Deadline for preliminary applications: 16:00 22nd September 2022

Epilepsy Research UK invites applications for grants to support pilot studies in the UK. We encourage high quality proposals for fundamental science and clinical research grants investigating the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of epilepsy and associated conditions. Applications are invited for grants of up to £30,000 to support pilot or start-up studies lasting no more than two years. Explore Pilot Studies provide an opportunity to test bed new ideas and explore speculative work. Information gathered from the pilot study enables researchers to obtain larger-scale funding. The grant award can support research costs, equipment and salaries; however, there must be a clear emphasis on the generation of new/preliminary data. The project must be a novel piece of research and not part of a project or fellowship already being funded by ERUK or any other funding body.


During any Epilepsy Research UK grant round, as long as an individual researcher is not named on more than one project/fellowship application, he/she can be named on up to two pilot grant applications. This can either be as principal applicant on one and co-applicant on the other, or as co-applicant on both. If the researcher is already named on two project/fellowship applications to the grant round, he/she can only be named on a maximum of one pilot grant application (either as principal applicant or as co-applicant/supervisor).
The submission of identical or similar proposals to both the pilot and project/fellowship grant streams is not permitted.


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 one active project/fellowship grant and two active pilot studies, or two active project/fellowship grants and one active pilot study. Grantholders may only be named as principal investigator on one project/fellowship grant and one pilot study.

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.


Explore Pilot Study applications are a single-stage process.

July 2022 – grant round opens for ten weeks for Explore Pilot Study applications

22 September 2022, 16:00 – CLOSING DATE – for Explore Pilot Study applications

November 2022 –Applications are shortlisted by our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and applicants are informed of the shortlisting process.

Shortlisted applicants will have an opportunity to meet with members of the Shape Epilepsy Research Network.

Late January 2023 –shortlisted applications are sent externally for independent peer review.

February 2023 –Explore Pilot Study applicants will have the opportunity to respond to the peer review comments.

March 2023 – Following peer review, the SAC meet to review the applications and make recommendations to the Epilepsy Research UK Board of Trustees for funding.

April 2023 – 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.

Full Guidance for Applicants can be found here.

Applications can be submitted through the online application portal here.

We recommend using the example application form as a guide before completing the online application portal. The Explore Pilot Study example application form can be downloaded here.