Scientific Foundation Board (SFB)

The Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) is the College's charitable funding body and awards grants for research projects whose findings will be of direct relevance to the care of patients in the general practice setting.

Any GP, primary healthcare professional or university-based researcher may apply for a grant for scientific research to be undertaken in the UK.

Applications for the Scientific Foundation Board grants are currently closed. However, the Clinical Research Network are accepting applications for their award scheme until Thursday 25 August. Find out more here.

For any enquiries about the SFB, please contact the team on email or telephone 020 3188 7594.


The SFB, established 1976, is currently chaired by Professor Chris Salisbury.

Chairs Profile

The standard tenure of membership is three years; we invite applications for new clinical and non-clinical board members on an annual basis.

Information about current and past research projects supported by the SFB can be found in the document below.

Scientific Foundation Board research grants awarded  

Scientific Foundation Board grants

The 2016 annual call for research grant applications

During 2016 the SFB invited applications for:

•  Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship, up to £40,000

•  The Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship, up to £25,000

•  Annual Research grants of up to £20,000

Applications were submitted to the Board by 12 noon on 31 July 2016.

The Board also considers applications for the Practitioners Allowance Grant up to £1,000, which may be submitted throughout the year.

See further information below, for detail about all grants.

Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship Applications

Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship

The Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship was set up in Helen’s memory, and aims to improve the lives of those living with mental health problems across the UK.

Applicants should:

• Produce an innovative and creative proposal, centred around delivery in primary care

• Explain how their research will ultimately improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness

• Explain how the proposed research project will impact service development

• Encourage and inspire the next generation of mental health researchers

The award of £25,000 will be available for a period of 1 to 3 years.

Applications are now closed for 2016, and successful applicants will be awarded later this year.

To find out more about the Helen Lester Appeal for Mental Health Research follow these links:

• Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship information
• Research fellowships
Helen Lester Appeal

RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship


RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship

Applications are invited for the RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship. This is a joint fellowship between the RCGP and Marie Curie.

The RCGP and Marie Curie are keen to address the lack of research addressing 24/7 palliative care. The fellowship aims to bring palliative and end of life care to the forefront of primary care research. The fellowship hopes to identify and support a future leader in primary care research related to palliative and end of life care.

The award of £40,000 will be available for up to 2 years. The fellowship will be awarded late 2016/early 2017.

Applications are currently closed, and will reopen in 2017


Scientific Foundation Board Annual Research grant application

The application form and the general guidelines apply for both annual research grants and practitioner allowance grants.

SFB Annual £20,000 Research Grant

The deadline for 2016 annual research grant applications was 12 noon 31 July 2016. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by January 2017.

Applications for the SFB Annual £20,000 Research Grant are now closed.

Practitioners Allowance Grant

Applications for grants under £1,000 are open throughout the year and considered under Chairman's Action. Applicants will be notified within four to six weeks of submission.

Application form and guidance 

• SFB Research Grant Application Form
• SFB general guidelines for applicants

Applications must be submitted by email to

Annual grants will be awarded in late 2016/ early 2017.

High priority is given to applications from new researchers who have not previously been funded, or pilot studies and short term studies lasting up to about 18 months. The SFB have no research priorities of their own. 


General information about funding

• The Board does not fund audit projects or guideline developments
• The Board is able to award grants to people who are not members of RCGP. Members of any primary care discipline are able to apply
• Priority will be given to short term projects which will normally last up to 18 months
• The Board will not generally fund time for individuals who are already in receipt of funding for research from another source, but may consider a request for protected time for an individual working in a research practice which was in receipt of R&D support funding

Interim and final reports

Grant holders are required to submit an annual report by 30 June each year until completion of the research project. Annual reports should be presented using the progress report template.  Each report should contain a predicted project end date and indicate the progress that has been made to date.

For projects of up to 12 months, grant holders should only submit a final report. This report must be submitted within 12 months of the end date of your study and will include a structured abstract for placement on the Board’s page on the RCGP website.

We request that all recipients of our grants acknowledge the SFB in publications and presentations of work that we have funded. Grant holders are expected to notify and provide copies of research papers prior to publication (confidentiality and embargoes are maintained). 

• Annual progress report template
• Final report template
• Final financial report template

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