Joint National Funding Call Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do Sparks and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity have a joint funding call?

In February 2017, Sparks joined Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity under a subsidiary model. Both organisations have a shared passion and commitment to support paediatric research. Through this partnership we aim to drive more funds and awareness into paediatric health research across the UK. As part of integrating our activities we combined our national funding rounds into a single joint national funding call in child health research. We have run two successful joint competitive calls for national funding and have made 26 awards totalling £4,330,919.

2. What is the remit of the call?

We are inviting applications for child health research from researchers across the UK. The emphasis of this call is on complex childhood illness, including rare diseases. The call will support translational research across the spectrum of medical conditions affecting the fetus, neonates and children directly, as well as pregnancy disorders that affect the child.

3.  Who are your research partners and is the process for applications in these areas different?

We are proud to partner with a number of rare disease organisations this year: Action for A-T; Dravet Syndrome UK; Krabbe UK; Myotubular Trust and Norrie Disease Foundation. These partnerships offer us the possibility of making joint awards in these specific disease areas. Applications in research partner areas will not have a separate application or assessment process. All applications to the call whether they be across the broad theme of child health research or focussed in one of the research partner areas will be assessed in open competition.

4. Is this funding call open to researchers across the UK or just researchers at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health?

This is a national funding call and is open to researchers across the UK. We encourage researchers from across the UK to apply for funding.

5. Do I need to have a co-applicant from Great Ormond Street Hospital and/or UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health to apply?

No. For this funding call you do not need to have a co-applicant or collaborator from Great Ormond Street Hospital and/or UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health to be eligible to apply.

6. Is the majority of this funding awarded to at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health? Do you have information about success rates for funding applications?

No, funding is awarded nationally based on quality assessment. In 2017/18, 64% of grants were awarded to institutions outside GOSH/ICH. In 2018/19, 67% of grants were awarded to institutions outside GOSH/ICH. Success rates (from outline and from full application) are shown in the tables below:

2018/19
Outline Applications Full Applications Awarded

83

31

12

Applications from GOSH/ICH 24% (20)

Applications from other institutions 76% (63)

Applications from GOSH/ICH 29% (9)

Applications from other institutions 71% (22)

Applications from GOSH/ICH 33% (4)

Applications from other institutions 67% (8)

2017/18
Outline Applications Full Applications Awarded

142

36

14

Applications from GOSH/ICH 30% (42)

Applications from other institutions 70% (100)

Applications from GOSH/ICH 36% (13)

Applications from other institutions 64% (23)

Applications from GOSH/ICH 36% (5)

Applications from other institutions 64% (9)

7.  Will you be running the Sparks Rare Disease Conference Fund?

Yes, however it is no longer a separate funding scheme and has been integrated into the GOSH Charity and Sparks national funding call. There will be up to £10,000 available and applicants can request up to £2000. We aim to fund a range of conferences, scientific and clinical workshops in support of rare diseases which bring together clinicians, families and scientists to share insights and inspire scientists with the experience of families and clinicians. Applications must form part of a wider research project application; applications solely for a conference will not be accepted. If invited for a full application, applicants will be asked to outline their plans for the conference. Further guidance is included within the application form.

8. How will funding decisions be made?

Applications will be managed by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is a member of the AMRC and as such, we ensure the research we fund meets the highest possible standards of quality, accountability, transparency and openness. The application will involve a two-stage process, an initial outline application and, if successful, invitation to a full application that will include external peer review.

Applications will be considered by the charity’s Research Assessment Panel (RAP). The panel is made up of the following members: Professor Chares ffrench-Constant (Chair of the Panel, University of Edinburgh), Professor Rosalind Smyth (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health), Professor Anne Marie Rafferty (King's College London), Professor David Goldblatt (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health), Professor David Edwards (King's College London), Professor Brian Bigger (University of Manchester), Professor Eamonn Maher (University of Cambridge) and Professor Raj Chopra (Institute of Cancer Research). The panel also includes two lay members: Yvonne Parry and Baroness Margaret Jay.

9. What is the timeline for the application process?

The deadline for an outline application is 4pm, Thursday 25 July 2019. Applicants will be notified in early September if they have been successful with their outline application. The deadline for full applications will be in late October. If you are invited to submit a full application, you will be informed of the final funding decision in February 2020.

10. Do you have a maximum upper limit for which I can apply for?

Under this funding call up to £2 million is available to spend on projects across the UK. As in previous years, we anticipate funding a range of proposals from different investigators and institutions across the UK. Therefore, applicants are asked to carefully consider their request for funding and whether it represents good value for money. The charity would not expect individual applications to exceed £250,000.

11. Is there a limit on the number of applications I can submit?

Researchers can only submit 1 application as principle applicant, therefore we recommend you submit your strongest idea. However, you can be a co-applicant on other applications.

12. Can I talk to you about my research before I apply?

Yes, if you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact the Grants team at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity on grants@gosh.org

13. How do I apply?

To start your outline application please click here and follow the instructions on the Grants Management System website. The deadline for outline applications is 4pm, Thursday 25 July 2019.