Science remit

We fund scientific research to improve the quality of health of everyone. This covers all aspects of science – from molecules and the cells vital to life, to the spread of diseases and vectors of disease around the world, to clinical and public health research.

The research we support includes these broad areas:

  • Genetics and molecular science. Understanding genetic variation in individuals and across populations, and the structural, biophysical and biochemical properties of genes, chromosomes and proteins.
  • Cellular and developmental science. Understanding how cells function and interact with their environment, how organisms develop, how cells can be used in regenerative medicine, and what happens when cellular behaviour goes awry, for example in cancer.
  • Neuroscience and mental health. Understanding how the brain functions at the molecular, cellular and cognitive level, and finding improved approaches for treating brain and mental health disorders.
  • Infection and immuno-biology. Understanding the immune system and the emergence, transmission, pathogenesis and control of acute and chronic infectious diseases.
  • Physiology. Understanding the physiology and pathology of tissues and systems relevant to health and disease, physiological processes at the cellular level, and the effects of clinical, pharmacological and environmental interventions on individuals.
  • Population health. Population-based research, focusing on the UK, Republic of Ireland and low- and middle-income countries.

Research can be done in the laboratory, office, clinic or field, and may involve experimental or theoretical approaches.

We fund people at all career stages from a range of disciplines including biomedicine, informatics, clinical science, public health and social sciences.

We fund researchers with the most innovative and exciting ideas. Our support can be for individuals or teams, and can include research resources and equipment, or support for conferences and workshops.

A significant proportion of our funding goes to support scientists and others working in low- and middle-income countries, as well as the UK.

Find out about the science team's strategy, Improving health through the best research [PDF 1MB].

Our position on funding veterinary science

We fund studies on:

  • veterinary diseases in draft and food production animals
  • animals as models for human medicine.

We don't fund studies on:

  • companion and exotic animals, except as models for human disease.

Applications are judged on a competitive basis across a wide range of science, rather than within specific disciplines.