Application Deadline- 31 October 2018 and 31 March 2019

Research grant development awards provide ‘pump-priming’ funds for the development of high-quality, innovative and multidisciplinary research grants in medical sociology / sociology of health and illness. They are intended to support groups to work together to develop a research grant application and to submit it to a major national or international funding body within three months of the end of the award. Grants can be used to cover the costs of a range of activities, up to a maximum of £6,000, as required in the development of a grant application to submission. In 2018/19, a maximum of four awards will be made.

Deadlines for applications
31 October 2018 (two awards to be made)
31 March 2019 (two awards to be made)

Applications will be considered from groups comprising at least four researchers, based in at least three different institutions, at least two of whom have a track record as active researchers in the sociology of health and illness.

The lead applicant must be based in a UK university or research institution and be an active researcher in the sociology of health and illness. Other applicants may be based outside the UK.

Successful applicants may reapply for funding in subsequent years. Individual researchers may participate in more than one research group applying for a research grant development award, but may not hold more than one award at any one time.

Trustees are not eligible to be lead applicants for awards (though they can act as coapplicants). Other members of their Department are not excluded from applying as lead applicants or coapplicants.

Expected outputs
Successful applicants are expected to produce substantive outputs in the form of a full grant application to a major national or international funding body and, where appropriate, publications in peer-reviewed journals. These outputs are expected to be completed within three months of the end of the award, unless otherwise agreed in advance.

Application procedure and criteria for assessment
An application should be made by the lead applicant, using the application form below, and should involve at least three other applicants. It should also be signed off by an appropriate university finance officer or similar.

The application should outline the proposed activities to be undertaken and details of the expected outputs. Funds may be used to support travel and associated expenses (standard or economy class rail and air fares only), pre-pilot work, literature reviews, or other activities needed to produce a high-quality, innovative research grant application. Please note that if staff are employed using grant money, no estates or indirect costs (overheads) will be paid. If independent consultants or staff not already employed by one of the UK institutions involved are to be employed, this will need to be discussed and agreed in advance with the Foundation’s chair of trustees.

If research ethics approval is required in accordance with the Department of Health Research Governance Framework, a copy of the ethics approval letter should be forwarded to the chair of trustees before the research begins.

A grant application to a major national or international funding body should be submitted within three months of the end of the award, unless otherwise agreed in advance. The funds awarded should also be claimed within three months of the end of the award. Unspent or unclaimed funds cannot be carried over the end of this period.

Applications will be considered by a panel of three trustees of the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness. Criteria used in assessing applications are:

  • the contribution of the proposed work to the development of a research proposal / grant application that will lead to high-quality research in the sociology of health and illness, including innovative theoretical and/or methodological developments;
  • the contribution to establishing or strengthening collaboration between research centres and academic disciplines, with the main focus on the sociology of health and illness;
  • the experience and expertise of the collaborators in relation to the research topic;
  • the appropriateness and standing of the proposed funding body; and
  • the other proposed outputs from the research grant development award beyond the external grant application to a major national or international funding body.

Decisions are normally made within eight weeks of the deadline for receipt of applications, and applicants will be informed as soon as possible after a decision has been made. Awards will be made on merit and the full complement of awards will be made only if there are sufficient applications reaching the required standard. The Trustees regret that they cannot give feedback on applications or the reasons for unsuccessful applications.

Application form
Download the application form at the bottom of this page. Send the completed form electronically to and send one signed hard copy to:

Professor Joan Busfield
Treasurer, Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness
Department of Sociology
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park


For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Sociology of Health and Illness Research Grant Development Awards 2018/2019