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The ORUK Research Fund 2021

We are investing in our future movement

As one of the very few registered charities devoted to addressing the most important gaps in research funding in bone, joint and muscle wellbeing, we must always keep investing in our future movement.

The need we serve is ever-worsening: 19m people suffer from musculoskeletal (MSK) problems in the UK, resulting in ever-lengthening NHS waiting lists, and the loss of 30m working days to the UK economy.

We want to use our funding to drive breakthrough research to reduce the burden on individuals, on workplaces, and our health system. We aim to support research capable of being translated into benefits for people. This is achieved by investing in academic and non-academic research within the following two areas:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Treatment

 

Research with patients at its heart

It should be aimed at enhancing the quality of life for those affected by debilitating bone, joint and muscle conditions. The goal is to identify challenging areas in diagnosis and treatment, understand the underlying mechanisms involved, and develop appropriate scientific, clinical or technological solutions to address them.

We will be offering the following three types of research grants:

  1. The ORUK early-career research fellowship
  2. The ORUK inspiration fund
  3. The Ronald Furlong fund for startups

For more details please read our Research Guidelines.

Orthopaedic surgeons, academic scientists, physiotherapists and entrepreneurs are invited to apply.

 

IMPORTANT

  1. All applicants must share ORUK Standard Research Agreement with their respective employer’s Contracts Department and Technology Transfer Office and agree in principle with our terms and conditions in advance of the submission of the full application. Contracts are signed once the awards are approved by the Board of Trustees. We reserve the right to reject applications that do not adhere to the terms of our contract.
  2. We sign ORUK Standard Research Agreement with Universities, NHS Trusts, and registered business entities in the UK, not individuals.
  3. Please download our Research Guidelines and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
  4. Applicants are only allowed to submit one application for the ORUK Research Fund 2021.
  5. Please use Microsoft windows-based computers to submit your application. Unfortunately, we have discovered that applications submitted using MAC computers are generating an unknown bug, causing certain fields to disappear.

 

 

Key Dates

14 May 2021
(09:00)

Expressions of Interest (EoI) submissions open

11 June 2021
(17:00)

Expressions of Interest (EoI) submissions close

11 June – 30 July 2021

Research Committee review

31 July 2021

Expressions of Interest results announced

13 September 2021
(17:00)

Full application submission close

13 September – 1 November 2021

External peer review

November/December 2021

Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) review

December 2021

Final decisions by the Board of Trustees

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often do you give grants?

Our call for research grants opens once a year, normally to fund £500k worth of research, but it has been increased to up to £1m for the financial year 2021-22, which includes:

  • £790K for the ORUK Research Fund 2021
  • £210K for research in partnership with others in 2021 (RCSEng, RCSEd, BHS)
2. Is this a restricted research call? Who can apply?

We fund musculoskeletal research projects that are within the following two areas:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Treatment

Orthopaedic surgeons, academic scientists, physiotherapists, and entrepreneurs with registered companies are invited to apply.

3. Do I need to be employed? Can I apply as an individual?

You need to be employed or have a valid research contract with your host organisation. We sign our contract with UK-registered bodies: Universities, NHS Trusts, and/or Companies.

We do not sign contracts with individuals.

4. I am a PI applying to the ORUK Inspiration Fund. Can I submit my grant application without naming my researcher in the application form?

Yes, you can. It is perfectly acceptable to recruit your researcher until after you know the outcome of your application.

5. I am an early-career researcher applying to the ORUK early-career research fellowship. Can I submit my grant application without a supervisor?

You need to have an ‘experienced’ supervisor/collaborator when applying to the ORUK early-career research fellowship. Moreover, you must get permission from your supervisor /collaborator before you submit your application.

6. What is the criteria to apply as an early-career researcher?

An individual who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or MD professional training, or an individual who is within six years of their first academic appointment.

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

The applicants must share ORUK Standard Research Agreement with their respective University /Trust’s Research Contracts Department and/or Technology Transfer Office and agree in principle with our terms and conditions in advance of the submission of the full proposal.

Contracts are signed once the awards are approved by the Board of Trustees. We reserve the right to reject applications that do not adhere to the terms of our contract.

8. How much can I apply for?
  • The ORUK early-career research fellowship – Up to £110K over 2 years
  • The ORUK inspiration fund – Up to £50K over 1 year
  • The Ronald Furlong fund for startups – UP to £100K
9. Do you support research outside the UK?

We only provide research funds in the UK. You can, however, collaborate with non-UK universities/individuals and include them in your application.

10. Can I have other founders involved in my research?

Yes, as long as you declare this in your application. Failure to do so may result in the 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 Research Agreement.

11. 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 benefit patients. This means that we only pay the direct costs of research, which may include: stipends, salaries, consumables, usage of equipment, conference attendance, publication and/or tuition fees.

PIs are free to decide how they would like to distribute the funding budget across their research project. The distribution plan must be both reasonable and justifiable. We will ask for this information in the full application stage.

12. 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.

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

No. You must ensure your costs are accurate before submitting your application.

14. Do I need to submit progress reports to ORUK?

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

15. What is expected from an ORUK researcher?

Please see clause 6 of our Standard Research Agreement.

16. 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 impact of your research by taking part in our public engagement events from time to time.

You will be supported and briefed in advance.

17. Will you visit my lab?

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

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

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

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

You will need to inform us immediately.

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

Yes.  Please see clause 19 of our Standard Research Agreement.

21. 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.

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

Please take a look at the link for more guidance.

The ORUK Research Fund 2021