Funding opportunities by discipline or area of expertise

There are a number of charities, learned associations and academies in the UK with a budget for research. They're often focused on a very specific area and are looking for research projects that will help them realise their goals.

If you already know what subject area you want to focus on, one of these bodies may be able to help.

Sponsor Brief description
Arthritis Research Campaign (arc) The major provider of funding for research into arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases in the UK.
Arts Council England Funds arts activities that benefit people in England or that help artists and arts organisations.
AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust Supports large and small scale projects designed to develop and enhance the practice of teaching primary science as well as science at lower secondary/Key Stage 3.
BackCare Encourages and supports scientific research into the causes, treatment and prevention of back pain.
Big Lottery Fund Funds community groups and projects that improve health, education and the environment.
British Association for Cancer Research Has a number of schemes for members of the association, such as travel fellowships, mid-career fellowships and student awards.
British Academy Provides research funding to postdoctoral level scholars in all subjects within the remit of humanities and social sciences.
British Association for Victorian Studies Dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge about the Victorian period. Funding includes conference grants, conference bursaries and a postdoctoral award.
British Council Support the forming of new links between early stage researchers in the UK and in other countries. Opportunities for funding both single or short term exchange visits and networking conferences.
British Ecological Society Provides grants to promote excellent ecological research, education, training and communication as widely as possible.
BERA (British Educational Research Association) BERA's aim is to sustain and promote a vital research culture in education. They have a small number of awards and fellowships available each year.
British Medical Association Offers around ten grants a year in support of medical research.
British Psychological Society Runs a variety of schemes to promote the advancement of psychological science.
British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society Supports high quality research projects looking at the causes, potential treatments, and potential cure for retinitis pigmentosa.
Cancer Research UK Supports research focusing on the understanding of cancer through to the treatment of cancer.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Provides support for research projects, conferences and professorships. Topics span the whole spectrum of management accountancy.
College of Optometrists Supports research into ophthalmic optics and related subjects and the publication of results.
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation Awards grants to individuals and institutions in the UK and Japan in all areas of the visual and performing arts, the humanities, the social sciences, science and engineering, mathematics, business studies and education to support interaction between the two countries.
Diabetes UK Offers several types of funding scheme, such as project grants and fellowships for research into diabetes.
Douglas Bomford Trust Offers funding including travel scholarships and small research grants in the areas of its objectives which are: to advance knowledge, understanding, practice, competence and capability in the application of engineering and physical science to agriculture, horticulture, forestry, amenity and allied land based and biological activities for the sustainable development of the environment and mankind.
Earthwatch Institute Supports long-term scientific field research that tackles the world's most pressing environmental problems. Supports research projects in four key areas: ecosystem services, climate change, oceans, and cultural heritage.
Education Development Trust Education Development Trust's Tim Morris Award offers £2,000 financial support to a PhD or MPhil student in the field of education or international development to support field research in a low- or low-middle income country.
ESCalate (Education Subject Centre) ESCalate offers funding in the field of education under the following programmes: Developing Pedagogy and Practice; Hot Topics; Sharing Ideas; student grants.
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Aims to improve quality of life throughout the UK. Supports work that might otherwise be considered difficult to fund. Primary interests are in the cultural life of the UK, education and learning, the natural environment and enabling disadvantaged people to participate more fully in society. Please contact the Research Services Team if you're interested in applying to this Foundation as there is a limit placed on the number of awards that may be held by any one institution.
Experimental Psychology Society Supports research to further scientific enquiry in the field of psychology and cognate subjects.
Fight for Sight Funds world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease.
The Florence Nightingale Foundation Awards scholarships, including travel scholarships, to advance the study of nursing and to promote excellence in practice.
Gatsby Charitable Foundation Generally does not make grants in response to unsolicited applications. Current fields of interest include plant science, neuroscience, science and engineering education, Africa, the Institute for Government, arts and mental health.
Gen Foundation Supports the research and study of natural sciences and the arts. Focuses on biological, chemical and botanical science students/researchers, and exceptional candidates from language, music and art.
J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust The Trust's main aim is to fund well-managed projects across the UK that help to relieve poverty, support disadvantaged people to reach their potential and effect long-term change where help is not readily available from the public or private purse. The Trust also provides limited funding for the arts and conservation of the natural and built environment.
Help the Aged Spends around £3million each year on research that aims to improve the quality of life of older people, which includes biomedical research into age-related conditions and social policy research to inform campaigning work.
Heritage Lottery Fund Gives grants to a range of projects involving the local regional and national heritage of the UK.
Human Frontier Science Programme A French foundation that supports novel, innovative and interdisciplinary basic research focused on the complex mechanisms of living organisms. Researchers from the UK may apply as lead applicant for this sponsor.
Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Offers bursaries, fellowships and special awards to midwives.
Jacobs Foundation Supports projects which enhance the quality of young people's lives in a sustainable way, promotes personal and professional development of upcoming generations and enables youth to make a personal contribution to shaping the world of tomorrow.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation The Foundation's mission is to 'search, demonstrate and influence, providing evidence, solutions and ideas that will help to overcome the causes of poverty, disadvantage and social evil'.
Leverhulme Trust Makes awards for the support of research and education and encompasses all subject areas. However, where other research support agencies specialise in particular disciplines, as for example in the case of medicine, applicants are advised to consider whether applications to these agencies would be more appropriate. Particular emphasis is placed on the originality of the project, the significance of the proposed work, the ability to judge and take appropriate risk in the project and the removal of barriers between traditional disciplines.
National Osteoporosis Society Supports clinical research with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) Aims to increase the quality and quantity of research in innovation by, among other things, commissioning targeted research from leading academic and policy institutes.
Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children The Foundation cares for disabled and mentally ill children and supports medical research by way of equipment grants and start-up project grants.
Nuffield Foundation Supports research and innovation that will bring about beneficial social change; and the development of research and professional capacity with particular emphasis on people in the early stages of their careers in the sciences and social sciences.
Royal Academy of Engineering Britain's national academy for engineering. Runs a programme of awards and schemes to encourage engineering research and facilitate closer contact between academia and industry.
Royal Economic Society Encourages the study of economic science. They have a selection of small grants and fellowships available, such as conference support.
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.
SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) SEDA's Research and Development Grants encourage activities which promote greater understanding of supporting and leading educational change.
SEMPRE (Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research) SEMPRE has a number of small grants available, including the Arnold Bentley New Initiatives Fund which supports new, interdisciplinary initiatives concerned with the advancement or promotion of research in the psychology of music or music education.
Simon Wolff Charitable Trust Funds and promotes activities, research and education in transport and health, alternatives to cars, science travel grants at university level, and science prizes at school and university level.
Social Policy Association Members of the Social Policy Association are welcome to apply for a small grant (up to £500).
Sir Halley Stewart Trust Supports projects in religious, social, educational and medical fields.
Stroke Association Supports and promotes research into stroke prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and long-term care.
The Sutton Trust Aims to promote social mobility through education. Focuses on research and policy work and will only be funding a select handful of small-scale pilot projects. It's anticipated that most of these projects will be developed through their existing partnerships.
Thomas Pocklington Trust Funds social and public health research and development to identify practical ways in which we, and others, can improve the lives of people with sight loss. Research proposals can be submitted via two routes: speculative research proposals and calls for proposals.
US-UK Fulbright Commission Offers opportunities to study, lecture or pursue research in any academic field. The awards are UK-US exchange programmes.
Wellbeing of Women Funds research into three areas: gynaecological cancers, pregnancy and birth, and quality of life issues.
Wellcome Trust Supports research and activities with the ultimate aim of protecting and improving human and animal health.
Wolfson Foundation Awards grants to back excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education, the arts and humanities.