Our research

There are hundreds of neurological conditions. 

We fund the best research to discover the causes, develop new treatments, and improve the lives of those affected by these conditions.

We are currently focusing our research funding on three priority areas: acquired brain and spinal cord injury, brain tumours, and headache and facial pain. These are areas that we have identified as having a large unmet patient need, coupled with a lack of current research investment. Find out more about these priority areas. 

Cutting across research boundaries

Because we can fund research across the full range of neurological conditions, we can facilitate the translation of advances across different areas of brain research. 

For example, we supported the introduction of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the UK. DBS is a neurosurgical procedure in which a patient has an electrode inserted into a part of their brain and a stimulator implanted in their chest. It works as a ‘brain pacemaker’, sending electrical impulses to specific targets in the brain for the treatment of movement and psychiatric disorders. DBS was first used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and is now also in epilepsy, cluster headache and dystonia. We continue to fund research to refine the use of DBS. Read more. 

Our research

Our research grants are awarded through openly advertised, competitive calls and follow a rigorous peer review process. We currently run two annual calls for applications – one for PhD studentships and one for project grants.

In addition, we hold a small number of restricted endowment funds through which we fund ongoing projects at UCL Institute of Neurology. 

You can read about our current projects below. Or find out about the different neurological conditions where we are actively funding research, and search by disease area here.  

Current research projects

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Meet our researchers: Oakley Morgan, University College London

Stress, orofacial pain and headache disorders (PhD studentship)

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Meet our researchers: Rhiannon Barrow, University of Leeds

Overcoming treatment resistance in glioblastoma (PhD studentship)

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Meet our researchers: Franziska Mueller, Imperial College London

Restoring function after spinal cord injury (PhD studentship)

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Meet our researchers: Professor Sven Bestmann, UCL Institute of Neurology

When and how should we apply brain stimulation to help recovery after stroke?

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Meet our researchers: Dr Lawrence Moon, King’s College London

Testing a new therapy to promote recovery from stroke

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Meet our researchers: Dr Claudia Barros, Plymouth University

Understanding the cellular changes leading to the formation of the brain tumour glioblastoma

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Meet our researchers: Dr Emer O'Connor, UCL Institute of Neurology

Understanding the causes of cluster headache (PhD studentship)

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Meet our researchers: Richard Baugh, University of Oxford

Targeted immunotherapy of glioblastoma (PhD studentship)

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Meet our researchers: Martha McLaughlin, UCL Institute of Neurology

Restoring muscle function using optogenetics

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Meet our researchers: Professor Rob Brownstone, UCL Institute of Neurology

Brain Research UK Chair of Neurosurgery

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Meet our researchers: Professor Linda Greensmith, UCL Institute of Neurology

Motor neurone disease: from bench to bedside

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Meet our researchers: Professor Ludvic Zrinzo, UCL Institute of Neurology

Pioneering new techniques to optimise the use of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of chronic neurological conditions

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Meet our researchers: Professor Jonathan Schott, UCL Institute of Neurology

Interaction of genes and environment in the development of Alzheimer’s disease

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Meet our researchers: Roman Praschberger, UCL Institute of Neurology

PhD studentship: Understanding the mechanisms of GOSR2-mediated Progressive Myoclonus Epilepsy

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Are you a researcher?

Keep up-to-date with our latest funding opportunities.

Your privacy

Your personal information will always be treated with care and respect and stored securely. We use the information you give us to process the service you have requested (such as processing your request) and to keep you updated with the areas you want to hear about and in the ways you have agreed to. Your data will also be used by suppliers on our behalf in order for us to provide you with this information and to process the services you request but never for their own personal benefit. Your data will also be used for analysis and profiling purposes to help us provide the best possible service. For full details please see our privacy policy or call supporter care on 020 7404 9982.