warranted?
- Will the project contribute to furtherance of knowledge in the field?
- Will the project be of ultimate benefit to patient care?
Scientific reliability - project design and methods
- Is the project well designed?
- Are the methods outlined appropriate to achieve the objective?
- Is the sample size justified; ie not too small to answer the question, or too large, wasting resources?
- Is the use of controls appropriate?
- Are supporting references up-to-date and relevant?
- Is the proposed data analysis described?
- Will the project be statistically sound; ie have the requirements for statistical analysis been considered in advance?
Experience of applicant, facilities and support
- Is the applicant sufficiently experienced and qualified to carry out the study?
- Is the applicant’s department, work setting or level of supervision of a high enough calibre to support the project adequately?
Appropriate use of funds
- Will the supplies or services for which funding is requested, provide a valuable contribution to the project? Is the funding requested appropriate for the supplies or services detailed; i.e. has the applicant given an accurate quotation or realistic estimates?
- Is completion of the project dependent on the applicant securing funds from other sources? Preference will be given to projects for which completion is not dependent on the applicant subsequently obtaining additional funding from other sources.
- Would funding for this project be available from non-voluntary sources?
The BMA Foundation for Medical Research grants are not available for the funding of:
- undergraduate education
- postgraduate education involving 'taught' programmes (eg Masters courses)
- overseas education or training
- solely for travel or accommodation expenses
- the purchase of computer hardware
The BMA Foundation grants will also only fund the direct research costs of the research project and is not available for any overheads, estates costs or indirect costs.
BMA Foundation for Medical Research
For more information, please get in touch:
Corporate development, British Medical Association, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Tel: 0207 383 6341
Email the team: firstname.lastname@example.org