Apply for funding

You can check to see if we are open to applications here, as well as find detailed guidance on how to do so and other information such as success rates from previously advertised schemes in our FAQs. Our calls for applications are organised around focused themes so please do check our latest detailed call guidance.

We know that there’s a huge amount to do, so we need to prioritise.  We will be focusing on some key themes for support for our current plan period (2020-2025) and will be making periodic detailed calls for proposals focused on one or more of these themes. We hope that this will provide greater clarity for applicants and improve our ability to apply sufficient resources to make practical impact.  The call information will detail the available funding mechanisms (e.g. project grants, studentships, fellowships).

You can also check the DMT Academy Jobs and Studentships Board for studentship, fellowship and other research vacancies offered by our award-holders and the UK Ageing Research Funders’ Forum (UKARFF) news page for announcements about ageing-related research funding opportunities from other funders.

Open calls and deadlines

We publish our invitations to apply for funding here. Please do check our invitations and deadlines carefully. You can find the answers to frequently asked questions below. Please note that we also leave details of calls where the deadline for application has passed here so that you can check the timetable for decision and award.

Pre-announcement: British Geriatrics Society / Dunhill Medical Trust Joint Doctoral Training Fellowship

If your browser doesn’t open the dropdown boxes below, you can still read a PDF of the information here.

The Dunhill Medical Trust (DMT) has again partnered with the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) to co-fund one Doctoral Training Fellowship to support front-line health professionals with an interest in developing a career in ageing-related research.

The focus of your proposed research must be aligned to understanding and treating age-related diseases and frailty, and/or improving the health and social care of older people, with an emphasis on projects that address one or more of the priority research themes highlighted on page 15 of the DMT’s 2020-25 strategic framework. We are particularly interested in research with the potential to improve the health and social care of older people within 5 years of the end of the grant.

Please note that projects with a specific focus on cancer will not be eligible for funding.

The Fellowship is intended to be flexible and may be undertaken on either a full-time or part-time basis. Full-time Fellowships will be awarded for a maximum period of 3 years, whereas part-time Fellowships can be awarded for a maximum of 6 years.

The scheme is open to all front-line healthcare professionals working with older people, including allied health professionals, doctors and nurses.

The successful candidate will need to become a member of the BGS – if not already a member – for the duration of the Fellowship as a condition of award*. We encourage all those working in the field of older people’s care and ageing-related research to consider joining the BGS.

* For membership queries please contact the British Geriatrics Society via [email protected]

Applicants can apply for up to £300,000. We welcome applications that can be part funded by the host institution either financially* or in-kind through the provision of services, facilities and/or tuition fee waiver. The award will be expected to cover:

  • an individual’s salary (at the appropriate grade on the relevant pay scale), plus on-costs
  • tuition fees for a PhD
  • an additional amount to cover consumables, training, travel costs to present their work etc.

Full details on eligible costs will be included in the call guidelines, but for now you may find it helpful to read the “What costs will you cover?” section of our general Funding FAQs.

* This may be internal university funds or funding from industry or other trusts, foundations or charities etc.

  • Call open to applications – Mid-December 2023
  • Deadline for submission of applications – Mid-March 2024
  • Peer and Panel review and shortlisting – April-September 2024
  • Interviews for shortlisted candidates – September 2024 (exact date to be confirmed)
  • Ratification of the Panel’s funding recommendation at DMT Research Grants Committee meeting – Mid-October 2024
  • Shortlisted candidates notified of the outcome of their application – Mid-November 2024

Please note that this timetable may be subject to some changes prior to the publication of the finalised call guidelines.

Full details will be provided in the call guidelines, which will be available once the call opens.

Before applying, prospective applicants should complete the general eligibility quiz on our website. The Dunhill Medical Trust Terms and Conditions for Research Grants will also apply and please ensure you have read our general Funding FAQs.

To subscribe to receive news and updates from us, please add your details to the ‘Join our community’ section of our “Contact us” page. You can also follow us on Twitter / X.

If you have any queries relating to the call, please feel free to email us at [email protected] 

Dunhill Medical Trust Academy Excellence Awards

Once you’ve read the award guidelines, you can start your nomination on our Grants Management Portal.

In March 2023 we launched the Dunhill Medical Trust Academy, an inclusive network of researchers and community organisations interested in ageing-related research and evidence-informed practice. Our key aims for the Academy include celebrating achievement and ambition in ageing-related research, as well as encouraging the key principles that we wish to be upheld in the work we support and in the research community more widely.

We are therefore delighted to launch the Excellence Awards, which are open to members of the Academy who are academic and/or clinical researchers focusing on ageing-related research and have demonstrated excellence in, and a commitment to, our research principles.

This first round of the Excellence Awards, to be awarded in 2024, will be made in memory of Professor Stuart Parker, who was a member of our Board of Trustees and Research Grants Committee, as well as a great advocate for the use of the “gerontological lens” in research.

Members of the Dunhill Medical Trust Academy may self-nominate or nominate another member, and explain in the nomination form how they have demonstrated research excellence and a genuine commitment to our key principles for research. The deadline for nominations is 5pm on 3rd November 2023.

Two awards of £40k per year for three years (£120k in total per award) will be made to:

  • One early to mid-career “rising star” in ageing related research.
  • One senior leader in ageing-related research.

The awards are intended to be flexible and can be used to support ageing-related research activities and/or career development – some examples of how the funds can be used are provided in Section 2.3 of the award guidelines.

If successful, award-holders will be invited to attend and speak at the formal announcement of the award at the Trust’s 2024 Annual Lectures event. Award-holders will also be expected to participate, from time to time, in Academy training or other activities, for example panel review within their areas of expertise. Full details of the nomination process and timeline are provided in Section 3 of the award guidelines.

More details about the awards are provided on the “Members-only content and awards” page of the Academy. For more information on becoming an Academy member, please visit the “Apply to join” page.

More information about the awards, including on how to submit a nomination, is provided on the “Members-only content and awards” page of the Dunhill Medical Trust Academy.

If you have any queries related to the Academy, please contact [email protected].

For any queries regarding the nomination process and awards, please contact [email protected].

Addressing age-related issues of hearing and/or vision through healthcare technologies

If your browser doesn’t open the drop-down boxes below, you can view the detailed call guidelines here.

Once you’ve read the call guidelines and checked you are eligible for funding, you can start your application on our Grants Management Portal.

In 2020, we published our priorities for the next five years in our strategic framework. This now sees us take a thematic approach to funding, making clear our priorities and our principles and ensuring that we are targeting those important but under-funded areas of ageing-related research.

Hearing and vision conditions affect a growing number of older people in the UK, with associated impacts on quality of life and long-term health outcomes. Despite this, there remains a lack of funding into hearing and vision research within the UK, meaning that there’s a real need for research into the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of these conditions, as well as improved care and support for older people living with them. With this call for proposals, we want to support applications which go beyond uncovering the biological mechanisms of age-related hearing and/or vision conditions, and instead seek to address these issues through the testing and/or scaling-up of healthcare technologies. This could include the development and testing of new technologies, or the scaling-up of piloted technologies.

Full details of the call are provided in the call guidelines.

As with our previous themed research calls, we are looking for proposals that, in the short-to-medium term, have the potential for direct and measurable impact on the health and social care of older people in the UK and/or associated policy and practice.

The call is designed to support research proposals which aim to test and/or scale-up healthcare technologies specifically to address age-related issues of hearing and/or vision in the following areas:

  • Improving prediction and/or diagnosis.
  • Improving prevention and/or treatment.
  • Improving psychological wellbeing and/or the ability to carry out activities of daily living.
  • Reducing inequities in diagnosis, treatment and/or access to care and support.

Proposals must address at least one of these priority topics to be eligible.

The call is open to both new and/or existing technologies. Examples of healthcare technologies include, but are not limited to, therapeutics, medical technologies, devices and digital tools, as well as products for consumer health.

All proposals, regardless of topic, should be aligned with the Trust’s key principles for research as detailed on page 9 of our 2020 – 2025 Strategic Framework.

The call aims to attract proposals focusing on a broad range of methodologies and approaches. We are therefore offering flexibility in the type and duration of award, and the amount of funding, that can be applied for. Examples of eligible award types, along with indicative durations and budgets, are provided in section 2.3 of the call guidelines.

As part of their application, applicants will be asked to confirm what type of award they are applying for. Please note that the indicative durations and budgets provided in the call guidelines are a guide – we are open to requests that exceed these, though they will need to be fully justified.

Please note that the following award types will not be eligible for funding:

  • Large programme-style grants.
  • Multiple PhD studentships (please note that the Trust has a separate Multiple PhD Studentship scheme – current round open with a deadline for applications of 21st July 2023 – details of which are available on this page).
  • Project grants which include a PhD embedded within them.

Principal Investigators (lead applicants) must be based at a UK university or other eligible research organisation. The Trust has no specific geographical link and will consider applications from anywhere within the UK. Please note that you cannot be the lead applicant on more than one application to the scheme.

If you are the Principal Investigator on a current/active grant from the Trust, then you may not be eligible to apply as Principal Investigator to this funding call – please contact us directly if you are unsure or would like to discuss this further.

First-time Principal Investigators are encouraged to apply, but we would expect to see clearly planned and appropriate mentoring and support from experienced co-applicants.

We welcome proposals with co-applicants and collaborators from within and beyond academia, including people with lived experience of issues relevant to the proposal, as well as community organisations and industry/commercial partners. Please note that lone applicants are ineligible to apply.

In addition, where appropriate, we actively encourage multidisciplinary teams and, whilst studies should primarily focus on issues which have benefits to UK organisations and/or citizens, contributions from international collaborators are permitted where clearly justified.

We plan to allocate £2M to the call, although more may be available if we receive enough applications of a suitably high quality. And we will welcome proposals that can offer part funding or in-kind contributions from other sources.

Examples of eligible award types, along with indicative durations and budgets, are provided in section 2.3 of the call guidelines.

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), the Trust will pay the directly incurred costs of research and may pay some directly allocated research costs in specific cases.

Details of eligible costs are included in section 2.4 of the call guidelines. However, we do wish to highlight the following points regarding eligible costs:

  • If you are a first-time and/or early career Principal Investigator applying without tenure at your host institution, then you may be eligible to claim your salary. If this is the case, a letter of support from your university/research organisation will be required at the full application stage to confirm that they agree to extend your contract to cover the duration of the grant if you are successful.
  • If applicable, we do expect funding to be allocated within the proposed budget to compensate any involved community partner organisation(s) for their contribution to the work at their full economic cost.

Any awards would be made to and administered by the Principal Investigator’s institution (the lead institution).

The application process will consist of two stages:

  • Expression of interest stage
  • Full application stage

All stages will be administered through our online Grants Management Portal. However, to assist in your planning we have provided blank application form templates in the “Call documentation” section below.

The expression of interest stage opens on Monday 12th June 2023 and closes at 5pm on Friday 21st July 2023. To complete an expression of interest, you are required to:

  • Complete an application form
  • Submit a video

More details what information your video should provide, and how to submit it, are included in section 4.1 of the call guidelines.

Expression of interest proposals will be assessed internally by the Trust’s experienced grants team, based on the assessment criteria outlined in section 4.2 of the call guidelines. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their expression of interest on Monday 4th September 2023. We are anticipating a large number of expression of interest applications; therefore, we will only be providing general feedback at this stage.

Successful applicants at the expression of interest stage will be invited to submit a full proposal by 5pm on Friday 20th October 2023.

Once submitted, full applications will be externally peer reviewed based on the assessment criteria outlined in section 5.2 of the call guidelines. Applicants will then be given between 11th – 15th December 2023 to respond to specific feedback provided by the peer reviewers.

Applications will then be assessed by an expert panel, who will meet to consider applications on 6th February 2024. Interviews for prospective post-doctoral fellows will be held in mid-late February 2024, if deemed necessary by the panel, following which applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications in mid-March 2024.

Every effort has been made to provide enough time for the various stages of the process while avoiding public/school holidays, but some clashes will unfortunately be unavoidable.

We have provided additional support and guidance documents in the call guidelines.

In the run-up to the call opening, we organised a two-day kick-starter event which aimed to introduce the funding call and give prospective applicants the opportunity to network and develop initial ideas.

The recorded sessions from Day 1 of the event are available to view on the “Events recordings and reports” section of our website. The sessions cover:

  • Introduction to the funding call and application process
  • Writing a strong application
  • Related funding opportunities from Fight for Sight, the Royal Academy of Engineering and RNID

We have also created a playlist of all of the recordings, which is available to view on YouTube at this link.

We will continue to advertise the call through our Twitter account and to our mailing list subscribers. To subscribe to receive news and updates from us, please add your details to the Join our community section of our “Contact us” page.

Prospective applicants will be asked to read our general Funding FAQs and complete our eligibility quiz, available on our “Apply for funding” page. The Dunhill Medical Trust Terms and Conditions for Research Grants will also apply.

For guidance on what made a good expression of interest application for our call focussing on “interventions targeting the social determinants of healthy older age”, some of which will be relevant to this call, read this blog post.

Please email any queries relating to the call to [email protected] and our Grants Team will be able to assist you.

Once you have completed the eligibility quiz, read the call documentation and our general Funding FAQs, you can start your application on our Grants Management Portal.

Apply now

If you’ve read the call details, checked the deadlines and completed the eligibility Q&A, you’re ready to apply. We use an online Grants Management System. Where the scheme is co-funded, though, do please check whether our funding partner is taking the lead on the applications process. If that is the case, you will need to apply via their system so do check the call details carefully.

Step 1

Check our deadlines

View full details in the “open calls and deadlines” section on this page (above). Just click on the dropdown box for the call in which you are interested.

Step 2

Eligibility Q&A

Please answer the questions in the eligibility quiz before starting your application. You will be asked to confirm formally that you have done so within the electronic application system. If you need any advice or are unsure how to respond to any of these questions, please do contact us.

Step 3

Provide an ORCID iD

This step does not apply to community grant applicants.

In common with many other funders, we require all lead applicants for Research Project Grants to provide an ORCID iD when completing an application form in our Grants Management Portal.

If you don’t have an ORCID iD, you can register for one. Through ORCID,  researchers can allow funders, publishers and research organisations to access the information in their ORCID profile during grant and manuscript submission. Currently, we use your ORCID profile to auto-populate the following questions on the application form:

  • Degrees and professional qualifications.  In ORCID this is called “Education”.
  • Postgraduate career (please provide details of your last 3 positions, starting with the most recent).  In ORCID this is called “Employment”.
  • Current/most recent externally funded grants you have held as the lead applicant. In ORCID, this is called “Funding”.
  • Peer-reviewed publications (please list your (relevant) publications from the last 10 years).  In ORCID, this is called “Works”.

There is no option to input these mandatory pieces of data directly into our application form so it is essential that your ORCID profile is up to date to enable the application form to be auto-populated.

ORCID has published a range of help including a suite of videos to help you with common issues such as changing your password, editing your personal details and updating your publication list.

Step 4

Apply online

We operate an online application system. The software we have chosen for this is Flexigrant® from Fluent Technology. If you are an academic or clinical researcher, you may be familiar with the system, which is also used by a number of other funders.

If you wish to apply for a grant, you will first need to create an account in the system.