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Grant selection process

We want the money we give to research to have the biggest possible impact and therefore, we have a rigorous system to decide who receives our funding.

How we’ll assess your research grant application

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, we follow their guidelines for best practice in peer-review, where grants are awarded based on principles of accountability, balance, independent-decision making, rotation of scientific advisers and impartiality.

The British Lung Foundation offers numerous types of awards at any one time, the majority of which operate under a response mode grant funding system. This means we ask applicants to come up with their own research ideas and put them forward as funding applications. Ideas must fall within our remit and meet the specific terms of an individual funding stream. We may also offer funding to tackle specific research questions or topics of interest to us.

The British Lung Foundation uses Flexi-Grant for researchers to make applications for funding.

Research Review Panel:

All funding recommendations are made by our Research Review Panel (RRP), which consist of core members, in addition to those with specific expertise recruited for certain funding streams. Current RRP membership is:

 

Core Members

Professor Edwin Chilvers (Chair – Imperial College London)

Professor Chris Griffiths (Vice-chair - University of London)

Professor Clare Lloyd (Imperial College London)

Dr Najib Rahman (University of Oxford)

Dr Shona Fielding (Frontier Science/University of Aberdeen)

Dr David Leather (GlaxoSmithKline)

Phil Taverner (Patient Representative)

Lizzi Stephens (Patient Representative)

 

Mesothelioma members

Professor Marion Macfarlane (MRC Toxicology Unit)

Professor Daniel Murphy (University of Glasgow)

Dr Katie Finegan (University of Manchester)

Professor Stefan Marciniak (University of Cambridge)

Professor Karen Brown (University of Leicester)

 

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis members

Professor Gisli Jenkins (University of Nottingham/Imperial College London)

Professor Louise Wain (University of Leicester)

Professor Donna Davies (University of Southampton)

Dr Nik Hirani (University of Edinburgh)

Dr Manuela Plate (University College London)

 

Review of applications:

The review process undertaken for our grants is dictated by the type of award and its value. The majority of our grants are reviewed in a two-stage process:

  1. Submission of preliminary applications, which are shortlisted by our RRP and successful applicants are invited to the full application stage.
  2. External peer-review of full applications. This involves requesting leading respiratory experts from all over the world to submit a written review of the application.
  3. Discussion and scoring of full applications in the review meeting, where RRP members are allocated specific proposals based on their area of expertise. The scoring is used to rank the applications, with those with the highest scores and falling within the available budget recommended for funding.
  4. Annual budgets are approved in advance by our Board of Trustees and funding recommendations are subsequently ratified by our delegated representatives (CEO and the Director of Research and Innovation).

The review process for each of our award types is summarised in the table below:

Award type

Value of awards

No. of stages

External peer-review

Discussion in Review meeting

Pump-priming grants

Up to £100K

1

No

No

PhD studentships

Ca. £100K

1

No

Yes

Fellowships or career development awards

Up to £300K

1

Yes

Yes, with interview

Project grants

£100K - £300K

2

Yes

Yes

Bespoke grants

>£300K

2/3

Yes

Yes, with interview

Lay review:

In addition to scientific reviewers, non-scientific patient representatives (lay reviewers) are always included within our RRP.

Lay reviewers assess applications in order to determine whether the research is relevant to patients, and includes appropriate patient and public involvement, rather than the scientific integrity, which is the remit of scientific reviewers. It is therefore important that the lay summary is written in plain English and provides enough information for lay reviewers to make informed decisions.

Conflicts of interest:

Members of our RRP and all external peer-reviewers are required to declare any conflicts of interest before being granted access to application documents. Conflicted individuals are not permitted to contribute to the assessment or discussion of relevant applications. Further detail can be found in our Conflicts of Interest Policy.