Funding for research

Research funding is money from an external source that can be used to support you when carrying out your research project. Often you have to apply for this money by preparing a research bid which will be considered by other researchers/academics. The decision about whether to give you the funding you want is made in light of the information you provide in the bid, how it related to the aims of the funding body and the value and cost effectiveness of your proposed research.

Why do I need funding?

Gaining funding to support your research can:

What will I need to do?

To start with you will need to search for suitable funding avenues and find funding organisations whose interested match the aims and expected outcomes of your research. You will then need to write up and submit your funding application and then wait for their response.

Be aware that it is not unusual for applications to be unsuccessful as often there are many other people applying for the same funding opportunities. Therefore, it’s important to keep positive and to keep trying. Use any feedback you are given to improve your application for the next time.

Where do I start?

The scope for research questions in Speech and Language Therapy is wide and so there is no “one-size fits all” approach to finding funding. Looking for funding will involve time, internet searches and information trawling to find suitable funding bodies. We have listed some places to begin your search but be aware that some of the funding sources may not be suitable for your research questions.


The National Institute for Health Research provides funding within a number of research programmes and funding streams. Gaining funding from the NIHR means your research becomes eligible to be placed on the “NIHR Research Portfolio” which is a list of gold standard research. Research listed in the NIHR Research Portfolio also means that there is potential to attract further funding from local Clinical Research Networks to further support your research.

NIHR non-commercial partners

The NIHR has a number of non-commercial partners including a number of charities and Research Councils. Research that is awarded funding from these sources will be also eligible to be included on the NIHR Research Portfolio.


A Department of Health initiative that offers information about a range of funding opportunities.

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT)

Offer some grants and funding awards - information can be found in the members' area.


Support in obtaining funding

Obtaining funding can be a time-consuming and a times frustrating process but it is important to remember that there are many avenues of support available to help you find funding and preparing your funding application: