Information for researchers

Grant selection process

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.

How we’ll assess your research grant application

Generally, we have 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 grant call.

We may also offer research funding to tackle a specific question we’re interested in. In all cases, research grants are awarded by our scientific committee through a peer review process. Our committee members are:

  • Scientific committee chair – Professor Stephen Holgate
  • Epidemiologist, statistician – Professor Richard Hubbard
  • Clinical scientist – Dr Mark Griffiths
  • Respiratory paediatrician – Professor Warren Lenney
  • Laboratory specialist – Dr Louise Donnelly
  • Respiratory scientist – Dr Alison Condliffe
  • Laboratory-based respiratory scientist – Professor Terry Tetley
  • Lay member – Lucy Falconer
  • Respiratory physician – Dr Nicholas Hopkinson
  • Clinical scientist – Dr Sejal Saglani
  • Clinical scientist – Professor Peter Bradding
  • Infectious diseases specialist – Dr James Chalmers
  • Lay member – Lizzi Stephens
  • Lung cancer specialist – Dr Frank McCaughan

Members give up their time voluntarily to evaluate grant applications and make decisions on which ones should be funded. Committee members must declare any conflict of interest and are excluded from the evaluation process of relevant applications.

To read a declaration of interest for each member, click on their name above.

Committee members are not allowed to evaluate applications from their own university or research institution. During their three-year term, members can only be awarded one British Lung Foundation grant and cannot take part in the review of their own application.

The chair cannot be awarded a grant during their term. Shortlisted applications are then evaluated by an external peer review process. This involves asking leading respiratory experts from all over the world to submit a written evaluation of the application. Our external peer review systems have been awarded a Best Practice in Medical and Health Research Peer Review certificate by the Association of Medical Research Charities.

Lay evaluation

Every application for a British Lung Foundation research grant includes a summary of the proposed study written in non-scientific language. Lay members of the scientific committee and non-scientists from the British Lung Foundation Board of Trustees evaluate these.

Their job is to assess the potential impact of the work for people living with lung disease and how well the applicant can communicate about the importance of their proposed study.

This also allows us to evaluate the applicant’s ability to explain their ideas to a non-scientist, helping us to fund scientists who are able to communicate about their research to all our supporters.

If you need any more information, please contact Ian from our research team at