Research project grants


On this page, you can find out about the details of the Research Project Grants scheme and how to apply, together with the answers to frequently asked questions (which includes our ten tips for making a successful application).  If you still need help after reading this page, please contact usPlease note, if you are looking for funding to support your PhD study, please see our aspiring researchers information.

The Trust is keen to support high quality research projects which are, perhaps, smaller than can be managed by the Research Councils or fall outside their priority themes but are important to understanding the mechanisms of ageing, treating disease and frailty and identifying and developing new and effective ways to improve the lives of older people.   We are also committed to funding research into treating diseases and conditions which disproportionately affect older people but are less well-funded (excluding cancer and heart disease).   As such, we will consider:

  • bioscience underpinning the mechanisms of ageing;
  • research relating to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of health services and social care delivery for older people;
  • research relating to improving technology and the built environment, to meet the needs of an ageing population;
  • behavioural research;
  • clinical and applied research;
  • health services research;
  • public health research;

We particularly welcome:

  •  multidisciplinary approaches;
  • pilot and proof-of-concept studies that can provide sufficient evidence for larger studies which can attract support from other funding bodies;

As an applicant, you will be expected to:

  • provide a clear demonstration of what the research is expected to achieve in terms of contribution to the field and/or patient benefit/improving the health and well-being of older people;
  • show how your project will support the development of research careers to increase and sustain capacity in the Trust’s priority areas of interest.

Requests for research funding are appraised against criteria set out within our Research Funding Strategy, in addition to the basic criteria set out in the Grant Making Policy.

Please note that we operate a 2-stage application process for research project grants. First, you will need to submit an outline application and then if your application is short-listed, you will be invited to submit a full application.

Research grants may be awarded to any recognised university department, NHS hospital or other recognised research centre within the UK with the appropriate capacity, research record and governance arrangements to ensure that the research will be able to be carried out in an appropriate manner.   The Trust has no specific geographical link and will consider supporting applications anywhere within the UK. While the Trust aims to ensure equitable access to grants across the UK, applications will be considered on merit alone. The Trust will support research carried out by:

  • clinicians from all health professions (including allied health professionals) with the relevant qualifications and experience to undertake the research;
  • academics with the relevant qualifications and experience to undertake the research.

Lead applicants for whom this is a first grant as Principal Investigator will not be precluded, indeed, the Trust wishes to encourage the development of research capacity by providing opportunities for career development.  We would, however, expect to see a more experienced researcher as a Co-Investigator with a clear plan for mentoring and support. Applications should be made by the Principal Investigator – PI – (Lead Applicant) as the person responsible for the research. As part of the application process the PI will be expected to demonstrate that he/she is based in a strong research environment with a suitable skill mix in the research team (with other members of the team being named as Co-Investigators).  The Trust cannot consider single applicant proposals. It should be noted that the Trust will not fund a PI’s salary, and will only fund a Co-I’s salary if they are spending more than 50% of their time on the project.

The minimum project grant award will be £25k and the maximum, £300k.  This can include items of project-dedicated equipment, as long as the total grant application is not above £300k. Please see our FAQs for more detailed guidance on eligible costs.

Please note that costs can only increase by up to 10% from outline to the full application stage and therefore they need to be as accurate as possible in the outline application.

The maximum period of time for which a project grant will be awarded is 3 years.


Grants are paid retrospectively.  That is, a mutually acceptable start date will be agreed, following which, the host institution is asked to send details of expenditure incurred every 3 months, for a total of up to 36 months.  The claims will be reviewed against the original project budget set out in the Grant Offer Letter and reimbursed to the claimant.

Funding support

Frequently asked questions

Apply online

Take the eligibility quiz and apply.

The Dunhill Medical Trust
5th Floor
6 New Bridge Street
London EC4V 6AB

Telephone: 020 7403 3299