Project grants

We want to fund groundbreaking studies that tackle major Parkinson's research challenges and get right to the heart of complex problems.

We are looking to support projects designed to answer a single Parkinson's research question or a small group of related questions.

These may include research projects in the following areas: (this is not an exhaustive list)

  • to better understand the causes of Parkinson’s
  • drug discovery at all stages of the drug discovery pipeline
  • cohort studies
  • early clinical investigations looking at biomarkers
  • pilot clinical trials
  • areas of unmet needs

We are also interested in pump priming early stage research and welcome smaller scale pilot projects in the above areas.

 

Deadlines

The 2024 deadlines for project grant applications have now passed. 

The 2025 deadlines for applications will be announced later this year on our website and in Synapse our e-newsletter for Parkinson's researchers.

The project grant preproposal form will be made available on our online application system. Applicants who are successful at the preproposal stage will then be invited to submit a full application via our online application system. 

 

Duration and value

The duration of a grant is up to a maximum of 36 months.

There is no fixed minimum or maximum value for project grants. 

The cost of applications is usually up to £400,000 and the average amount awarded is £250,000.

 

Workshop

Sign up to our virtual workshop on Tuesday 22 October 2024 at 11.00am-12.30pm to hear more about how to apply for a project grant. This workshop will cover: patient and public involvement (PPI); the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in both research teams and research plans; allowable costs for research grants; and supporting documentation requirements.

 

Eligibility

Grants are tenable only at a UK university, NHS Trust, statutory social care organisation or other UK research institution.

Principal applicants should hold employment contracts that extend beyond the period of the grant.

Co-applicants and collaborators may be based at institutions outside the UK or at pharmaceutical or biotech companies. 

We will only accept one resubmission of an application. Please refer to the information for applicants for more details.

We actively encourage people from all sections of the community to apply for grants, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.

 

Review process

Preproposals will be independently reviewed by three scientific members of our College of Experts as outlined in the information for applicants.

Full applications will be independently reviewed by three scientific members of our College of Experts and a group of lay grant reviewers, who are people affected by Parkinson’s.

 

Success rates

There was a 30% success rate at the full application stage in 2023.

In 2023, the charity received 35 preproposal applications, 20 of these were invited to submit a full application, and 6 applications were recommended for funding.

You can download the latest list of all our active research projects.

All applicants are expected to work with people affected by Parkinson’s as much as possible throughout the research process and in the development of their application. 

There are a number of ways that applicants can involve people in their research, including in identifying and prioritising research questions, shaping study design and providing feedback on Plain English Summaries. You can read some examples of patient and public involvement (PPI) in action.

You can also watch our short video to find out how researchers are benefitting from PPI.

Parkinson’s UK can support researchers to involve people affected by Parkinson’s through our PPI programme, including by helping to plan meaningful involvement activities and find people to involve. 

Applicants are strongly advised to seek lay input on their research proposal as early as possible when devising their research questions and PPI plans. 

Applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal will be provided with further details if you need help to consult people affected by Parkinson’s for feedback on your application’s Plain English Summary.

See our PPI Guidance for researchers and also our PPI tools for lab based researchers for more information

Please get in touch with the team at [email protected] to request support for your application.

Parkinson's UK is here for everyone in the Parkinson's community. Our Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategy sets out our overarching goal, ambitions and EDI promise. The charity wants equity for everyone who lives with Parkinson’s, and the people in their lives, in the UK.

Responses to Parkinson’s treatment can be different depending on a range of factors. We believe Parkinson’s research should involve, include and represent all members of the community. By having a diverse network of people involved with research, we’re more likely to make breakthroughs that change the lives of all people with Parkinson’s.

The charity's Race Equality in Research project sets out our long-term strategy to increase engagement and participation in Parkinson’s research with people from Black, Asian and Mixed Race backgrounds.

Please see the 'Writing a research grant application' appendix within the project grant information for applicants for more information on how to consider equality, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of your research.

We consider the needs of everyone who applies for a grant at Parkinson’s UK. If you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition, are neurodivergent, or have care responsibilities and need support at any point during the application process, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. You can email [email protected].

Case study

Professor Kevin Mills' research team at University College London has developed a blood test that shows promise for identifying Parkinson’s before movement symptoms begin. This research co-funded by a Parkinson’s UK project grant has found a new way to potentially improve diagnosis and monitoring of Parkinson’s. 

Get updates on grants

Be the first to find out about funding, events, news and opportunities in the world of research by signing up to Synapse - our enewsletter for the Parkinson's research community.