We’ve adapted our approach to research funding this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we wanted to provide you with an update on what we are doing to ensure the best possible research into epilepsy can continue.

This year we’re focusing our grant round on building capacity, by supporting early-career scientists to develop into epilepsy research leaders through our ERUK Emerging Leader Fellowship Awards. In addition, we are collaborating with Young Epilepsy to offer a jointly funded Fellowship aiming to improve epilepsy treatment for children and young people. There’s a risk that some scientists may have to leave research because of the pandemic, meaning promising research into the diagnosis, causes, and clinical management of epilepsy is never followed up on. The funding we’re offering this year is to make sure a generation of researchers aren’t lost and that they are still there making research discoveries in epilepsy long after the pandemic has passed.

We want to help the epilepsy research community rebuild after COVID-19 – not only help it get back on its feet, but make it stronger than before.
Maxine Smeaton, Chief Executive

The opening of our grant round comes shortly after we unveiled an urgent new research call for Innovations in Healthcare, inviting applications for health services research to improve care for people with epilepsy. Our Director of Research & Innovation, Dr James Pickett, said: “During the pandemic, many people will have tried something new in the management of their epilepsy, and this funding is to help the good stuff stick.”

We’re also continuing with our doctoral training centre programme. This new initiative will support institutions to create ‘PhD hubs’, attracting young researchers to the field of epilepsy, facilitating further research and investment and directly contributing to life changing, life saving research.

ERUK is making this funding available at a crucial time in order to continue the progress we’ve made and to attract and retain the brightest minds for research into epilepsy. We’re only too aware of the difficulties currently faced by the charity and research sectors, so we feel fortunate to remain in a position to continue funding vital research into epilepsy – this is directly thanks to your ongoing support.

Thank you for you being part of this powerful community working together to achieve a life free from epilepsy.

Those wishing to apply can find more information about all funding options here.