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How we decide which research to fund

We want the money we give to research to have the biggest possible impact. That’s why we have a rigorous system to decide who receives our funding.

1. Publicity

We usually announce new grants on our website around December each year. We advertise our grants to UK research groups on our website, by email and on social media. We also publish details in the British Thoracic Society (BTS) electronic newsletter. Avalaible grants are published on our website. Application is made via our Asthma + Lung UK Flexi-Grant system. 

2. Application submission

Preliminary applications are submitted by interested researchers.

3. Evaluation of applications

All applications are evaluated by our research committee who shortlist the best. We invite shortlisted applicants to submit a more detailed, full application. Full applications are then sent out for review by international experts, a process known as external peer review. External peer review evaluation includes a written assessment of the application and a score between 1 (poor) and 6 (excellent). External reviewers are asked to justify and evidence their evaluation.

4. Compilation of scores

Scores and evaluations are received from the external peer review. All scores and comments are then collected and compiled.

5. Awards meeting

Full applications and their external reviews are discussed by our research committee at an annual meeting. Following full discussion, the committee produces a ranked list of applications it recommends for funding.  This list is looked at by our research and senior management teams who allocate available budget to the best-ranked applications and consider fit to our strategy. Resulting award recommendations are taken to our board of trustees for final agreement and approval of awards.

6. Award of funding

Successful researchers are informed, and feedback sent to unsuccessful candidates.

7. Post award

Although funds are set aside once a grant is awarded, grant-holders are not given funding at the start of the project. They submit an invoice to us after every 3 months to claim their grant funding. This allows us to monitor finances closely and make sure everything is going well.

So we can track the progress of the research funded, we ask researchers for an annual report. A final report at completion of the project is also requested. We use Researchfish to help us capture information about what the research we’ve funded has achieved. Gathering this information is very important in helping us to understand the impact that the research we fund has made. This helps us to measure how well we’re doing and also helps us to raise awareness of why research is so important in the fight against lung disease.