Step 4. External funding

Step 4. External funding

Research funding & events calendar.pdfNow that you have designed a research protocol, it is time to identify potential funders.

There are a number of organisations (charitable to government funded) that release a variety of funding calls throughout the year to develop the evidence to support decision making at all levels. Examples of funders who regularly release funding calls are provided below, but this is not comprehensive.

Some of these funding opportunities are known as ‘Commissioned Calls’ which means that there will be a specific question/topic that needs to be answered.


A key funding body is Health and Care Research Wales, who provide a number of funding opportunities including:

  • Social Care Fellowship Award
  • Research for Patient and Public Benefit
  • Clinical Research Time Award

For more information and dates on all research schemes supported by Health and Care Research Wales please click here

Other research opportunities in Wales include:

Again if you are part of the NHS you can contact your local R&D office who can provide you with information and advice on any funding calls or sign up to receive funding notifications from key organisations.


National opportunities include the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), a leading organisation in funding NHS, social care and public health research in the UK. There are various funding calls available often on a rolling call basis e.g. Health Technology Assessment Programme (HTA), Public Health Research Programme (PHR) and Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme (EME).

Others include the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded through the government’s science and research budget, which invests in health research; and the Economic and Social Research Council, which has a focus on economic and/or social research.

Charity foundations such as the Wellcome Trust offer research funding opportunities, as do charities for different conditions such as Diabetes UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Cancer Research UK and Alcohol Research UK.

International research funding opportunities include Horizon 2020 which is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme open to all. For more information on how to apply for Horizon 2020 funding calls click here.

Research Councils UK also support international collaborations and fund international research proposals, whilst some funding bodies in the USA such as the National Institutes of Health provide opportunities for UK researchers without the need for collaboration.

For a list of the annual funding calls please click here.

For PhD funding click here

For upcoming funding calls please visit our News and Funding page

A guide to EU Funding

Research funding & events calendar.pdf

Peer Review

If you received internal funding for your research project that did not require your protocol to be reviewed you may need to ensure your protocol undergoes peer review alongside the other research permissions required (step 5). If you have any queries about this it is best to discuss with your local R&D office.