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 general practice.

Any GP, primary healthcare professional or university-based researcher may apply for a grant.

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

Call for grant applications now open: apply for research grants of up to £20,000 from the RCGP, see information below.


The SFB, established 1976, is currently chaired by Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham.

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

Scientific Foundation Board grants

Call for grant applications now open: apply for research grants of up to £20,000 from the RCGP

The RCGP Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) supports high quality primary care research studies, and awards grants for research projects where 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.

Deadline for applications: 31 July 2017, 12:00 noon.

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.

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 2017 Annual Research Grant applications is 31 July 2017, 12:00 noon.

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

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

Recruitment of new Board members

Recruitment of clinical and non clinical members for Scientific Foundation Board: applications now open!

The Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) are looking to recruit two new members (an academic GP and a non-clinical health service researcher) to join the Board in late 2017.

New members will be expected to be available for the SFB meeting on 29 November 2017, and to score grant applications within a timeframe of one month from appointment in late September.

Closing date: 31 July 2017 

Baseline time commitment:

• Review of annual grant applications of up to £20,000 between July and September and attendance at annual SFB meeting
• Ad hoc review of grant applications as directed by the SFB chair, throughout the year
• Standard tenure is three years


• Travel and other related expenses for attendance at the SFB annual meeting

The SFB was established in 1976 as a charitable funding body of the College. It awards grants for research projects whose findings will be of direct relevance to the care of patients in the general practice setting. The SFB selects successful grant holders through assessment of applications against set criteria.

The responsibilities as a member of the SFB are:

• To assess the submitted applications using pre-defined criteria on annual basis
• To contribute to awarding grants up to £20,000 annually through attending the grant awards committee each Autumn
• To contribute to awarding grants up to £1,000 throughout the year through assessing applications on an ad hoc basis

• To support the review of research grant applications for research that the RCGP may participate in or endorse
• To read materials circulated by the Programme Officer and provide comments via email if appropriate.
• To promote the SFB through relevant communication channels

SFB members are selected against the following criteria:

• Experience of applying for external research project funding
• Has received external funding for projects as lead or co-applicant
• Has managed externally funded projects

• Has experience refereeing applications for research project funding (i.e. bursary, grant or other award schemes to support primary care research)
• Has experience of refereeing research papers
• Has understanding of current NHS primary care Research and Development issues (e.g. has membership of research related organisation/ group such as PCRN, local regional , national R&D committee)

• Has published papers in peer reviewed journals.

How to apply

 Please apply by submitting your application by email only to :

• A short CV (max. 10 pages)
• The names of two referees
• A covering letter (max. 2 sides of A4) highlighting your suitability for the role

In particular we would like to know:

• Your reasons for applying
• Previous experience on grant awarding bodies

• Your own research experience and your mythological expertise
• How you meet the selection criteria above

RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship


RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowship

Applications are invited annually 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 addressing the lack of research on 24/7 palliative care. The fellowship brings palliative and end of life care to the forefront of primary care research. The fellowship will 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.

Applications for RCGP Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Fellowships are currently closed and will reopen later in 2017 providing there is funding available.


Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship

Helen Lester Mental Health Research Fellowship

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

The Fellowship was awarded to Dr Ian Morgan, GP at Brampton Medical Practice, Cumbria.

Find out more about the Helen Lester Appeal for Mental Health Research.

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