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 activity we have combined our national funding rounds into a single joint national funding call in child health research. 
 
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 application 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, Myotubular Trust, Krabbe UK, Dravet Syndrome UK and Diamond Blackfan Anaemia UK. These partnerships enable us to offer possible 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 focused 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 and 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?
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. Will you be running the Sparks Rare Disease Conference Fund?
Before partnering with GOSH Charity, Sparks made a rare disease conference fund available each year. The aim of the fund was to encourage, foster and promote scientific and clinical workshops and conferences in support of rare diseases. The meetings would bring together clinicians, families and scientists to share insights and inspire scientists with the experience of families and clinicians. 
 
The rare disease conference fund was previously run as a separate funding stream, however moving forward this will be integrated as part of the GOSH Charity and Sparks national funding call. There will be up to £10,000 available to spend and we aim to fund a range of conferences. Applications must form part of a wider research project application and 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. 
 
7. 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 Michael Beresford (University of Liverpool), Professor Rosalind Smyth (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health), Professor Jill Clayton-Smith (University of Manchester), 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 John Anderson (UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health), Professor Jonathan Grigg (Queen Mary University London), Professor Brian Bigger (University of Manchester) and Professor Raj Chopra (Institute of Cancer Research). The panel also includes two lay members: Yvonne Parry and Baroness Margaret Jay. 
 
8. What is the timeline for the application process?
The deadline for an outline application is 5pm Thursday 26 July. Applicants will be notified in October if they have been successful with their outline application. If you are invited to submit a full application you will be informed of final funding decision in February 2018. 
 
9. Do you have a maximum upper limit for which I can apply for? 
Under this funding call up to £2m is available to spend on projects across the UK. and it is anticipated that we will fund a range of proposals from different investigators and institutions. Therefore, applicants are asked to carefully consider their request for funding and whether it represents good value for money. The charity would not expect applications to exceed £250,000.
 
10. Do you have information about success rates for funding applications?
The first joint funding call between GOSH Charity and Sparks ran last year and the success rates from outline applications was 10% and from full applications was 39%. 
 
11. 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
 
12. 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 full applications is 5pm, Thursday 26 July.