APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

Epilepsy Research UK invites applications for grants to support project studies in the UK. We encourage high quality proposals for fundamental science and clinical research grants investigating the causes, diagnosis or treatment of epilepsy and associated conditions.  Applications are invited for grants of up to £150,000 to support a research project lasting a maximum of three years.  Project grant proposals will investigate an hypothesis that has been based on pilot data, with the aim of substantially contributing to furthering knowledge of epilepsy. Applications for the support of salary costs, purchase of equipment, or PhD student fees are also welcome. It is expected that the majority of the grant will cover a dedicated salary or support staff costs for 3 years.

DEADLINE 16.00, 23 SEPTEMBER 2021

NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS PERMITTED PER GRANT ROUND
During any Epilepsy Research UK grant round, an individual researcher may be named on a maximum of two project/fellowship grant applications. This can either be as principal applicant on one and co-applicant/supervisor on the other, or as co-applicant/supervisor on both.

The submission of identical or similar proposals to both the project grant and fellowship award streams is not permitted

ELIGIBILITY
Applicants for all grants should be graduates in either medicine, one of the sciences allied to medicine, engineering or mathematics. We advise applicants who are external to the epilepsy field to include a senior expert in epilepsy as a co-applicant on their proposal. Applicants must be resident in the UK and affiliated to an academic institution in the UK.

At any time, an individual researcher may be named on a maximum of two active project/fellowship grants. This can either be as principal investigator on one and co-investigator/supervisor on the other, or as co-investigator/supervisor on both.

Please note that existing Epilepsy Research UK grant holders are not eligible for funding unless the reporting of outcomes from their existing ERUK-funded grants is up-to-date.

APPLICATION PROCESS – TIMELINE

Endeavour Project Grant applications are a two-stage process.

July 2021 – grant round opens for ten weeks for preliminary applications from 1st July-23rd September 2021.

November 2021 – preliminary applications are shortlisted by our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full application by 10 January 2022.

Shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity to meet with members of the Shape Epilepsy Research Network in advance of submitting a full application.

10 January 2022, 16:00 – CLOSING DATE – for shortlisted applicants to submit their full application.

Full applications are then sent externally for independent peer review.

February 2022 – Project grant applicants will have the opportunity to respond to the peer review comments.

March 2022 – Following peer review, the SAC meet to review the applications and make recommendations to the Epilepsy Research UK Board of Trustees for funding.

April 2022 – Applicants are notified of the outcome of their application.

The SAC comprises a panel of the UK’s leading neurologists, neuroscientists and expert epilepsy researchers.  The current SAC membership can be found here.

During this grant round Epilepsy Research UK will be increasing the involvement of people with lived experience of epilepsy in the review and selection of Endeavour Project Grants through our Shape Epilepsy Research Network.

PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT (PPI) – SHAPE EPILEPSY RESEARCH NETWORK

We have recruited around 300 members to our SHAPE NETWORK, through which we aim to provide a national Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) service for researchers, facilitating and managing the involvement of people living with epilepsy in research. Through the SHAPE NETWORK, we can assist you with:

  • Focus groups to assist with study design
  • Steering committees for research programmes
  • Reviewing the accessibility of research communications and participant information sheets
  • Recruitment for research studies

To discuss how you could benefit from involving the SHAPE NETWORK in your research application, please contact our Head of Research, Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett here.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The SAC, in its grant-awarding capacity, abides by the code of good practice set out by the Association of Medical Research Charities (www.amrc.org.uk). As funds are limited, the selection of proposals for funding is highly competitive. Good quality proposals that are not chosen for funding are encouraged to re-apply the following year.

The research proposal will be assessed across the following criteria:

  • Is the research question important for epilepsy research?
  • Is there a clear and testable hypothesis and rationale for this study?
  • Is the idea and proposed work original or has it been undertaken before?
  • Does it fill a clear gap in current knowledge of epilepsy?
  • Is the work supported by pilot data or other forms of evidence?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the application?
  • Is the work well designed (including statistical analysis)?
  • Is the work proposed commensurate with the time frame of the award?
  • Are the costs fully justified and appropriate?
  • Does the applicant have, or could rapidly attain, the necessary skills/resources/ facilities to undertake the project?
  • Is the impact to people with epilepsy clearly communicated in lay terms?
  • Ethical and Home Office/R&D/NHS governance approvals (if applicable)
  • Does this application conform to the policy on the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement)?

Download the full Guidance for Applicants for Endeavour Project Grants here.

Download the Preliminary Application Form for Endeavour Project Grants here.

If you have any questions about submitting a grant application, please contact our Head of Research Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett here

Epilepsy Research UK is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access the NIHR Study Support Service which is provided by the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The NIHR Clinical Research Network can now support health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or hospices, or public health research taking place in schools and other community settings. Read the full policy: Eligibility Criteria for NIHR Clinical Research Network Support.

In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local NIHR Clinical Research Network team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study. This will enable you to fully benefit from the support available through the NIHR Study Support Service. To find out more, please visit: www.nihr.ac.uk/study-support-service

If your study involves NHS sites in England you will need to apply for Health Research Authority Approval. For guidance on submitting an application please visit: www.hra.nhs.uk.