How RCGP support your research

We want general practice and primary care to be leading the way in high quality healthcare research. To help achieve this we are working to support the development of research knowledge and skills; providing grant funding for high quality research; and working to develop and strengthen the infrastructure available to access data and research networks.

Research Ready

Research Ready® is a quality assurance programme for all research-active UK GP practices. It is designed in line with the UK Research Governance Framework's legal, ethical, professional, and patient safety requirements. The programme serves to provide information, support and guidance to accredited practices in research; both to assist with meeting the requirements above, and with considering and conducting research.

Research Ready® gives access to training and support for the whole practice team to upskill them to engage with research. It can be used by all practice staff, both clinical and non-clinical (GPs, nurses, practice management, administrators).

Steps to joining Research Ready

  • Nominate someone at your practice (for example, GP, nurse, practice manager) to act as the named 'Research Lead'
  • Go to the Research Ready website and register an account
  • Once registered, log in to the system and begin accreditation; this involves completing two surveys (Practice Information – the practice's research status, interests, etc. – and Quality
  • Statements – confirming the practice's awareness and meeting of governance standards)
  • Pay the relevant administration fee (£100 for one year's accreditation, £250 for three years' accreditation)
  • Funding for this fee can be offset against income your practice makes from future research-based activity
  • Access / Download / Print your accreditation certificate.

The RCGP eLearning Research Ready course

The RCGP eLearning website includes a series of modules on Research Ready®. The four modules, alongside two (optional) assessments make up the course. Access to this is priced at £300. The course is free of charge for practices accredited with Research Ready® and for RCGP Students, AiT and GP Foundation Members.

How to access the eLearning Research Ready® course on RCGP Learning

RCGP Research Ready®-accredited users will need to login to their Research Ready account, click on 'RCGP LEARNING' in the home page and follow the detailed instructions there.

Trainees and students will need to access RCGP Learning, create an account with the RCGP shop (or just log in, if they have one already) and purchase the eLearning course from the shop there. When the course is added to the basket it will automatically convert to £0.

Further information

For further information on Research Ready® including background to the programme, benefits to accreditation and more, please view our user guide (PDF file, 291 KB).

Any queries related to Research Ready® can be sent via email to

Research Ready® was developed with:

These bodies are responsible for developing primary care research infrastructure and delivery across the UK's four devolved nations.

Our resources

Scientific Foundation Board

The RCGP Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) was first established in 1976 as a charitable funding body of the College. It supports high quality primary care research studies and awards grants for research with direct relevance to the care of patients in the general practice setting.

The College annually allocates funding to research grants and fellowships. The SFB have previously 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).

The SFB funds research that is often published in the number one primary care research journal in the world, British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).

Research grants and fellowships

Any GP, primary healthcare professional, or university-based health services researcher may apply for an SFB grant. Research must be relevant to primary care, and to be undertaken in the UK.

The SFB offers three avenues for funding:

  • Practitioner's Allowance Grants (PAGs)
  • Annual Research Grants
  • Fellowships with selected partners

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.

SFB Annual Research Grants

We accept applications for the Annual Research Grants in the Summer of every year. 

We are now accepting applications. The deadline for applications has been extended, get your application in by 23:59 on 11 September 2023.

Apply for a Grant

To apply for the SFB Research Grant please visit our Grant Management Platform, and select which type of grant you would like to apply for.

Please use the application guidance document for more information on eligibility and to support your application.

For more information contact us by email at

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).

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.
  • 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.

Volunteer to become Patient representatives

We are looking for volunteer patient representatives to join the Scientific Foundation Board, if you are interested, please apply via our external jobs site.

RCGP Scientific Foundation Board Members

  • Prof Richard Neal, SFB Chair, Professor of Primary Care at the University of Exeter Medical School, and Part-time GP in Exeter.
  • Dr Nick Thomas, RCGP Clinical Lead for Research, GP in Oxfordshire and Clinical Director at the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands.
  • Dr Steve Mowle, RCGP Honorary Treasurer.
  • Prof Rupert Payne, Society of Academic Primary Care Co-Chair, Professor of Primary Care and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Exeter and GP.
  • Prof Carolyn Chew-Graham, RCGP Research Paper of the Year Chair, Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University.
  • Asst Prof Helen Atherton, Associate Professor in Primary Care at the University of Warwick.
  • Prof Sophie Park, Professor of Primary Care and Medical Education, Director of Medical Education (Primary Care and Community) at UCL Medical School and part-time GP in Hertfordshire.
  • Dr Julia Hiscock, Medical Sociologist, Research Fellow at Bangor University and Co‐Director at North Wales Centre for Primary Care.
  • Dr Mark Lown, Clinical Lecturer at the University of Southampton.
  • Dr Kathryn Hughes, Senior Clinical Lecturer of Primary Care in the Division of Population Medicine at Cardiff University and a GP.
  • Dr James Prior, Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology at Keele University.
  • Asst Prof Sarah Tonkin-Crine, Associate Professor and Health Psychologist at the University of Oxford.
  • Dr Rachel Johnson, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol.
  • Dr Patricia Schartau, Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care at University College London and GP in London.
  • Dr Jessica Watson, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol and GP.
  • Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller, NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.
  • Dr Helen Cramer, Medical Anthropologist and Research Fellow at the University of Bristol.