Financial support for College members undertaking research

The College offers a range of financial and practical support for members undertaking research: 

Travel bursaries for postgraduate students

Travel bursaries provide financial assistance to postgraduate students delivering oral presentations or presenting posters on their research at conferences. Applicants can request funding for travel, accommodation, event costs, food and subsistence while attending the event.

Bursaries are available throughout the year, but funding is limited so please apply as soon as you can. Applications must be received no later than one month before the date of travel.

For more information, and to apply, download the documents below:

Maintenance grants for undergraduates on research projects

Project supervisors can apply for a College Research Scholarship of £2,000 to cover their student’s maintenance costs for eight weeks’ work experience in an active research laboratory. (The project can be in two four week blocks.). Please note that this funding is not for the project costs.

Grants are available throughout the year, but funding is limited so project supervisors should apply as early as possible.

For more information, and to apply, please download the documents below: 

Grants for small practice-based research projects

The Small Grants Scheme provides funding for College members undertaking small-scale, practice-based research projects. As well as financial support, the scheme offers access to help and support on all aspects of planning, undertaking and reporting on a research project, provided by the College Research Team. We can also help with applications.

The Small Grants Scheme is suspended for the 2023-24 year. No Small Grants Scheme awards will be made during this time.

Funding for PhD research projects 

The College's Postgraduate Scholarships provide funding for full or part time PhD research projects undertaken at institutions within the UK. The funding includes a maintenance grant and help with tuition fees and some essential research expenses.

Applicants are advised to read the Information for Applicants and the Terms and Conditions of the Award before applying.

The Postgraduate Scholarship is suspended for the 2023-24 year. No Postgraduate Scholarships will be awarded during this time.

Funding for Research and Clinical Research Fellowships

We offer financial support to members working as lecturers, or in a clinical/hospital setting, who are making the transition from post-doctoral research trainee to proven independent investigator. These are offered annually to cover buying equipment or teaching/clinical time. 

The Research and Clinical Research Fellowships are suspended for the 2023-24 year. No Research and Clinical Research awards will be made during this time.

Funding for a Postdoctoral Research Award

This Award provides a College member at postdoctoral level with an opportunity to be principal investigator on a research project on any topic. The Award was made possible by the generous donations of College members.

The Award is to fund a new and specific research project to be undertaken either during an existing postdoctoral appointment (if permitted by the employing institution) or after existing funding has finished, on either a full or part-time basis. The Award can be used to pay for equipment but should not be used to buy out teaching time.

The Postdoctoral Research Award is suspended for the 2023-24 year. No Postdoctoral Research Awards will be made during this time.

"It is quite different to lots of other grants I have applied for where you just put an application together and you either get the funding or you don’t. With the College, it’s collaborative all the way through. For example, we were debating about one project we wanted to run, so the College team said: “We’ll release a proportion of the funds and let’s do a pilot to see how it goes.” On the basis of that, we changed direction quite a bit. I don’t think you necessarily get the opportunity to do that with other grant processes, so it’s been nothing but a positive experience for me."

Amy Hughes MCOptom, Small Grant Scheme practice-based research grant recipient