2020 call for project grant applications

We are inviting preliminary grant applications for translational research projects under our three priority themes: acquired brain and spinal cord injury, neuro-oncology, and headache and facial pain.

We would like to receive applications for the funding of mechanism-based research that addresses areas of large unmet need and demonstrates a clear pathway to clinical impact in the three priority research areas outlined below. We are particularly keen to encourage applications from early career researchers.

The application deadline is 9am on Tuesday 25th February 2020.

Priority research areas

  • Acquired brain and spinal cord injury: research to advance understanding of how to deliver interventions that promote recovery at the level of impairment in people with acquired brain or spinal cord damage. This may be through behavioural interventions, enhancement of plasticity mechanisms, or both. This theme does not include projects focused on neuro-protection. 
  • Neuro-oncology: research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms, diagnosis or treatment of primary tumours of the brain or spinal cord, and associated neurological complications.
  • Headache and facial pain: research addressing the fundamental causes, mechanisms, diagnosis or treatment of headache and facial pain. 

Early career researchers

We encourage applications from early career researchers - defined as those with up to 10 years of post-doctoral work (taking into account periods of extended leave). Early career researchers should have their own salary already in place, and should have a co-applicant with tenure. 

What can be funded?

Our project grants are intended to provide funds for the employment of research staff and the purchase of essential equipment and consumables for projects lasting up to three years. 

The maximum grant size is £300,000. 

As well as typical research projects, we will consider requests for research infrastructure support where they demonstrate rapid patient benefit and are highly collaborative. Requests for the support of pilot studies are also welcomed. 

Read about previously funded projects

Application process and timetable

There is a two-stage application process.

The first stage involves submission of a preliminary application, using the form provided below. The deadline for submission of preliminary applications is 9am on Tuesday 25th February 2020.

Submitted applications will be reviewed and short-listed by the members of our Scientific Advisory Panel. Short listing decisions will in each case be based on:

  • the project's fit with our remit, its perceived need and potential impact; and
  • the project's feasibility, including the capacity of the research team to successfully carry out the research.

Short-listed applicants will then be invited to submit a detailed proposal for full review. 


Please call Katie Martin on 0117 909 4809 or email katie.martin@brainresearchuk.org.uk with any queries not addressed in the guidelines document. 

Documents for download