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GOSH Charity and Sparks National Funding 2019/20

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks have a shared passion and commitment to support paediatric research nationally. Through our partnership, established in 2017, we are making  £2 million available to support project grant applications from researchers across the UK. 

This year we are also proud to partner with Action for A-T, Dravet Syndrome UK, Krabbe UK, Myotubular Trust, and Norrie Disease Foundation. Further information on these partnerships can be found below.

Remit of the funding call

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Sparks are inviting project grant 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.

All projects must aim to improve understanding and/or outcomes for the child and have the potential to lead to the development of new diagnostic tools and novel interventions. Proposals will be asked to articulate a clear route to clinical application and strong partnership between clinical and laboratory- based research.


This is a national funding call and is open to researchers across the UK. For this funding call, you do not need to have a co-applicant or collaborator from Great Ormond Street Hospital or the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

We particularly encourage applications from early career researchers and those who are still consolidating their independent research careers. 

A list of grant holders funded by previous National Funding calls can be found here. Information on success rates can be found in the FAQs.

Funding Available

Applications will be considered from researchers across the UK. Up to £2 million is available to spend and it is anticipated that we will fund 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 charities would not expect applications to exceed £250,000. Funding will be provided for the direct costs of research (such as research staff and consumables) but will not cover consultant Programmed Activities, team-leader salary time or PhD studentships. Typically, projects will be up to 3 years duration.

Applicants will also have the opportunity to request up to £5000 from the Rare Disease Conference Fund to support scientific and clinical workshops and conferences in rare diseases. Further guidance is included within the application form.

Funding Process

Applications will be received and managed by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and considered by its Research Assessment Panel. Final funding decisions will be announced in February 2020.

For full details about the application process, including members of the panel, click here.

Research Partners

We are also delighted to offer the possibility of joint awards in partnership with our research partners in the specific areas outlined below.

With our partners we are specifically interested in receiving applications that:

  • Have the potential to lead to treatments and cures for Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T). Research should demonstrate to be of actual or future potential benefit to A-T patients
  • Improve understanding, quality of life for those affected by Dravet syndrome including those that investigate and improve treatments in comorbidities associated with Dravet syndrome
  • Aim to address the cause, diagnosis, understanding and treatment of Krabbe disease
  • Aim to significantly advance the search to find a cure and/or a treatment for any of the genetic forms of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy.
  • Aim to improve the treatment or quality of life of patients with Norrie disease, and particularly welcome research into Norrie disease progressive hearing loss. Projects must be able to demonstrate potential benefit to people with Norrie disease. 

If you would like to know more about the funding call, our research partners or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Grants team at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity on

The deadline for submission of outline applications is 4pm on Thursday 25 July 2019

To start your Outline application visit our Grants Management System website here


GOSH Charity and LifeArc Translational Research Accelerator Grants 

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity’s mission is to enhance GOSH’s ability to transform the health and wellbeing of children and young people, giving them the best chance to fulfil their potential. This year we are delighted to announce that we are partnering with LifeArc. 

LifeArc is a medical research charity with a 25-year legacy of helping scientists and organisations turn their research into treatments and diagnostics for patients. The charity along with its research scientists brings together a network of partners to tackle specific diseases. So far, LifeArc’s work has helped to develop four marketed drugs (Keytruda®, Actemra®, Tysabri® and Entyvio®) and a test for resistance to carbapenems. Through the income generated from these drugs, LifeArc can directly fund academic and early stage research. LifeArc has a long history of providing translation and technology transfer services and brings exceptional expertise which can support the development of translational research projects.

Together, through this funding scheme we want to support translational research at GOSH focused on addressing medical needs for rare disease patients.


We are inviting translational, milestone-driven applications which aim to improve the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment of rare disease or that focus on developing research tools that increase the efficiency of developing interventions in rare disease. The scheme is designed to support applications on the translational pathway with the expectation that researchers will continue to develop their therapy/ diagnostic etc after GOSH/ LifeArc funding, either by securing further funding from external translational schemes (from funders such as the Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Innovate UK and others), or partnering with/ licensing to industry. Applications should:
  • Address a rare disease medical need
  • Have a strong scientific rationale
  • Be a target-driven milestoned project with a credible delivery plan
  • Have a clear route to patient
  • Make the most of the unique patient populations at GOSH
The following activities are eligible for support:
  • Developing candidate therapeutic entities (e.g. drug discovery) 
  • Pre-clinical testing of novel therapeutic entities in vitro or in vivo
  • Pre-clinical validation for repurposed therapeutics
  • Early-phase clinical trials of novel therapeutic entities (phases 1/2)
  • Clinical trials of existing therapeutics repurposed for a new indication
  • Developing and testing novel devices
  • Developing and testing diagnostics (including biomarker validation)
All modalities of intervention are eligible for support from the scheme, including small molecules, peptides, antibodies, vaccines, regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy, devices, surgical techniques and psychological approaches. An indication of where this scheme fits within the wider translational funding pathway can be seen in the diagram below. If you have any questions, about this please contact
Translational Funding Pathway, GOSH Funding Call

The following activities are not eligible for support:

  • Fundamental or investigative research that does not link to a development plan
  • Studies where the primary purpose is to investigate disease mechanism
  • Late-phase clinical trials

Applicant Eligibility

Projects must be led by research active professionals based at GOSH or the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. Collaborations with industry and other academic partners are encouraged where relevant to the project. Lead applicants may submit one application per round.
The direct costs of research are eligible for support through this scheme. If the projects involve partnerships with industry, please note that only the academic costs will be funded and that IP derived with this funding will be owned by UCL/GOSH.

Application Process

Before applying, applicants must register their interest by emailing to discuss their project.

This is a two-stage application process

  1. Applicants are required to submit an outline application form which will be reviewed by GOSH Charity’s Research Assessment Panel.
  2. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full application which will undergo external peer review and further review by the panel.


GOSH Children’s Charity and LifeArc will be running a workshop to provide further information about the call and assist applicants with their applications. The workshop will include representation from LifeArc, the Director of R&D at GOSH, the Chair of the GOSH Charity Research Assessment Panel, the UCL TRO and the Joint GOSH and ICH R&D Office. 
There will be one workshop:
Workshop 1 – 12 February 2019 12 noon- 2pm. This workshop is aimed at those who are interested in submitting an outline application. The aim of this workshop is to:
  • Provide information about the scheme and the types of applications we are looking for. 
  • Provide an opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the scheme and the application process. 
  • Provide support to applicants about their proposed applications to the scheme.
For further details about the workshop and to register your interest visit this link.


The deadline for submission of outline applications is noon 18 April 2019.

Outline applications can be accessed from here.

Applicants should expect to hear the outcome of their outline application by the end of May 2019 and the deadline for full applications will be at the end of July 2019. Funding decisions are expected in October 2019.

Dr Simon Newell Early Career Investigator Award

GOSH Charity, Sparks and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) make an annual award for excellence in research to an outstanding young medical research worker in British paediatrics. Nominations are now closed.

Previous winners of the award:

  • 2019 - Dr Sam Behjati
  • 2018 - Dr Karin Straathoff
  • 2017 - Dr Chris Moxon
  • 2016 - Dr Manish Sadarangani
  • 2015 - Dr Robert Phillps
  • 2014 - Dr Marc Tebruegge
  • 2013 - Dr Roderick Mitchell and Dr Anthony Wiskin (jointly awarded)
  • 2012 - Dr Matthew Murray
  • 2011 - Dr Andrew Prendergast
  • 2010 - Dr Don Sharkey
  • 2009 - Dr Richard F M Chin
  • 2006 - Dr Amanda Drake
  • 2005 - Dr Howard Clark
  • 2004 - Dr Mark Herbert
  • 2003 - Dr Deborah Tweddle
  • 2002 - Dr Jugnoo Rahi
  • 2001 - Dr Paul Winyard
  • 2000 - Dr Richard Gilbertson
  • 1999 - Dr Jeremy Hull