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Grant application process.

Before applying for funding you should read the general information below along with the supporting Guidance notes (note these were revised on 6 April 2017).

If you decide you want to apply you must upload your application to our grant portal.

Applying for funding

First of all, read guidance note 1 to find out our strategy and what is in scope, and read our strategy.

Our aim is that the majority (80%) of our funds are committed through directive approaches, such as advertised calls for applications on specific subjects. Our foresight reviews are one mechanism we use to investigate where we should focus our funding, before issuing a call. However, we are still open to receiving unsolicited proposals and applications.

Outline proposal

If you have read our mission, strategy, delivery plans and publications, but are still unsure if your project is in scope, submit an outline proposal for a decision in principle. We will let you know if we are interested in pursuing your idea – if so, you will be invited to submit a full application, without implying any commitment from either party.


You may submit an application without first submitting an outline proposal. Please see below for what to include in your application.

How we will assess your application

The Foundation has a formal governance structure for grant decision making.

All proposals and applications are reviewed initially at our monthly grant applications meetings. When we confirm receipt we will let you know the date of the next meeting.

Sometimes we may request further information for due diligence purposes.

Are there deadlines for submitting applications?

The Foundation can receive grant proposals and applications at any time. We have an initial review stage most months of the year.

Our planned dates for the initial review meetings in 2019 are as follows:

Deadline for submissions Grant application meeting
4 March 14 March
1 April 11 April
1 May [to be considered at June Board meeting] 14 May
31 May 12 June
1 July 11 July
5 August [to be considered at the September Board meeting] 15 August
2 September 12 September
3 October 15 October
31 October [to be considered at the December Board meeting] 12 November
2 December 12 December

We try to feed back to applicants within a week of each Grant application meeting. Exceptionally, we may have further internal discussion before feeding back.

Applications for over £500,000, if they pass the first review stage, then must go to our Grants Committee and Board of Trustees which meet quarterly. Such applications must be recommended at the initial review stage and Grants Committee before being reviewed by the Board. The quarterly dates shown above: 31 January, 1 May, 5 August and 31 October, are the deadlines by which applications need to be submitted to be reviewed at each review stage and then at those respective Boards.

Grants Committee Board meeting
26 February 19 March
23 May 25 June
29 August 25 September
21 November 10 December

What should you include in your application?

Our form has some specific headings such as risks, impact and benefit. The points below should guide you in completing these sections and the executive summary:

  • How you are helping us meet our mission, strategic themes, objective and funding priority
  • What scientific question or societal challenge relevant to our mission will the funded programme answer
  • What are outputs, outcomes, impact and benefit to society that you expect to achieve?
  • How do you propose achieving it: methodology, governance, timescales, outcomes, indicators of success
  • Any partner organisations and their financial or in-kind contributions
  • Evidence of excellence of your and partner organisations, team and individuals
  • How the results will be disseminated
  • Budget breakdown by year and categories of expenditure. Also give this information for any partners who will receive our funding
  • Sustainability: if the activity is to continue after our period of funding, what are your plans for future funding?

Your application will normally form part of your contract, against which progress and success will be measured. Please see guidance note 7 for a framework which should help you to describe the impact you expect to achieve.

Will we ask you to make a presentation?

No, we do not require a presentation. We may arrange a discussion or meeting with you to find out more information or gain a better understanding of your organisation and your application. There is no need to attend a Grants Committee or Board of Trustees meeting.

Should I send hard copy?

We do not need hard copies of any documents.

Will we give you feedback if your application is rejected at any stage?

Yes, of course. We will let you know our reasons.

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