Trusts and foundations research funding

Trusts and foundations come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from large institutional organisations to small family-based, so the University’s approaches will vary according to the trust. Philanthropic trusts fund projects that have a clear need; this may be for general purposes, buildings, equipment, or special projects. They will want to see how the grant being sought fits with the University’s mission and strategy, as well as its demonstrable impact. If you think your project fits this category, please get in touch with our Philanthropy colleagues in the Advancement team.  


  • Arts Council England - champions, develops and invests in experiences that enrich people's lives, supporting activities across the arts, museums and libraries. Applications from universities must benefit the wider community.
  • The British Academy - advances the humanities and social sciences by providing distinct career development, research and wider engagement opportunities for outstanding scholars at all levels. 
  • The British Council - the British Council's science programme supports scientific collaboration with funding for research, travel and workshop grants. It funds overseas students to study in the UK and overseas exchange as well as network programmes for early career researchers.
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) - funds research projects, conferences, seminars, workshops and visiting professors. Their research programme is designed to promote and develop the science of management accountancy. 
  • The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation - The Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK by funding charitable work that builds an inclusive, creative and sustainable society. They support work that focuses on the arts, children and young people, the environment, food and social change; projects must also demonstrate high impact.
  • The Foyle Foundation - independent grant making trust that distributes grants to UK charities. Their main grants scheme work relates to the arts (support in the performing or visual arts) and learning (facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and learning which has a long-term strategic impact).
  • Heritage Fund - gives grants to a wide range of projects that connect people and communities to the local, regional and national heritage of the UK. It distributes a share of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes.
  • Institute of Historical Research- administers a number of fellowships which support historians at all career stages. The Institute also offer a number of annual awards and bursaries to enable and reward high-quality historical research.
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation - funds research and works in partnership with other organisations to provide evidence, solutions and ideas that will help overcome the causes of UK poverty.
  • The Leverhulme Trust - makes awards for the support of research and education. It funds research across all subject areas, except medical research, with an emphasis on individuals and innovation.
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation - funds organisations whose charitable activities help people to realise their potential and have a better quality of life. Work in the UK is organised around six main strategic priorities: nurturing ideas and people, arts access and participation, education and learning through the arts, arts evidence, investing in young people and migration and integration. Projects must also demonstrate high impact.
  • The Paul Mellon Centre - supports scholarship, academic research and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of British art and architectural history (from the medieval period to the present). The Centre offers a variety of fellowships and grants twice a year; their remit does not cover archaeology, the current practice of architecture or the performing arts.
  • The Nuffield Foundation - funds research, analysis and student programmes that to advance educational opportunity and social well-being across the UK. The research funded aims to improve the design and operation of social policy, especially in the domains of education, welfare and justice
  • Royal Academy of Engineering - runs a programme of awards and schemes to encourage engineering research and facilitate closer contacts between the industrial and academic worlds.
  • The Royal Society - the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth dedicated to promoting excellence in science. It runs a series of schemes that enhance the UK science base and fosters collaboration between UK based and overseas scientists. Funding is for research in the natural sciences (including physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering, agricultural, biological and medical research but excluding clinical and patient-oriented research).
  • Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts - the operating office of 17 different grant-making trusts, which fund activities with a clearly defined charitable purpose. (None of the trusts directly support individuals, education fees or expeditions).
  • Sir Halley Stewart Trust - funds innovative and pioneering projects in religious, social, educational and medical fields which enable human flourishing and prevent suffering. Grants are normally given in the form of a salary.

UK: Medical and related

  • Academy of Medical Sciences – Funding for biomedical and health research to advance its translation into benefits for society. Portfolio of grant schemes available, supporting those on the clinical training pathway and those working in basic biomedical research.
  • Action Medical Research for Children - funds research most likely to make a difference to the lives of sick babies, children and young people. Within their focus on child health (including problems affecting pregnancy and childbirth) they support a broad spectrum of research with the objective of preventing disease and disability. 
  • Alzheimer's Research UK - supports scientific and medical research into the cause, diagnosis/detection, prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's and related diseases. Research which has translational potential for patient benefit is of particular importance (including basic preclinical and clinical research, but not care or service delivery research).
  • Bloodwise- dedicated exclusively to funding research into all blood cancers - to help find cures, better tests and kinder treatments. Blood cancer research grants support a wide range of projects from basic laboratory research through to clinical trials, as well as career development awards.
  • Cancer Research UK - dedicated to cancer research - towards prevention, diagnosis and treatment - and supports researchers through a variety of funding mechanisms including fellowships, programmes, awards and project grants. 
  • Diabetes UK - funds diabetic research in the UK. Research opportunities exist within the three key areas: care and treatment, cause and prevention, and cure.
  • Heart Research UK - awards grants for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease. Funding programmes include: Translational Research Project Grants and Novel and Emerging Technologies Grants.
  • Royal Osteoporosis Society - supports pioneering research aimed at improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis - for researchers at all stages of career via a portfolio of funding schemes.
  • The Stroke Association - supports and promotes research into stroke prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and long-term care. Research Project and Programme Grants are awarded to Doctors, Professors, Research Fellows, Therapists, Psychologists and Nurses at universities and hospitals across the UK.
  • Versus Arthritis - funds research into arthritis and improving the understanding of how different forms of musculoskeletal conditions develop in the UK – investing in the development and evaluation of new treatment.
  • Wellbeing of Women - funds research into three areas: gynaecological cancers; pregnancy and birth, including pre-term birth, miscarriage and fertility; and quality of life issues, including menopause, incontinence and prolapse, sexual health, menstrual disorders and endometriosis.
  • The Wellcome Trust - supports biomedical research and the medical humanities, with the aim of improving human and animal health. The Trust offers a wide variety of funding schemes, including Investigator Awards, fellowships and strategic awards, and also supports several major initiatives.


  • Gerda Henkel Foundation - funding activities concentrating on German and foreign academics in the fields of historical humanities. Candidates can apply regardless of their nationality and place of work. Funds are provided for specific temporary research projects (grants for personnel, travel and material expenses), research and PhD scholarships (for German and foreign scholars) and publications of projects supported by the Foundation.
  • The Getty Foundation - fellowships for non-residential researchers of all nationalities working in the arts, humanities, or social sciences.
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation - a private foundation dedicated to the advancement of anthropology throughout the world. The Foundation has a variety of grant programmes for anthropological research and scholarship that are open to applicants irrespective of nationality or country of residence.