Our research focus
The majority of our research funding supports research in a limited number of priority areas. As researchers working at the cutting edge of science are well-placed to know what work is needed to take the next step towards better care, we mainly offer open research grants where researchers set out their own ideas and proposals.
Projects that we fund need to be well-designed and make a robust case for delivering practical benefits for people living with a lung condition in either the short, medium or longer term.
Key features of our research strategy
- Support researchers in the early stages of their careers, making sure there’s a bright future for lung research in the UK
- create research networks and actual or virtual centres of excellence to address the current lack of focused research in some of our priority research areas
- offer funding to support discrete research projects and seek opportunities to co-fund research with other organisations
- tell people in plain language about the research we fund
We're reviewing our strategy in 2018.
Without great researchers, we can’t fund world-class research. Our grants include awards that support early-career researchers and help them to become the breakthrough lung professors of the future. We give them the chance to train in world-class research labs where they’ll learn the skills they’ll need to become researchers making tomorrow’s breakthroughs.
They’ll carry out a research study that will make a significant contribution to the development of better treatments and care, while being guided by respected mentors.
We also recognised the great work done by early-career investigators by awarding a winner and runner-up prize as part of the Early Career Investigator Awards each year through the British Thoracic Society. In addition, we help early-career researchers to present their research at international lung research conferences where they can learn more about their subject, meet mentors, and forge new collaborations.
We fund 2 summer studentships to give promising medical and basic science undergraduates hands-on experience of research during the academic summer vacation. This scheme attracts the brightest and best into a future career in lung research.
As part of our research strategy, we aim to start centres of excellence in our priority diseases to bring together researchers from a range of backgrounds to work on a specific issue and collaborate to break new ground. We’re delighted that a gift from the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Foundation has meant we’ve been able to fund research programmes at the University of Leicester and Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust near Cambridge, and also create a mesothelioma research network (MRN).
As well as funding our own projects, we want to work with other research institutions and charities to maximise the amount of money that is dedicated to respiratory research.
For example, we have made research grant awards in conjunction with:
- Cancer Research UK
- Medical Research Council
- CF Trust
- the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office
- Mesothelioma UK
- Wessex Medical Research
- The Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Foundation
- The family and friends of Dr Joseph Footitt
Have a look at our blogs from researchers and people living with a lung condition to hear the stories about why our research matters.
- Aran’s research in COPD
- Ian’s research into IPF
- John’s research into a rare lung disease
- Elizabeth’s research into pneumonia
Supporting people living with rare lung disease
With the help of one of our grants, John has helped develop clearer information for a rare lung condition called GLILD.
How we're researching IPF
Ian from Newcastle University shares his team's exciting research on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)