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Our research strategy

We support breakthroughs of the future by investing in research now.

Our research strategy sets out the principles, aims and objectives that underpin our support for lung research. The strategy is reviewed regularly by our senior staff and research committee.

Download the latest version of our research strategy (PDF, 81KB)

If you’re thinking of applying for one of our research grants, please consider the following general points:

Scientific merit

The research we fund must be of the highest standard of scientific excellence, in terms of the quality of the research team, the objectives of the research and the prospects of achieving them. The research must be directly relevant to the respiratory system and enable understanding of and/or progress in at least one of the following:

  • prevention
  • diagnosis
  • alleviation
  • treatment or cure

depending on terms of the individual grant scheme, research can be clinical, laboratory-based, epidemiological and/or qualitative.

Priority areas

Our board of trustees has agreed a list of priority areas for our work. Therefore, we encourage applications for research into these areas. However, where possible, we will also consider applications for research into all other respiratory areas. 

Types of grants

The types of research grants we make can include, but are not limited to: project grants, PhD studentships, chair(s) in respiratory medicine and pump-priming grants. Other grants available can include travel fellowships and early career investigator awards.

We often receive funding from donors who wish to restrict their donation to support research into a specific topic, such as a disease area. We distribute relevant research funds in line with these restrictions where appropriate. For this reason, many of our funding streams are disease-specific from the outset. 

Research impact 

Research must have a clearly defined impact for those living with lung disease, their carers and families - in the short, medium and/or long term. We fund research that will provide added value. In other words, its results should not only aim to increase the knowledge of a particular research area, but should also aim to benefit people affected by lung disease.

Communicating with the public

We provide relevant information to all people living with lung disease, their carers and other stakeholders. Researchers must therefore provide summaries of their work in language that is easy for the general public to understand. This is vital, not only in letting people know about the research we’re funding, but in making the case for why lung research is important and should be supported in the future. 

Applicant location

Principal applicants for our research funding must be based in the UK. Co-applicants may be based in non-UK institutions. 

Guidelines for making an application 

In the current climate of funding, within a single funding stream and within a single grant round, multiple applications from a single principal investigator will not be accepted. Multiple applications from a single research group are also discouraged. Applicants are not allowed to submit the same scientific content to multiple funding streams. Please see the application guidelines for an individual funding stream for full information on making an application. 

Alternative funding

If, following an application to us, a project is funded from a different source, it is the responsibility of the applicant to inform us and withdraw their application to us. In view of the danger to health caused by tobacco, we will not support individuals holding or employed under a grant from the tobacco industry.

Animals in research

We're a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). We support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of health and disease and to develop new treatments. This research only takes place where there is no alternative available. We only fund animal research which complies with the law and we support the principle of the '3Rs' to refine, reduce and replace the use of animals in research. To find out more, read this AMRC statement.

Supporting research in universities

Asthma + Lung UK endorses the AMRC position statement supporting research in universities. Since 2008, medical research charities have invested nearly £12 billion in UK universities. In 2018, 87% of all UK medical research funded by AMRC’s members took place directly in universities. The AMRC works with us and research institutions to understand better how charity funding partnerships can be placed on a sustainable footing across the range of research activity and types of research institutions.

Use of embryos in research

Asthma + Lung UK does not currently fund any projects that require human or hybrid human embryos but as a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities, backs their support of the use of human embryos and the creation of hybrid human embryos when the research has the potential to make significant medical advances. We would like to reassure our supporters that Asthma + Lung UK would only consider funding this research if it is likely to give essential information that could not be achieved by alternative methods.