Research Funding Opportunities

Bowel & Cancer Research Funding Call

Bowel & Cancer Research is seeking high quality applications for consideration at its funding round in March 2015. Their area of interest is lower GI/ bowel research in malignant and non-malignant, diagnostic or treatment studies that will translate to tangible patient benefit.

Please follow the link for guidance and application forms: This is a 2 stage process. The deadline for all preliminary applications is: 5pm Thursday 7th November 2014. Applicants will be notified week beginning Monday 24th November 2014 if a full application is invited.

Please forward all applications in electronic format Debs Hampson: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Crohn's and Colitis UK Medical Research Awards 2015

Applications are invited for the year 2015 grants to be awarded by Crohn's and Colitis UK. Research Projects may be directed towards any aspect of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Funding will be awarded for periods of up to two years. The grants awarded will normally be up to a maximum of £120,000. Applications for pilot studies under £10,000 are also encouraged.

Closing date for this award will be 27th October 2014.

MRC Biochemical Catalyst: Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme

The DPFS scheme is a key part of the MRC's Translational Research Strategy and supports the translation of fundamental discoveries toward benefits to human health. It funds the pre-clinical development and early clinical testing of novel therapeutics, devices and diagnostics, including “repurposing” of existing therapies. DPFS is an ongoing scheme, with outline deadlines every 4 months. The next two deadlines for outline proposals are 4pm on 3 December 2014 and 4pm on 25 March 2015. Further details are available from the MRC website.

HTA researcher-led funding opportunities

The researcher-led workstream welcomes proposals on topics or research questions identified by researchers within the programme’s remit. The deadlines for the next rounds are 1pm on 8 September 2014 and 7 January 2015. Details can be found on the HTA website.

Funding opportunity: Coeliac UK

Coeliac UK, the leading national charity for people with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, is launching a new round of research grant awards with up to £200k of funding available.

Researchers from all scientific disciplines are invited to submit applications by 5 September 2014 that can demonstrate how their proposal will advance our understanding of the disease and improve the lives of those living with the condition.

Please visit the Coeliac UK website for further information and to download an application form:

If you have any queries please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Research

CICRA Research Grants

The Crohn's in Childhood Research Association offers the following research opportunities.

Research Fellowship in Paediatric Gastroenterology: Applications are invited from interested centres in the UK - closing date for receipt of applications Thursday 6th November 2014

PhD studentship: CICRA invites applications from research groups with a proven track record of high quality output in gut immunology and inflammation or IBD genetics. Closing date for receipt of applications - Thursday 6th November 2014

Project grant: CICRA invites high quality research applications for funding up to £100,000 relevant to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis in childhood. Closing date for receipt of applications Thursday 6th November 2014

Bursary grants: CICRA also gives grants of up to £400 (up to a total amount of £5,000pa) to enable UK based young Doctors still in training/nurses/final year medical students and similar persons with an interest in the area of Crohn's and colitis (IBD) to support attendance at national, international scientific/educational congresses and if considered appropriate IBD related training courses.

Application forms and further information can be obtained from the CICRA website:

HTA commissioned funding opportunity 14/161 - Fibre for uncomplicated symptomatic diverticular disease of the large bowel

The HTA is accepting applications to this commissioned call. The research question is 'What is the clinical- and cost-effectiveness of prescribable fibre supplements to treat uncomplicated symptomatic diverticular disease of the large bowel?' Although low intake of fibre is associated epidemiologically with an increased risk of developing diverticulosis, the recommendations for fibre as a treatment are based on weak evidence that is old, largely observational, and uncontrolled. There is also no good evidence for the amount or type of dietary fibre needed, and clinical experience suggests that bran fibre and green vegetables may worsen symptoms in some patients. This fits with data from randomised controlled trials in irritable bowel syndrome showing that bran increases flatulence. However, high fibre diet is often recommended in advice for patients, and fibre is prescribed in the NHS. To address the uncertainty over the use of fibre in uncomplicated but symptomatic diverticular disease a trial to evaluate prescribable fibre is required. Many patients may have already been prescribed fibre so a trial could examine the benefits and harms of withdrawal of prescribed fibre as well as introducing it.The application deadline is 1pm on 18 December 2014. Further guidance is available.

HTA commissioned funding opportunity 14/166 - Prevention of parastomal hernia formation

Is prophylactic mesh effective for the prevention of a parastomal hernia during primary permanent stoma formation? The HTA is accepting applications for funding in this area. The morbidity associated with stoma formation is a considerable problem for the NHS. Use of a prophylactic mesh during the primary operation may reduce the incidence of parastomal hernia (PSH) formation. However, it is believed that a mesh only delays the presentation of a PSH in the short to medium term rather than prevent it completely, and formation of a PSH may be the result of a number of cumulative factors. Currently, there is no established method of mesh placement, no surgical consensus concerning which material the mesh should be made of and the type of aperture (if any) that should be cut into the mesh. There is also disagreement as to whether to use mesh at all. A prospective cohort study is needed to explore the different approaches to preventing a parastomal hernia forming during primary permanent stoma formation and to identify any interventions that may be appropriate to investigate in a future randomised controlled trial.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on 18 Dec 2014. Further guidance is available to download.

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB): Researcher-led proposals

Both Competition 25 and an RfPB Themed Call - Long-term Conditions in Children and Young People opened on 25 June 2014 with a closing deadline of 1pm on 17 September. Applications to the RfPB Programme should arise from daily practice in the NHS and must demonstrate a trajectory to patient benefit in the short to medium term. The programme supports applications, which are regionally derived, and applications for feasibility and pilot studies are welcome. More information is available from the RfPB website.

Proposed research areas for 2014/15 HTA commissioned calls

Biochemical markers of obstetric cholestasis - to comment on idea, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Treatment strategies for biological therapies in Crohn’s Disease - to comment on idea, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What is the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of oral nutritional support for older malnourished medical and surgical patients after discharge from hospital - to comment on idea, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

HS&DR commissioned funding opportunity 14/156: New research on use and usefulness of patient experience data

Quality of care can be measured not just by the treatment received and changes in patient outcome, but also the way in which that care was delivered. To date, this has been assessed quite crudely by broad patient satisfaction surveys or global rating measures. All health and care organisations are now required to collect data on patient experience, in the form of national standards in the domain on patient experience in the NHS Outcomes Framework. Overall, there is little UK-based research on how best to make use of patient experience data or what organisations can do to ensure that patient feedback shapes services and care. Thus, the topic of use of patient experience data was highlighted as a top priority for the HS&DR programme in two consecutive years by clinicians, patients, service leaders and managers. This topic was further refined at discussion at a workshop in February 2014, where the focus was on making patient experience data usable and useful to the service. Further information relating to this funding call is available to download. Applications are due by 1pm on 11 September 2014.

EME researcher-led funding opportunity 14/150

The EME Programme is accepting applications to its researcher-led workstream. Applicants are invited to apply by 1pm on 30 October 2014. More information on how to apply can be found on the EME researcher-led call webpage.

EME commissioned funding opportunity 14/144: Bowel control and faecal incontinence in adults

The EME programme is accepting applications to its commissioned workstream for proposals in bowel control and faecal incontinence in adults. Proposals are sought for studies into interventions to improve bowel control in adults of any aetiology, and particularly those designed to prevent, treat or alleviate the occurrence of faecal incontinence. Applications must concentrate on determining the clinical efficacy of interventions, but the inclusion of embedded mechanistic studies within the main clinical evaluation is strongly encouraged. Studies of mechanical interventions are unlikely to be supported unless they include a significant mechanistic component.

More details are available to download; the call closes at 1pm on 7 October 2014.

Proposed research areas for 2014/15 EME commissioned calls - updated 1 July

Please note that research in the following broad areas is likely to be commissioned during the next year, although the titles and timings may be subject to change. The individual commissioning briefs, which will be published when the calls open, will define the details of the calls.

Novel endoscopic optical imaging interventions and technologies: anticipated opening date October 2014

Inflammatory bowel disease: anticipated opening date October 2014

Metabolic liver disease (including NAFLD): anticipated opening date February 2015

Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme

Commissioned Call
The opening date for the 4th call for i4i Challenge Awards will be 9 September 2014. The i4i Challenge Awards is a new i4i funding stream that aims to bridge the gap between the innovation and development of new medical technology and its adoption into clinical pathways. For details and to apply, go to the i4i homepage.

Pump prime funding for initial feasibility studies

NIHR Enteric HTC aims to identify and address unmet clinical need in the diagnosis and management of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and bowel function. The HTC seeks new ideas for medical device innovations and offers the opportunity to apply to NIHR Enteric HTC for pump prime funding for initial feasibility studies on potential new medical technologies within the field of digestive diseases and GI surgery.

MRC Public Health Intervention Development Scheme (PHIND)

The Public Health Intervention Development scheme (PHIND) is a new MRC funding scheme designed specifically to provide support for early phase development of public health interventions. This rapid response funding scheme is aimed at improving the initial evidence on which the development and evaluation of public health interventions are based. Studies should address an important UK or global public health issue and offer an innovative approach to intervention development or applying an existing intervention in a new setting.

The scheme's remit ranges from primary research developing and designing the intervention to feasibility studies, encompassing:

  • developing theory
  • modelling process and outcomes
  • assessing feasibility

Systematic reviews, meta analyses and pilot studies are outside the remit of the PHIND scheme. Applicants can apply for up to £150K for a maximum of 18 months and the scheme will operate three times a year. For further information, please see the MRC website.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Funding opportunities booklet

This booklet provides information about the NIHR’s research funding and career development opportunities available for researchers based in the NHS, universities, industry and other organisations concerned with health, public health and social care.

A brief overview of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

This leaflet provides an overview of the structure and work of the National Institute for Health Research.

The NIHR has published various documents in which you might be interested. They are available here.