The RCGP Scientific Foundation Board

The Scientific Foundation Board (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 College annually allocates over £100,000 of funding to research grants and fellowships. We work collaboratively to maximise the impact of these awards. Previous partners have included Marie Curie, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC).

Research grants

Practitioner’s Allowance Grants (PAGs)

Applications for Practitioner's Allowance Grants up to £2,000. PAGs are available to GPs who face difficulties in acquiring direct costs for a specific research activity within their practice or institution.

The call is open throughout the year.

To support GPs who are facing challenges in the current situation related to COVID-19, the SFB decided to open the call for submissions throughout the year and review them accordingly. 

For eligibility and guidance please see documents below:

All applications for grants to be submitted to For more information contact us by email at 

SFB Annual Research Grants

Applications now open (closing date: Friday 30 July 2021).  

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 health services researcher may apply for a grant for scientific research to be undertaken in the UK.

For more information contact us by email at

Interim and final Reports

Grant holders are required to submit an annual report by 15 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). 

General information about funding

  • The Board does not fund audit projects or guideline developments.
  • The Board will award grants to people who are not members of RCGP.
  • Members of any primary care discipline are able to apply for the Annual grants and for Marie Curie Fellowship .
  • 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.

Research awards

Celebrating excellence in primary care research is an important part of the Research Programme at the RCGP. These awards celebrate research and help to promote them to GPs and the wider primary healthcare community.

Clinical Research Awards 2021

Applications now open.

Offered by RCGP Scientific Foundation Board and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network, these awards are open to RCGP members and recognise research active NHS GPs and general practices that are demonstrating excellence and innovation in delivering NIHR research.

Applicants are required to outline their contribution to NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies with particular weight being attached to:

  • the range and number of patients in NIHR CRN studies in the UK
  • how patients have been engaged and informed of new opportunities to participate in CRN clinical research
  • the contribution made to the delivery of studies
  • innovative methods of study delivery
  • application content timeframe is 1 January 2020 through 30 June 2021

For more information and to apply, please visit the NIHR website.

RCGP & SAPC Awards for Outstanding Early Career Researchers (Academic General Practitioner and Primary Care Scientist)

Professor Yvonne Carter CBE was an outstanding and inspirational leader who had a remarkable impact on academic general practice. To commemorate her contribution to primary care research the Royal College of General Practitioners, through its Scientific Foundation Board, and the Society for Academic Primary Care jointly instituted the Yvonne Carter Award for Outstanding Early Career Researcher in Primary Care.

This award ran for ten years, and has now been revised. From 2021 there will be two awards – one for an Academic GP and one for a Primary Care Scientist - made annually.

The call for submissions is now closed.

For further information, please contact the Research team at

Previous winners 

  • 2011 Professor Christian Mallen (GP)
  • 2012 Dr Katherine Cresswell (PhD)
  • 2013 Dr Greg Irving (GP)
  • 2014 Dr Helen Atherton (PhD)
  • 2015 Dr Clare J Taylor, MBE (GP), highly commended Dr Sophie Park (GP)
  • 2016 Dr Kamal Mahtani (GP)
  • 2017 Dr Nathan Davies (PhD)
  • 2018 Dr Andrew Carson-Stevens (GP), highly commended Dr Emma Wallace (GP)
  • 2019 Dr Emma Wallace (GP)
  • 2020 Dr Sarah Mitchell (GP), highly commended Dr Jessica Watson (GP)

Research Paper of the Year Award 

The RCGP Research Paper of the Year (RPY) award gives recognition to an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care. 

The call for nominating papers is now closed.

Should you have difficulty submitting research papers using the format please contact RPY Team:

Please note: due to the large volume of papers submitted for the award we are unable to confirm submissions by email on an individual basis.

The winners of Research Paper of the Year 2019 - awarded in 2020

The Overall Winner and Category 1 - Clinical Research Winner:

Prof Chris Butler and Prof Nick Francis for paper: C-Reactive Protein Testing to Guide Antibiotic Prescribing for COPD Exacerbations

Category 2 - Health Services Winner:

Dr Ross McQueenie for paper: Morbidity, mortality and missed appointments in healthcare: a national retrospective data linkage study

Category 3 - Medical Education Winner:

Dr Julie Pattinson for paper: Exploring reasons for differences in performance between UK and international medical graduates in the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners Applied Knowledge Test: a cognitive interview study

Category 3 - Medical Education Highly Commended Paper:

Dr Sharon Spooner for paper: The influence of training experiences on career intentions of the future GP workforce: a qualitative study of new GPs in England. British Journal of General Practice.

More information in the BJGP article

Find out about winners of the Research Paper of the Year Award from previous years.

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