image shows back of researcher sitting at station carrying out research

Why fund child health research?

Rare or complex childhood conditions can be devastating for children and their families. They are often life-threatening or life-limiting, and require specialised treatments and cures.

Carrying out research is often the best way to fight these diseases, and for many, research is their only hope. Children are not small adults – they need customised treatments and bespoke research and have the right to the best healthcare.

Child health research is vital to offering new solutions and treatment approaches to children and their families. It also helps to enhance their everyday experience, so children and young people can live as fulfilling lives as possible without being constantly restricted and defined by their disease.

While almost a quarter of the population in England is under 20 years old, only 5% of UK health research spend is focused on children and young people.

This is a huge mismatch and demonstrates the urgent need to do more.

Why us?

As the UK’s largest dedicated funder of child health research, we believe it is our role to accelerate child health research and provide hope of a better future for seriously ill children through research-led care.

Our research aims are ambitious, and we cannot achieve them alone.

Together, GOSH and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health form the largest concentration of paediatric research expertise outside of North America and host the only National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre in the UK focusing solely on paediatric research.

Looking beyond our local campus, we fund research nationally and have close collaborations with other UK hospitals and academic institutions.

These partnerships offer an unrivalled opportunity to tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by children and their families with rare or complex diseases and to make a global impact on child health.

We have therefore committed to spending £70 million on pioneering research over the next five years.

Our 2023-2028 research strategy will enable us to build on our existing strengths and successes with the aim of making further, significant advances in the diagnosis, treatment and care of children with rare or complex conditions at GOSH, nationally and around the world, so that many more can survive and thrive into adulthood.

What difference can we make?

We believe that every child deserves a breakthrough – whether it’s a new treatment for an incurable disease, a kinder way to diagnose a condition without the need for surgery, or a way to minimise the side effects of treatment – so that more children can have the childhoods they deserve and thrive into adulthood.

Thanks in part to the donations of our generous supporters, research at GOSH has been behind breakthroughs that have saved children’s lives for 170 years, from the first child treated with gene therapy in the UK to the first ever child globally treated for “incurable” leukaemia.

We want to continue funding research that will lead to more breakthroughs for more children.

But we need your help.

Nina's story

Nina was born without an immune system, meaning she was fighting for her life at just a few weeks old. A faulty gene was the problem and a groundbreaking research trial at GOSH saved her life.

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Research funding schemes

Are you a researcher looking for funding opportunities?

We offer funding schemes for researchers at GOSH and UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, as well as our National Call for researchers across the UK.