Offering up to £350,000 over 1-3 years for research on a topic of the applicant’s choice. Grants cover salary, equipment and research costs directly associated with the project. As a charity, we do not meet full economic costings. The funds requested should be appropriate for the grant duration and the resources required to realise the project’s objectives.

Eligible research areas

Please refer to What we Fund.

It is important to note that we only accept applications via our online process. We do not accept applications in any other format.

The closing date for first-round applications in 2018 is April 30th. Applications must be received by 5pm on the closing date. Please refer to the timeline below.

Principal Applicant Details

The applicant should be employed by an eligible institution, organisation, or someone who has maintained close links with that institution following retirement. Applications can be submitted by those holding contract research posts provided that their appointment continues for a period at least equal to that of the requested award.

Carefully calculate the average number of hours per week to be spent on the project by the Principal Applicant, taking into consideration other duties over the period of the grant.

If replacement teaching is required, the percentage of time spent on the project (entered in the Salary budget section) should correlate directly. Replacement costs should be carefully costed, take the Principal Investigator’s time commitment into account. The number of hours the Principal Investigator will be dedicating to the project will be the responsibility of the institution.

Why the HvdL Trust?

It is in the Principal Applicant's interests to ensure that a full, clear justification for applying to the Trust is provided, based on understanding of the character of the Trust and of its remit.

Proposal Summary

The initial (first round) summary should be written in a style suitable for a lay reader and the second round for those with good knowledge of the subject area. It should include objectives, potential significance & methods to be used.

When we ask applicants to write a summary in a style suitable for ‘the lay reader’. it’s because the assessment process may involve people without specialist knowledge of your subject area. Writing in a clear and jargon-free style helps assessors to get a clear overview of a project’s aims and methodology—and to make a judgement on the case for supporting the application.


For the first round application please include key relevant and recent publications by the proposed research team.

If you are shortlisted for the second round please demonstrate your knowledge of other papers published in this subject area & an awareness of other developments in the field.


A maximum of three co-applicants can be added. Co-applicants can be from a non-UK institution. Replacement teaching costs can be added for the Co-applicants.

Collaborating Across Sectors

All types of organisations are welcome to apply e.g. third sector, CIC, educational establishment or government body, preferably with an academic partnership or collaboration. Eligibility of business, third sector or government body will not normally need to be checked if it is reasonably clear that the team are appropriate to conduct the work.

If you are a UK business, third sector or government body, you may apply individually but your application will be strengthened by identifying an academic consultant or named partner for any project.

  • All costs associated with the business, third sector or government body co-investigator must be included in the application
  • Costs associated with a business, third sector or government body co-investigator's contribution to a project should not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed 30%, of the overall cost of the grant.
  • Salary costs will only be covered up to the equivalent of 1 year FTE for business and third sector organisations, no salary costs will be covered for co-investigators from government bodies.
  • Travel and subsistence costs will be allowable if appropriately justified for business, third sector or government body co-investigators.
  • Administrative support and fieldwork costs may be permissible for business (exceptionally) and third sector co-investigators.
  • Business, third sector and government partners can be included under the heading of consultants. In all cases, funds are transferred to the PI’s Research Organisation in the first instance. It is then the responsibility of that institution to disburse funds to the business, third sector or government body.

Overseas Collaboration

Overseas collaborations are largely not permitted, however the trustees have agreed (5/3/18) that any application may include collaborators from Europe. However, the potential Principal Investigator (and therefore fund holder) must be UK based.


Those projects shortlisted for the second round should be able to provide the Trust with an independent opinion on the proposed research project. They must not themselves be closely allied with the project, and must be located in institutions or organisations other than that of the Principal / Co Applicant(s). Referees based overseas are acceptable.

Do ask your referees before nominating them Consider naming referees from overseas, if that’s appropriate for your application. As long as they are familiar with your work and your research plans, there’s no reason not to name referees from outside the UK. Check that your referees will be available during the assessment process (August-October 2018).

Concurrent Applications

If shortlisted please provide details of current or recent applications of the Principal Applicant to other bodies for identical or closely related projects with dates and results.


It is recommended that you liaise with your institution regarding the budget to minimise any delays.

If replacement teaching is required, the percentage of time spent on the project (entered in the Finance, Salary budget section) should correlate directly with the number of hours per week. You are strongly advised to consult with your institution about these details, as any shortfall arising from a miscalculation about replacement costs or the number of hours the co-applicant(s) will be dedicating to the project will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator’s institution.


Review Process

Please refer to the Timeline.

Decisions about which applications should be funded by the Trust are taken by the Board for the first round of application with support from an external assessor. The 2nd round will be assisted by a number of other, independent experts in the field, who will make recommendations for support. When considering whether an application should be recommended for support, panel members will take careful note of the comments of any referees consulted. The decision of the Trust committee will be final and will take into account not only the quality of the research but the best dispersal of the limited funds available.

For second round shortlisted applications we seek a standard number of two peer reviews on all grant proposals irrespective of value of award. Assessment panels are comprised of academics & other peer reviewers; their membership does not, however, necessarily include anyone with a detailed or highly specialist knowledge of your specific subject area. When considering whether an application should be recommended for support, panel members will take careful note of the comments of any referees consulted. But they will also form their own judgement on a project, and the lay summary is crucial for that. It’s essential, therefore that you write in a way that allows non-subject-specialists to come to a clear understanding of your proposed research.

We have the freedom to decide that more reviews are needed for a particular proposal that is, for example, highly interdisciplinary, particularly complex, or where the quality of the comments received will not effectively contribute to the decision-making process.

Feedback of reviewers' scores 

We will endeavour to feed back to applicants the text and scores of the  reviewers and their overall grading of the application. Completed reviews seen by the applicants will remain anonymous.

Where the application is rejected on grounds of 'best fit' to the remit of the charity we will try and make this clear (whether on financial or topic matters).

Timeline for the Application Process

The first round application of 500 words should be submitted by the end of April 2018. You will be notified of the result of your initial 500 word application as quickly as possible and hopefully by mid to late May 2018. 

The shortlist (full) application should be submitted by the end of July 2018 (only by those asked to do so). Those who are shortlisted and make a full application may expect a final decision by mid to late November 2018.

If you are confident your work meets our funding priorities you will need to complete an initial application form by clicking here. The full application form for shortlisted applicants will be released in May.

Remit queries

If you are not sure about your project then please email the trust on admin@hvdl.org.uk 

Any initial application should include the following information: Name, Institution, email address, contact number, five key words for your research proposal. What are the main objectives of your proposed research? The main challenges your research will pose, the methodologies (in brief) and the likely outputs. Alternatively, you can visit our Contact Us page to get in touch.


All applicants will adhere to the core principles for research ethics as laid out on the RCUK website.  There is also ample useful information,  for example as laid out by the ESRC here

The RCUK terms and conditions are must be followed by all individuals and organisations involved in HvdL-funded research. The relevant conditions are:

  • Overall responsibility for ensuring that all research is subject to appropriate ethics review and monitoring lies with the research organisation (RO). By submitting a proposal to the RO accepts the proposal’s ethics information and confirms that it is prepared to administer any resulting grant on the basis specified in the proposal (and any additional conditions), and is committed to an appropriate and iterative ethics review process.
  • Research organisations should have clear, transparent and effective procedures for ethics review and governance, and appropriate mechanisms for monitoring the operation of RECs and the decisions they take in relation to HvdL-funded research. 
  • The research organisation should also have in place a clear sanctions policy against an individual in instances where an allegation of misconduct is upheld, and must inform the HvdL Trust, of sanctions put in place in cases involving individuals who are receiving funding (see RCUK Policy and guidelines on governance of good research conduct).
  • Ethics review should be carried out before any work requiring ethics review is undertaken.
  • Interdisciplinary projects which include medical or health research should follow the Medical Research Council's guidance on the conduct of medical research.
  • Research organisations should have appropriate processes and systems in place to ensure that all HvdL-funded research (including studentships) is conducted in line with the requirements of regulatory and professional bodies. RCUK policy and guidelines on the governance of good research conduct. Records of REC procedures, minutes of meetings, lists of reviewed proposals and research organisation's monitoring reports should also be made available to HvdL on request.

Further information


Intellectual Property

  • Potentially valuable results or products arising from HvdL-funded research should, where practicable, be exploited for the benefit of all
  • Unless otherwise stated we make no claim to the intellectual property rights arising from research that we support and it’s assumed that this will rest with the RO receiving the grant
  • Ownership of the intellectual property arising from a research project to be clear from the outset.

In taking responsibility for exploiting IP, we expect the research organisation to ensure that all individuals associated with the research understand the arrangements for exploitation.  Beyond the basic advice on this page we are not able to offer detailed advice and we will not get involved in any detailed negotiations, nor accept any financial or other consequences arising from Intellectual property matters.

Collaboration agreements : Intellectual Property 

Where research is funded by or undertaken in collaboration with others, the research organisation is responsible for putting appropriate formal agreements in place covering the contributions and rights of the various organisations and individuals involved. Such agreements must be in place before the research begins. Research organisations are required to ensure that the terms of collaboration agreements do not conflict with the Research Councils' terms and conditions of research grants. The Lambert toolkit (Gov.uk website) for collaborative research can offer a good starting point for such agreements.

Progress Reports

If you receive a research grant from us you will be allocated a named contact throughout your grant and you should speak to him or her with any queries you might have.

Please keep a note of your grant reference number, as you will need to quote this on any correspondence or reports you send us.

You will need to submit a completed Progress Report Form in each year that you receive a grant from us. Initial Reports are due six months after you receive your grant payment. 

Acknowledging the Grant

If you receive a grant from us, you do not have to formally acknowledge The HvdL Foundation Trust in publications or on your website, unless this is a special condition of your grant.  You must, however, ensure that any grant received from us is appropriately acknowledged in your accounts.

Our Logo

During the period of your grant, if you wish to use our logo in marketing materials relevant to our grant, or in a list of supporters on your website or annual report, you may do so. We prefer organisations not to use our logo on their letterhead. Our logo is available in jpeg formats on request. Once you know which format and size your printers need, please call us on. You will be asked for your grant reference number, so please have this to hand.

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The Heather van der Lely Foundation Trust is a UK registered charity, number: 1168658.

Postal address: PO box 194 Knaresborough HG5 5BS.