Crowdfunding for research

Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) and FutSci are inviting proposals from the UK and overseas-based researchers and their commercial partners to submit innovative research ideas that will provide measurable improvements in the quality of life of patients suffering from debilitating bone and joint disorders.

Orthopaedic conditions affect people of all ages and do not generally kill. However, they can be extremely painful and cause a significant reduction in the quality of life of sufferers which often goes unseen by their wider community. This campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the nature and range of the disorders, beyond the immediate medical community, through a series of research focused crowdfunding initiatives and outreach events, highlighting the unseen pain and stigma that impact the daily lives of sufferers. This is an opportunity for researchers to engage with the public and directly address the needs of patients.

We will support high quality basic and applied research proposals that can be translated into meaningful outcomes for the benefit of patients in the following three categories:

  1. Alleviation of bone and joint pain
  2. Elimination of post-treatment complications
  3. Innovative technologies to enhance mobility and quality of life

You need to be registered with ORUK Link to submit your expression of interest (EOI).

Key dates

25 August 2017

Opening date for submission of EOI

6 October 2017

Closing date for submission of EOI

20 October 2017

Decisions on EOI and invitations for full proposals

17 November 2017

Closing date for submission of full proposals

9 February 2018

Decision on full proposals


Online workshop for selected proposals

Frequency Asked Questions

What criteria is used for assessing my full application?

1. Scientific structure of the research proposal
2. Feasibility of aims, objectives and novelty claims
3. Background to investigation
4. Methodology
5. Project timeline and deliverables
6. Clinical and research impact
7. Relevance to orthopaedics and musculoskeletal systems
8. Comments on research risk and originality
9. Requested budget, facilities and resources of the host institute
10.Support from the commercial partner organisation
11. Adequate demonstration of good research and translational value for the benefit of patients

Am I able to apply for finding if I have not yet recruited my student/researcher?

Yes. If you still have not recruited the student/researcher for your project please state “to be recruited” in your application form.

How do I submit my EOI/Full Proposal?

You need to be registered with ORUK link. Once logged in, follow the screen instructions to submit your proposal online.

What format should be used to submit my supporting documentation?

Your supporting documents can be submitted in Microsoft Word format and PDF.

I am a researcher/PhD student. Can I submit the grant application form on behalf of my supervisor?

Yes, provided you have been granted permission by your supervisor to do so.

I have a TRF application. Is it necessary to have part/match funding secured from the commercial partner organisation?

No it is not a requirement. However, it is an advantage and will be viewed as a positive indicator of commercial partner’s commitment to the project.

I have a BRF application. Is it necessary to have part/match funding secured from internal funding sources?

No it is not a requirement, but it may be an advantage. It may be viewed as a positive indicator of university’s commitment to the project.

Why use FutSci for funding?

Our partner FutSci, offers researchers with the opportunity to “run” with their scientific creativity. We want to encourage “out-of-the-box’ thinking, so called “blue-sky” research which may yield unexpected and exciting results. It is free to post a project on our platform. The application form is shorter than any grant application form. This is the only platform run by scientists for scientists. We know what the science arena is like and we feel we are well placed to help bridge the gap between the public and the researchers.

Who will put my project plan online?

Applications are made online by researcher.

What happens when the successfully funded project results in negative data?

Negative data is just as important as positive data. It tells scientists that they’re following the wrong path or may give them insight into what they’re looking for. You never know what might come of this.

How are funds processed?

All payments received from the backers will be held in a holding account set up between the researcher and Stripe. FutSci or ORUK will not have any role in holding these funds and will not have access to these funds. Stripe’s secure crowdfunding platform will authorise money collection. Our platform is continuously monitored by our technical team. We do not store credit card details. There is in-built data tracking and verification as well as an audit trail.

What if a project is unsuccessful? What happens to all money raised?

All backers are refunded. FutSci and ORUK do not take any fees, researchers are not charged anything. If you wish to use the flexible funding model please do let us know.

Crowdfunding for research