Discovery research funding remit

We support bold and creative discovery research that has the potential to improve human life, health and wellbeing.

This includes research into the:   

  • fundamental processes that underpin biology, to understand more about how life works  
  • complexities of human health and disease, including clinical and population-based approaches 
  • development of methodologies, conceptual frameworks, technologies, tools or techniques that could benefit health-related research  
  • needs, values and priorities of the people and communities affected by disease and health disparities 
  • social, cultural, political and historical contexts of human health and disease. 

Research can involve experimental or theoretical approaches. It can be carried out in the laboratory, office, clinic or field.  

Who we fund 

We fund people at all career stages, from a broad range of disciplines. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • humanities and social science
  • clinical and allied health sciences
  • experimental medicine
  • public health.

We fund individuals and teams of researchers.

Our schemes are open to applicants based in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries, and coapplicants from the rest of the world if applying as part of a team.

We particularly welcome applications that bring together different disciplines to tackle problems creatively and with new perspectives.

Our new discovery research schemes

Find out more about our discovery research schemes, including eligibility and what we offer. 

What we don't support  

We will not fund proposals that are not grounded in discovery research. This includes:

  • purely translational research, including clinical trials, aimed at developing, testing or implementing interventions or treatments – however we are interested in fundamental research that could lead to such intervention development
  • proposals involving primarily implementation science
  • large-scale population-level interventions and trials
  • studies on companion and exotic animals, except as models for human disease.

Research doesn’t have to be related to our three health challenge programmes: mental health, climate, and infectious disease. Each programme will fund research and other activities according to its goals and defined set of outcomes. This may be through directed funding or through one-off open calls from time to time. We'll provide more information as our strategy for each programme develops.  

Contact us 

Contact our Funding Information Advisers if you have a question about funding.

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