Academia: The ORUK Research Fund


The theme for ORUK Research Fund: “Rehabilitation solutions for musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions with a preference towards technology-driven solutions benefiting patients, having had or likely to require joint replacement surgery”


Why this theme?

Impaired MSK health is responsible for the greatest loss of productive life in the workforce compared with other non-communicable diseases, commonly resulting in early retirement and reduced financial security. According to the data generated by the Office for National Statistics, MSK disorders account for 8 million working days lost per year. Many elderly experience multi-morbidity and long-term conditions; this increases with age and is often more common among those in lower socioeconomic groups. As a result, there are still many issues to be resolved and a considerable amount of research is needed in order to build our understanding of MSK conditions so that we can improve outcomes for patients.


All Proposals must be submitted from UK based research institutions.

Grants will vary in size and duration (maximum £50K per annum). This is dependent on the nature of the research carried out.

The applicants must share ORUK’s Standard Academic Agreement with their respective University’s Research Contracts Department and Technology Transfer Office to approve and agree with our terms and conditions before full proposal submissions. We reserve the right to reject applications that do not adhere to this process.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

28 January 2019

The guidelines and all relevant documents will go live

1 February 2019

EOI Academic applications open

28 February 2019

EOI Academic applications close

15 March 2019

Successful EOIs announced

8 April 2019

Full application submission

8 April - 20 May 2019

External peer review

7 June 2019

Results announced – All projects will receive an e-mail from ORUK

1 July 2019

Scientific Advisory Committee meeting


Final Decision by the Board of Trustees

Frequently asked questions

How often do you give grants?

Our call for research grants opens once a year, normally to fund £500k worth of research.

Who sits on your Scientific Advisory Committee?

Please see the list of members here

Why have you adopted a thematic approach for research?

We believe that a thematic approach would enable us to review applications more effectively and increase the chance of generating a positive impact for patients.. We choose our themes based on their societal needs and organisational priorities.

What do you mean by Technology Readiness Level (TRL)?

Please take a look at the following link for more guidance.

Why is it important to identify a point of contact for my research in the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at the University?

The TTOs are meant to facilitate the process of bringing research developments to market, often acting as a channel between academia and industry. We ask all our researchers to establish a point of contact with their TTO to assist them with the progress of their research journey in order to achieve meaningful benefits for patients.

Can I submit my grant application without my PI’s consent?

No, unless the PI has given you permission to submit the application on their behalf.

Why is it important for the University to agree to ORUK’s terms and conditions before submitting my full application?

We have recently updated our Standard Academic Agreement in accordance with the Association of Medical Research Charities’ revised guidelines, specifically around intellectual property (IP) terms and conditions. Your University must agree to these terms and conditions before you’re able to submit your full application. We reserve the right to reject your application if you fail to adhere to this process. ORUK will not be negotiating these terms and conditions.

How much can I apply for?

Ph.D. researcher: Maximum £25k per year over 3 years, i.e. £75k

Post-Doc researcher: Maximum £50k per year, over 2 years, i.e. £100k

Clinical research fellow: Maximum £50k per year, over 2 years, i.e. £100k

I am an MSc student. Can I apply for funding?

Unfortunately, we do not support the MSc study stream.

I am an MD student. Can I apply for funding?

Unfortunately, we no longer support the MD study stream.

Do you support Universities outside the UK?

We only provide funds to UK Universities. You can, however, collaborate with non-UK universities and include them in your application.

Do I need to have an industrial partner for my transnational research?

No, it is not a requirement. However, if you haven’t got one, we strongly encourage you to find one through the TTO. Please see Q5.

Can I have other founders involved in my research?

Yes you can, as long as you declare this in your application. Failure to do so may result in termination of your grant. Before introducing any new funders to your ORUK project, you must first seek our permission. Please see clause 8 of our Standard Academic Agreement.

What research costs ORUK covers?

We do not pay full economic costing (FEC). When people donate to charity, they expect their money to be spent on research to ultimately benefit patients. This means that we only pay the direct costs of research, which may include: stipends, consumables, conference attendance, publication and/or tuition fees.

I need to attend a domestic/international conference. Can you help?

We do not provide ad-hoc grants to cover the cost of attending your conference. You may include this cost amongst other items when applying for a research grant.

Will I be able to ask for extra money after my research is accepted for funding by ORUK?

No -You must ensure your costings are accurate before submitting your application.

Do I need to submit progress reports to ORUK?

Yes, you are required to submit 6 monthly interim reports to ORUK. Please see clause 4 of our Standard Academic Agreement.

What is expected from an ORUK researcher?

Please see clause 9 of our Standard Academic Agreement.

Who is an ORUK Research Ambassador?
Why do I need to be engaged with the patients and public?

An engaged patient is an informed patient and we believe our researchers should play a major part in ensuring that they communicate their research effectively with the general public. You are therefore required to help ORUK with the effective dissemination of the results of your research by taking part in our public engagement events from time to time. You will be supported and briefed in advance.

Why do I need to contribute to ORUK fundraising programmes?

Your effective public engagement would essentially help us with the successful delivery of our fundraising campaigns. Communicating your findings with the outside world through different means can lead to a better-informed society that is more likely to contribute and engage with life-changing research.  You will be supported and briefed in advance about this.

Will you visit my lab?

Yes, and we may bring along patients and supporters with us. We will let you know well in advance.

Why is it necessary to acknowledge ORUK as a grant holder?

In order to effectively demonstrate our impact and support to your project, it is necessary that you duly acknowledge us in all your presentations and publications arising from your ORUK grant.

What happens if I don’t complete my research or change topic?

You will need to inform us immediately.

Do I need to inform you if my ORUK research leads to creation of an IP?

Absolutely. Please see clause 21.3 of our Standard Academic Agreement.

Academia: The ORUK Research Fund